Qatar Expands Online Tourist Visa Services
Saturday, July 15, 2017
The Peninsula -- In a bid to further facilitate visitors’ access to the country, Qatar has made its e-visa services available to tourism-related businesses as well as individuals arriving to Qatar aboard any airline.
Hospitality establishments and tourism offices holding a valid license with Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) can now fully complete their guests’ tourist visa applications online via a newly activated feature on www.qatarvisaservice.com. The link has special features dedicated for tourism businesses, such as the “add to cart” option allowing businesses to complete multiple applications at once making it easier to handle large groups through bulk payments. It also eliminates the need for hard copy applications to be submitted in person at the Immigration Offices as was previously required.
As part of the service expansion, individuals who are traveling to Qatar on any airline can now apply directly for tourist visas on the same portal. This added convenience is possible as the e-visa platform is now linked to all airline booking platforms, including that of the national airline, Qatar Airways.
Hassan Al Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development Officer at QTA, commented: “Easing our visitors’ access to the country is critical for achieving growth in the tourism industry, making a positive impact on our economy and enriching our society. The rollout of these new services are intended to further enhance our visitors’ overall experience and we look forward to welcoming more visitors thanks to the increasingly convenient online visa service.”
Qatar launched its e-visa platform last month allowing travelers to the country to apply directly for tourist and visitor visas. The service, created in partnership between QTA, Qatar Airways and the Ministry of Interior, is set to ease visitor access to Qatar, as it offers a more efficient and transparent visa application system, with standardized fees for each visa type. The average timeframe for a response is 48 hours from the time all of the applicant’s documents are received.
In November 2016, Qatar introduced a new free-of-charge transit visa, which allows passengers with a minimum transit time of five hours in Hamad International Airport to stay in Qatar for up to 96 hours (four days). The move has resulted in a 40% increase in stopover visitors to Qatar in the period between January and May 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.
How to Apply
Visit www.qatarvisaservice.com to register and fill in the visa application form.
Upload the required documents (including passport scans, personal photographs, a scan of passenger’s airline ticket). Make payment via a Visa or Mastercard debit or credit card.
Receive updates and e-visa via email or log back on to track status online.