Qatar has announced it is waiving entry visa requirements for the citizens of 80 countries including South Africa with immediate effect.
This means if you are travelling from one of the 80 identified countries, you can visit Qatar without having to apply or pay for a visa. Instead, multi-entry waivers will be issued for free at the port of entry if the traveller has a passport with at least six months’ validity remaining and an onward or return ticket.
Of the 80 countries, passport-holders of 33— mainly European—will be able to receive a visa valid for 180 days that allows them to spend up to 90 days in the state on a multi-entry basis. The other 47 nations (of which South Africa is one) will have a 30-day validity visa, with the possibility of extending it for a further 30 days.
However, anyone travelling to Qatar for business purposes will still need to apply for a visa before arrival.
Here’s a summary of the rulings affecting the South African traveller:
- Travellers visiting family or friends can get a visa on arrival (information based on SA passport holders, supporting docs may apply)
- Travellers staying in a hotel with confirmed hotel bookings can obtain a visa on arrival (information based on SA passport holders, supporting docs may apply)
- Anyone travelling for business purposes must apply for a visa before travelling to Qatar.
Due to the uncertainty around these visas and waivers, we urge our customers to still check this information directly with the Embassy as the Embassy website states that South African passport holders cannot obtain a visa on arrival at the airport
. This information can also be obtained on the website for the State of Qatar: http://www.qatarembassy.za.net/za/index.php/consular