Summary About Qatar and visas

Country statistics

Area: 11,435 sq km
Population: 1.7m
Capital City: Doha (80% of the population)
Languages: Arabic (official), English (widely-used)
Religion(s): Islam
Currency: Qatari Riyal (QR)

Visit Visa Requirements

Tourist visas valid for 14 days, extendable for another 14 days, are available upon arrival (for a fee) for nationals of 33 different countries (USA , Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Spain, Monaco, Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and South Korea). Foreigners with valid residence permits from other Gulf Cooperation Council countries do not require a visitor’s visa. Upon arrival to Qatar they will be granted an entry visa valid for 14 days, provided the residence permit stamped on their passports would be valid for at least one month.

Residence Visa Requirements

This procedure outlines the Immigration formalities required for those applying to reside and work in the state of Qatar. Immigration processing involves obtaining various documents and is a complicated process which includes several government agencies in your country of citizenship and once in Qatar. To work and reside in Qatar, a residency permit (RP) is required for all employees and their families. The issuance of the residency permit is contingent on the medical clearance process. Immigration laws require that persons seeking residency in Qatar be screened for tuberculosis, HIV, and Hepatitis B and C. Positive results will exclude continued stay in the country; therefore, it is advised that all applicants and family members (over the age of 14) have an examination and ancillary testing within two to four weeks prior to departure. This will assure you no surprises upon your arrival.

PROCEDURE: Prior to Arrival


  • Once a provisional job offer is received, the candidate should forward securely a:
  • Copy of your passport (specifically any pages with personal details)
  • Copy of your highest qualification
  • Copy of passport of any accompanying family members
  • Copy of marriage/ birth certificates for any family members accompanying you
  • Police Clearance (see details below)

Your highest qualification, marriange certificate and police clearance need to be authenticated “it is refered to as attested in Qatar” by your local government and the Qatari Embassy in your country.

Once authenticated/attested, you will be asked to send a scanned version to your employer who will then process the visa application. Processing time for a permanent visa is approximately 3 – 4 weeks. Once received, the company will scan and send a copy of the document to you. This document must be printed and presented to Immigration officer on arrival at Doha Airport.

Police Clearance

At the same time as submitting your documents for visa entry, you should also undertake a police clearance check from your citizenship country. You would need to attend your local police station and fill in the relevant forms. This is more or less a criminal background check to identify your past history. The police clearance needs to be attested as mentioned in the section above.

PROCEDURE: Upon Arrival

Upon arrival all new overseas you will be introduced to the Immigration Team (at yoru company) where you will hand over your original passport / 2 passport size photographs/ a copy of Permanent Entry Visa and the Police Clearance Certificate.

The immigration team will arrange all the paperwork and arrange a medical appointment which is normally scheduled 5 working days after receipt of documentation. Medical Clearance release takes approximately 4 working days from the appointment date. The immigration team will inform the employee of their scheduled dates for attending the finger printing appointment.

Once the medical and finger printing has been successfully completed, the application to stamp the Qatar residence permit in the passport will be made. The whole process takes approximately 3-4 weeks. Employees are required to remain in Qatar until the Residency Permit process is over. Residence Permit holders are not permitted to remain out of Qatar for more than 6 months at one time after which the Residence Permit becomes invalid. Employees are allowed to commence work whilst this process is ongoing.

Driving License

As per the Qatar Traffic Policy, some nationalities can exchange their driving license provided that they get a valid driving license from their home country. You will need a sponsor’s covering letter (in Arabic) from your employer, your home country driver’s license plus four photographs. If you wear corrective lenses, you need to have your picture taken with these glasses on. The Traffic Department will require you to take an eye examination. As a part of obtaining your residence permit in Qatar a temporary driving license is issued and can be converted to a full/Permanent license once your residence permit formalities have been completed.

For more details, please visit you will be directed to a site call “Hukoomi” the new government portal on line. “Hukoomi ” is your gateway to the government information and online e-service.

Major sources of above information

The World Factbook; Center for International Research, U.S. Bureau of the Census; The Columbia Encyclopedia; The World Book Encyclopedia; Encyclopædia Britannica; Qatar Statistics Authority; U.S. State Dept., and various newspapers.

Population figures are supplied by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Read more: Country Profile Notes:

Some of Qatar’s major Cities

Doha : Doha is the capital city and seat of Government. It includes the country’s main sea port and international airport. It is Qatar’s cultural, commercial and financial centre, with a population of 338,760 in 2004.

Al Rayyan : Al Rayyan is located 10 kilometers north of Doha. It is the largest residential area outside of Doha, with an estimated population of 272,583 in 2004.

Al Wakrah : Is a small town situated between Doha and Mesaieed. It is the center for a booming commercial fishing industry and has an old fishing port, which is still in use to date. The town is famous for its fine mosques and many houses reflecting the old Islamic architecture.

Alkhor : Al Khor is a coastal city 57 kilometers north of Doha with a port for small ships and fishing boats. The Al Khor Municipality includes the emergent Ras Laffan Industrial City. Al Khor has been developing rapidly over the past few years and the trend is likely to continue with the onslaught of various industrial projects, mainly gas based.

Ras Laffan Industrial City (RLIC) : Strategically located on the north shore of the Qatari Peninsula and at the centre of the Arabian Gulf, Ras Laffan Industrial City represents one of the world’s most significant and accessible emergent industrial export locations. The ambitious vision of the State to exploit its vast natural gas resource led to the initiation of LNG projects: Qatargas and RasGas. Expansion of LNG facilities at Ras Laffan has been proceeding rapidly and is expected to reach 20.2 million tons per annum (mtpa) by year-end 2004. Further natural gas utilization plans led to the Dolphin project and to various Gas to Liquids (GTL) projects, which are currently under-way.

Mesaieed : Mesaieed is a major industrial city in Qatar, located 45 kilometers south of Doha. The city’s industrial area houses basic industries and it has a large sea port as well as the principal terminal for the export of oil. The beaches and sand dunes at Mesaieed with their fine sand are major tourist attractions in the State of Qatar.

Dukhan : Dukhan is Qatar’s main onshore oil production centre and is situated halfway along the western coastline of the Qatari Peninsula. It has developed as the oil nerve center since the exploitation of the country’s oil reserves commenced in 1949.

Sealine Beach Resort : Situated 55 km from the capital, the resort offers a large variety of rooms, villas and chalets, all with a sea view. The resort also has many sports and recreational activities and a number of restaurants, alongside with meeting and conference facilities.

Qatar Time, Calender and Major Holidays

Qatar local time is GMT plus 3 hours. Qatar is 8 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, except during Daylight Saving Time, when it is 7 hours ahead.


You can also read the following articles:

Qatar History

All About Qatar

Know more about Qatar

Medical Commission Procedures in Qatar

Entry to Qatar for work and residence

Residence permits in Qatar

Exit Permits from Qatar