Effective September 27, Qatar will make Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) available to visitors that hold valid residence permits or visas from the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Schengen countries, or the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Eligible visitors can obtain an ETA by completing an online application at www.qatarvisaservice.com four to 90 days prior to travel, requiring them to provide proof of accommodation (e.g. hotel booking), details of return (or onward) travel, a copy of their passport with a minimum validity of six months, and a copy of their residence permit or visa to the aforementioned countries.
The ETA is for a single trip and is valid for 30 days, renewable for a further 30 days on the same website. Applicants are charged a US$14 service fee regardless of whether they are successful.
Brigadier Mohammed Al Ateeq, director general of the department of passport and expatriates affairs at Qatar’s Ministry of Interior (MoI), commented: “We are continuously reviewing Qatar’s visa policies and seek to update them in line with Qatar’s economic and social aspirations. Visitors who are not eligible for an ETA are also welcome to apply for a regular tourist visa through the same e-visa platform.”
This development comes as part of a series of measures that Qatar has taken to facilitate visitor access to the country, including a relaxation of visa requirements for nationals of 80 countries.
The ETA was announced during UNWTO’s General Assembly, taking place in Chengdu, China. Hassan Al Ibrahim, chief tourism development officer at QTA, remarked: “This is testament to Qatar’s commitment to openness, and championing the right to tourism for all people, in line with the UNWTO’s Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.”
He added that visa facilitation is a critical component of the national tourism sector strategy, which QTA has recently reviewed in partnership with stakeholders from the public and private sectors.