Under the glistening Arabian sun, Qatar entices with its alluring blend of ancient traditions and modernity. Before visiting the Museum of Islamic Art or gazing at the ultramodern cityscape, you must unlock the gates to this dynamic country. How, you ask? By securing a tourist visa, your ticket to Qatar’s treasures. Obtaining one is now easier than ordering a curry, thanks to online applications and new visa-on-arrival options.
This guide will walk you through all the steps in applying for a Qatar tourist visa, including assessing your eligibility and submitting your application.
Qatar Tourist Visa Requirements
Qatar is a country of wonders for every traveler, but before you begin your trip to the Middle East, you must meet the visa eligibility requirements.
Passport Validity – Your Ticket to Anywhere
Your passport is your most important travel document, and it needs to be valid to get a tourist visa for Qatar. Specifically, your passport should be valid for at least 3 months after the date you enter Qatar.
Roundtrip Reservations – Planning Your Return
While many nationalities can get a visa on arrival, those arriving by air to Qatar typically need a return flight booked to apply for their tourist visa. Showing your scheduled departing flight out of Qatar reassures authorities you aren’t planning on an indefinite or one-way stay. Your roundtrip reservations should be ready before you apply for a tourist visa.
Securing Qatar Accommodations – Your Home Away from Home
Except for citizens of about 90 countries, travelers to Qatar must have a hotel or other accommodations booked to be approved for a tourist visa. You can book a hotel, apartment, or even a room in a private Qatari home. This reservation requirement is easily met if you plan. Submit a copy of your confirmed accommodations when you apply for your visa.
Qualifying Countries Exempt from Accommodation Rule
Citizens of around 90 countries are eligible for a Qatar tourist visa without needing to pre-book accommodations. The list includes visitors from the USA, UK, EU, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, etc. When applying, be sure to check the current list of exempt countries.
Health Insurance – Your Safety Net Abroad
Qatar requires all tourists to have valid health insurance coverage before arrival. Therefore, it should provide basic protection if medical care is needed during your stay. Many international health insurance plans meet Qatar’s requirements. You must provide proof of insurance when you apply for a tourist visa.
Steps to Apply Qatar Tourist Visa Online
You are now ready to travel to Qatar. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a tourist visa online through Hayya.
Step 1: Access the Hayya Portal
Go to https://www.hayya.qa/ to reach the official Hayya website. It is the only authorized platform for applying for Qatar visas and entry permits.
Step 2: Create Your Hayya Account
Click on the “Sign Up” button in the top right corner of the homepage. You will need to enter your email address and create a password. Check your email inbox for a 6-digit verification code and enter it on the portal to complete the signup.
Step 3: Start Your Visa Application
Once logged into your account, click the prominent “Apply for Hayya” button in the middle of the page. Once you click this, it will open the visa application form. Select “Tourist Visa (A1)” from the dropdown menu under Hayya Visit Categories to start your tourist visa application.
Step 4: Choose Your Visit Purpose
The portal will ask you to specify the purpose of your Qatar visit from options like leisure, shopping, health, business, events, family visits, etc. Pick the one that best matches your travel plans, or select “Other” to manually enter details if needed.
Step 5: Upload Your Photo
You will need to upload a recent photograph of yourself. Check the guidelines for the specific photo requirements, and ensure it is taken against a light-colored background.
Step 6: Upload Your Passport Page
Click “Browse” to select a scanned image or photo of the first page of your valid passport. Make sure to crop it so only the passport page with your details and the machine-readable zone (MRZ) is visible. As a result, the system extracts the key data automatically.
Step 7: Enter Your Residency Details
Provide accurate details like your country of birth, residence, and any previous nationalities, if applicable. These details are required for your tourist visa approval.
Step 8: Pick Your Accommodation
Select your accommodation type in Qatar. If staying with a Qatar resident family or friend, choose “Family and Friends Hosting” after they have initiated the invite. Otherwise, pick “Other Accommodation” and enter your hotel or rental details.
Step 9: Add Your Contact Information
Provide your mobile number and an emergency contact number of a relative or friend. It is necessary if the authorities need to contact you regarding your application.
Step 10: Submit and Pay the Visa Fee
Carefully review all provided details before submitting your completed application. After approval, you will receive an email payment link to pay the 100 QAR visa fee online or for free if you are an exempt national.
Step 11: Get Your Entry Permit
Once paid, you will be emailed your approved Hayya Entry Permit and your tourist visa for Qatar. You can also access it on the Hayya app.
You can also check and print your visa by visiting the moi.gov.qatar visa inquiry portal.
Qatar Tourist Visa Fees and Validity
Obtaining a Qatari visa is easy and affordable due to the reasonable visa application fee of QAR 100 or around 28 USD.
The tourist visas issued through the Hayya platform provide up to 30 days of stay from your entry date. As a result, you have plenty of time to take in Qatar’s sites.
Moreover, if your journey to the Arabian Peninsula will take longer than 30 days, you can extend your visa by up to 30 more days.
How long does it take to get approved for a Qatar tourist visa online? Here are the typical processing times and top tips for smooth visa approval.
According to Hayya officials, the standard tourist visa processing time is 48 hours after receiving all required documents. The online system allows fast approvals.
In some exceptional cases, approvals may take up to one week if further verification is needed. However, over 90% of tourist visas are processed within the standard 48-hour window.
Your passport must have at least three months’ validity from entering Qatar. Check the expiry date before applying.
Importantly, tourist visa holders cannot undertake employment and are limited to tourist activities.
You now have everything you need to apply for your Qatar tourist visa without a hitch. Take your time – submit your complete application today via the Hayya portal. Meet the requirements, get approval quickly, and realize your Qatar travel dreams.