In a landmark move, Qatar has further eased its visa policies allowing citizens of 80 countries visa-free entry effective yesterday. With this announcement, Qatar has now the highest in the region in terms of number of nationalities eligible to enter visa-free, making it the most open country in the region.
“Today’s announcement places the State of Qatar as the most open country in the region. This is a momentous occasion for Qatar, making the number of nationalities eligible to enter our country without a visa the highest in region, which is something that we are very proud of,” said Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker at a press conference yesterday at Oryx Rotana Hotel.
Calling this development ‘symbolic of Qatar’s outlook as a nation’, Al Baker said, “This historic announcement comes at a time of historic significance. While some countries in the region have taken to closing their skies and their borders, Qatar has instead opened its borders to more freely welcoming visitors from all corners of the world.”
Citizens of those 80 countries wishing to visit Qatar will no longer need to apply or pay for a visa; instead, a multi-entry waiver will be issued free-of-charge at the port of entry, upon presentation of a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket. According to Hassan Al Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development officer at Qatar Tourism Authority, the countries are divided into two groups.
“The first consists of 33 countries whose nationals are eligible for a waiver that is valid for 180 days from the date of issuance and entitles its holder to spend up to 90 days in Qatar, during either a single trip or on multiple trips,” said Al Ibrahim.
These countries include Austria, Bahamas, Belgium , Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
“The second category consists of 47 countries whose nationals are eligible for a waiver that is valid for 30 days from the date of issuance, during either a single trip or on multiple trips. The visa holder can apply for a renewal of the waiver for an additional 30 days in Qatar,” added Al Ibrahim.
Countries under this category include Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Georgia, Guyana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Russia, San Marino, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Suriname, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela.
“This announcement is the latest in a line of developments to ensure Qatar continues to be considered as an attractive and open destination for both leisure and business travellers from around the world,” said Al Baker.
Source: The Peninsula Qatar (https://thepeninsulaqatar.com/article/09/08/2017/Citizens-of-80-countrie...)