This section is intended for reference only. We strongly recommend that you contact the embassy directly for the most up-to-date information that pertains to your specific situation.
You must have a valid passport to travel abroad. A passport is an official government document that certifies one's identity and citizenship. The process and cost associated with getting a passport can be lengthy & expensive, so begin your application at least six months before you plan to leave.
Your passport must be valid 6 months beyond your intended stay. Minors are allowed to travel on their parents' passports up until aged 15 years.
A visa is a stamp or endorsement placed by officials on a passport that allows the bearer to enter the country. This permission is called "entry clearance".
Qatar's Ministry of Interior - administers applications and visas.
Hours of Operation: Sun – Thur 7 am – 1 pm
Telephone: 974 44330000
Information and forms can be found on the MOI Resident site.
All visitors to Qatar – whether tourists, visitors on business, students, individuals on a layover, families visiting residents of Qatar, etc. – require a visa, except Qatari citizens. Visas normally fall under two categories: Tourist and Business.
You must carry a business or tourist visa when entering the country.
The State of Qatar issues tourist visas to visitors from 33 countries: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, The Netherlands, USA, UK, and Vatican City.
Tourists from these countries may apply for a tourist visa to enter Qatar online before arrival. Applicants are required to supply a sponsor ID in the visa application, which can be from a relative living in Qatar or an ID supplied by a hotel.
Citizens of any other countries must apply for a Tourist Visa through the Qatar Embassy in their home country.
Citizens of Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE – can apply for a GCC Resident Visit Visa that is extendable for up to three months.
You must carry a tourist or business visa when entering the country. If you do not apply for one ahead of time, you may purchase one at the airport.
To apply for a tourist visa:
Joint travel visas allow successful applicants to travel freely between Qatar and Oman. You are eligible for a Joint Tourist Visa if you are a citizen of one of the 33 countries listed above under "Tourist Visa".
This type of visa is issued upon arrival at the airport border of Qatar. Travellers can apply online for a Joint Travel Visa ahead of time on the Hukoomi Qatar e-Government web site.
To apply for a joint tourist visa:
Joint Tourist Visa holders are not permitted to work in Qatar during their stay.
A business visa permits individuals to enter Qatar for a short term basis on work-related visits. These are valid for 72 hours initially, with month-long business visas available for overseas workers joining companies or those employed on short-term contracts. Business visas can be extended for up to three months.
Business visas are applied for by the sponsoring company. The fee for business visas is QR 200 and QR 50 for each registered applicant on your application (e.g. family members). These fees are also payable for every month the visa is extended.
Families of sponsored residents in Qatar may apply for a short-term family visit visa to visit Qatar for less than one month. If you wish to extend this visa you must undergo a physical examination within the first 72 hours of arriving in Qatar, and then apply for an extension (up to six months).
All residents of Qatar (except wives and children in Qatar under the sponsorship of their family) must obtain an exit permit to leave Qatar, even if leaving temporarily. Your exit permit is arranged by your sponsor (normally your employer).
To obtain an exit permit authorized users (sponsors) can apply on your behalf in person, online, or at a self-service kiosk through the Ministry of Interior's Passports and Airport Security Department. You must submit:
In theory, it is easy to get exit permits. However, your sponsor must apply for one on your behalf, so in practice this is not always the case. It is wise to inquire with prospective employers about what their exit permit policies and procedures are.
All expats must be sponsored by an employer, company or government agencies to get a residence permit in Qatar. You need a Residence Permit to do pretty much anything in Doha (hook up your utilities, get a health card, etc.) Obtaining a residence permit can take 6 weeks or longer, and during the application period applicants are not permitted to leave the country.
There are two types of residence permits available:
If you own property in certain real estate developments in Qatar, or you invest in selected business ventures, you may also be eligible to apply for a Real Estate Visa, a form of long-term visa that allows successful applicants to stay in Qatar without sponsorship (see below).
The applicant is usually already in the country on a shorter term visa before applying for a residence permit. Permits are normally granted within six weeks and are valid from one to three years.
The cost for a permit is QR352 for Personal Sponsorships and QR1,052 for Company Sponsorships.
Once the medical tests have been passed, applicants have their fingerprints scanned and registered with Qatar's Ministry of Interior.
Foreigners lose their residency status if they leave the country for more than six months, unless they apply for an extension with the Ministry of Interior.
A medical test is compulsory for all forms of residence permits, and must be done during the applicant's first week in Qatar. Before attending this medical test you must obtain a certificate showing your blood type (you can get this at any medical clinic). The medical test in Qatar consists of screening for HIV and Hepatitis B and C. Permit applications are rejected if HIV tests are positive. You will also receive a chest x-ray for tuberculosis. Results from these tests take a week to receive.
Medical tests can be conducted at the government-run Medical Commission Office on Al Muntazah Street in Doha, or at a private hospital (Doha Clinic Hospital, Al Ahli Hospital, Al Emadi Hospital).
Once you receive your residency permit, you are also issued your Qatari ID card. It is mandatory for citizens and residents in Qatar to have an ID card. New applicants can also register for a SmartCard, which provides access to e-Government services. There is a standard fee to obtain an ID card, normally covered by your employer. You can apply for new ID cards on the Hukoomi web site. Hukoomi website, select New ID Card and then the Add e-Service to ID Card page for details.
If you lose your ID card it costs QR 100 for a new one. You can renew your ID card on the Hukoomi site.
Sponsorship by an employer is required as these cannot be obtained unless there is a job offer or contract from an employer. These are valid for 1-3 years and are renewable.
The employer applies for a work residence permit on behalf of the employee. Certificates such as degrees, marriage certificates, etc. need to be attested by both the country of issue's foreign office and the Qatar embassy.
Changing jobs in Qatar can affect your residency status. The employer who sponsors your work residence permit is entitled to restrict their employee from joining another company, which means you may become ineligible to stay in Qatar until the end of this restriction period.
Available to the immediate family of an expat who has a Work Residence Permit and earns more than QR 7,000 per month. These are valid for 1-3 years and are renewable.
The cost of obtaining a residence permit for your family may or may not be covered by your employer. However, the application for family residence visas is generally taken care of by your employer. All family members must undergo a medical test, described above, during the application process.
Spouses who receive Family Residence Visas are not permitted to work in the country unless they receive special permission from the Ministry of Interior's Labour Department, who may issue them work permits.
Non-Qataris who invest in selected real estate projects in Qatar may live in the country without sponsorship under a Real Estate Visa. Applicable to overseas owners of property in designated developed in Qatar. These are valid for 1-5 years or until the property is sold. Online applications can be found on the Hukoomi site. Applicants are also required to submit relevant property ownership documents, a certificate of good behavior, and authenticated medical records to qualify for this visa.
Non-Qataris who invest in selected business ventures in Qatar may live in the country without sponsorship under an Investor Visa. Online applications can be found on the Hukoomi site. Applicants are also required to submit relevant property ownership documents, a certificate of good behavior, and authenticated medical records to qualify for this visa.
Expats may apply for citizenship if they:
All documents must be translated into Arabic and must accompany the original.
Priority is to be given to applicants whose mothers are Qatari nationals. Dual citizenship is not recognized. Because of these restrictions, applying for citizenship is not common.
Qatari men must get permission from the government to marry a foreigner. If a Qatari woman wants to marry a foreigner it may be permitted, but nationality will not be passed down to the children. In Qatari law, the family follows the Father's lineage. Pre-Marital Registration can be found online.
Marriages between Muslim men and Christian women are not performed in Qatar. The only non-Muslim marriages granted official recognition by the State of Qatar are Christian marriages performed by churches registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and by clergy recognized by the Ministry to preform non-Muslim marriages.
Once the marriage has taken place, the marriage certificate needs to be translated into Arabic and registered with the Ministry of Justice and attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A foreigner must also register the marriage with their embassy. However, this does not automatically grant citizenship.
Note that living together as an unmarried couple is illegal in Qatar, as is being pregnant out of wedlock.
Birth within the State of Qatar does not automatically confer citizenship. Children of foreigners born in Qatar don't have rights of local citizenship and automatically assume the nationality of the parents.
If the father is Qatari, the child will usually be granted citizenship. If only the mother is Qatari, the children are not usually granted citizenship.
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