Most of the travelers are benefiting from the relax transit visa rules applicable to Qatar Airways passengers who have a minimum of 5 hour layover in Doha. The system was implemented on November 1st 2016.
The announcement was made by the country’s national carrier Qatar Airways and the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA). In a bid to increase the flow of tourists and at the same time make it cost effective and easier for people to enter the country, authorities announced this new transit visa scheme. Under the new scheme passengers are allowed to stay in Qatar for up to 96 hours (4 days) provided they have a minimum transit time of 5 hours at the Hamad International Airport (HIA). The Qatar transit visa is free of cost and would be available for passengers of all nationalities at the Hamad International Airport (HIA) on arrival upon completion of the necessary formalities.
The transit visa is available to citizens of all nationalities. A clear passport copy for each passenger is required (including infants) and the passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months at the time of entry into Qatar. The issuance of the transit visa is at the sole discretion of the Ministry of Interior of Qatar. You must have applied for the visa at least 7 days or at max 90 prior to your entry into Qatar. There is no application fee for the transit visa. You must also be in possession of ticket for an onward journey from Qatar on a Qatar Airways flight. You can apply for the transit visa free of cost online. A copy of the pre-approved transit visa must be produced at the time of boarding in the country of origin and also upon entry into Qatar.
Getting the Qatari visa via Qatar Airways is always very easy, usually applicants get their visas within 3-days.
Visitors are able to do a lot within the transit time and visit well known places of the country.
“This is my first layover in Qatar, and the experience has been great. I visited many places such as the traditional market (Souq Waqif) and bought fresh dates and also saw camels”, said a transit traveller. “I am considering visiting the country again in a proper manner in the near future”, he added.
To apply for a transit visa, a confirmed ticket to Qatar and onwards on one of the Qatar Airways operated flights is required, along with a clear passport copy for each passenger (including infants). The passport should be valid for a minimum of six months at the time of entry into Qatar.
Entry into Qatar is, however, regulated and at the discretion of the immigration authorities. Qatar Airways has received immense praise from travellers for their role in facilitating an easy transit visa process.
“Booking a ticket on the Qatar Airways website is very easy and user-friendly, upon booking the ticket the passenger is prompted whether they need a visa for Qatar or not. On the visa application page all the details are automatically filled and all we need to do is to supply a copy of our passports”, said an Indian expat.
Similarly, people who have had stopovers in Doha while travelling to Dubai have been full of praise for Qatar’s national carrier and the new transit visa system, saying that visiting Doha had been never this easier as well as cost effective. During the layover at Doha transit travellers are able to visit some of the most important landmarks of the country as well, making the layover worthwhile.