How To Get Qatar Transit Visa For Free (Dec 2023)

Doha Guides Team regularly reviews this article to ensure the content is up-to-date and accurate. The last editorial review and update were on 5 December 2023.

Qatar has a free transit visa scheme since 2016, under which travellers with layovers of five hours or more at Hamad International Airport can request a complimentary Qatar Transit Visa.

The scheme will allow transit passengers of all nationalities to enter Qatar for up to 96 hours (4 days) between flights. This article explains the eligibility requirements, application process, validity, and other details about the Qatar Transit Visa.

Qatar Transit Visa Updates: Quick Summary

Transit Visa Status (December 2023)

A Transit Visa is not required for transit travellers who are not planning to leave Doha Airport’s transit area.

You will need a visa in two situations:
(1) You want to visit the city of Doha for sightseeing.
(2) You have to collect your own baggage from one airline and check in with another airline.

Qatar Airways’ Online Transit Visa Service has been suspended since the last few years.

If you require a visa, citizens of 90+ countries can use the free Visa On Arrival (VOA) facility.

If your nationality is not eligible for VOA, you can contact your nearest Qatar Airways office.

You can also apply for an Online Tourist Visa through Hayya portal.

What is Transit Visa?

Generally a transit visa is a temporary travel authorization that lets passengers pass through a foreign country to get to another. For example if you are travelling from country A to country C through country B, you may need a transit visa from country B.

However, Transit Visa is not required for most transit passengers travelling through Qatar (if you are not planning to leave Doha Airport).

There may be certain situations when a visa is required (for example, you have booked separate tickets with two different airlines and need to collect your baggage to check in to the connecting flight).

If you are wondering if you need a transit visa for your layover in Qatar, please check this article. We have explained the different scenarios in detail.

What is Qatar Transit Visa?

Qatar Transit Visa is an optional visa which is only required if you want to leave the airport transit area for baggage collection or visit Doha city for sightseeing.

Qatar Airways passengers transiting in Qatar for a minimum of 5 hours are eligible for the Qatar Transit Visa. It is free of charge, valid for up to 96 hours (four days) and open to passengers of all nationalities.

How To Apply For Qatar Airways Transit Visa

Earlier Qatar Airways had an online service for transit passengers to apply for this visa. However, this service is currently suspended (since a few years).

If you need a visa and your nationality is not eligible for a visa on arrival, you can contact your nearest Qatar Airways ticketing office. They may be able to help with a transit visa if you are eligible.

Note that Qatar Airways also has stopover packages that provide hotel accommodations and city tours.

After applying for the visa, you can check the status of your application using your visa request number or by emailing [email protected]

Hamad International Airport Lounge

Qatar Transit Visa Requirements

To be eligible for a Qatar Transit Visa, the following conditions must be met:

Passport Requirements

  • Every passenger (including infants) must have individual passports.
  • The passport should be valid for a minimum of six months at the time of entry into Qatar (not at the time of application).
  • Your name in the booking must match your passport name.
  • A clear passport copy must be submitted to Qatar Airways.

Ticket Requirements

  • Confirmed tickets for a journey into Qatar and the onward journey out of Qatar must be on the Qatar Airways ticket document.
  • Layovers in Qatar should be at least 5 hours.
  • Both flights must be operated by Qatar Airways.
  • The facility is not applicable to travel where Doha is the point of turnaround, for example, BOM-DOH-BOM.

Customers must hold a copy of the approved transit visa at boarding and upon arrival in Qatar.

Visa Application Period

Transit visa applications should be made at least seven days (excluding public holidays) before arrival in Qatar and a maximum of 90 days.

Visa Processing Time

The transit visa application processing time is a minimum of seven days, excluding public holidays.

Qatar Transit Visa Validity

The entry is valid for 96 hours. Staying beyond 96 hours is not permitted under this scheme.

Entry into Qatar with an approved visa must be within 30 days of the issuance date. Extension of validity is not permitted; in this case, a new visa application must be submitted.

Qatar Transit Visa Cost

The 96-hour transit visa is issued free. All other expenses, including accommodation costs in Qatar, must be borne by the passenger.

Approval Authority

Entry into Qatar will be at the discretion of the immigration authorities. Qatar Airways offices act only as a processing agent for visa applications. They will not be liable for any expenses incurred should there be a delay in visa issuance or rejection from the Ministry of Interior.

Visa Rejection Upon Arrival

In case of visa rejection upon arrival in Qatar, the passenger may travel onward if holding a valid visa for a final destination. He may also make alternative arrangements for return travel to the origin/other destination at his own expense.

Nationals from more than 90 countries are eligible for visa-free entry into Qatar. A pre-approved transit visa is no longer needed if you are a citizen of one of these countries.

To apply for a Transit Visa, please contact your nearest Qatar Airways ticketing office.

FAQ On Qatar Transit Visa

Do I need a visa for transiting via Doha?

No, you do not need a visa to transit in Doha at Hamad International Airport. A visa is only required if you want to leave the airport and enter Qatar.

How much does Qatar Transit Visa cost?

Qatar Transit Visa is issued free. However, only one stopover is permitted on the entire journey.

Can I extend my Qatar Transit Visa?

No. The visa cannot be extended for more than 96 hours.

Do I get a complimentary hotel stay with a Qatar Transit Visa?

No. Any hotel or accommodation must be arranged and paid for by the passenger(s).

Should I collect my baggage if I have a Transit Visa?

If your stopover is more than 24 hours, baggage must be collected in Doha. If less than 24 hours, you have the option to collect at your final destination.

Can I apply for Qatar Transit Visa online?

The online Transit Visa service by Qatar Airways is currently suspended. Please contact your nearest Qatar Airways office.

Can I leave Doha Airport in transit?

You can leave Doha Airport only if you have valid Qatar visa (visa on arrival, transit visa, etc.)

READ NEXT: Doha Airport Transit Requirements And Procedure 

Related Articles:

  1. Do I Need A Transit Visa For Qatar?
  2. Carrying Medicines to Qatar: Important Things To Know
  3. How To Apply Qatar Tourist Visa Through Hayya
  4. Visiting Qatar: The Complete Guide
  5. Doha Metro Guide: Map, Stations, Timings, Ticket Prices
  6. Qatar Visit Visa Types, Requirements, and Cost
  7. Drinking Alcohol in Qatar: Important Rules To Know

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  1. Hi, For Indian citizen traveling with Qatar airways to 3rd country. Have 20hr layover in Qatar. If I wish to enter outside of qatar airport Is there any transit visa or I also need to take on arrival visa?

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Muhammad, Yes, Hayya A1 visa can be extended for most nationalities. After entry you need to take health insurance for one more month and apply for renewal through Ministry of Interior website.

  2. Hi. Is ther requirements for on arrival hotel booking or something?I am a Indian citizen traveling through Qatar airways with 20 hr layover.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Jamal, Transit Visa is usually issued by Qatar Airways only. Please check with your airline or see if your nationality is eligible for visa on arrival.

  3. Hi, I have a US Citizen, but my parents both carry Vietnamese passport and have US Visa. We will have a trip to US on Feb 2024 from Vietnam, but the layover in Doha( 20hrs). We want to go outside sightseeing, do we need Visa to enter to the city? and is it free?

  4. Hello, me and my friends will have transfer in Doha in November.
    There will be 10hours break between flights and we would like to go out and see the city. How and where can we apply for transit visa?
    Could you advise how we can get from the airport to the city?
    Thank you

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Ola, Currently there is no option to apply for transit visa online as the online service is suspended. You need to contact your local Qatar Airways office to see if they can arrange a transit visa. Another option is to get a Visa On Arrival, but it will depend on your nationality. You can read this article for more info.

  5. no link what so ever where you can apply for the free in transit visa. also other websites including rude personell of Qatar airlines do not provide me with the correct link.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Jaybee, As we have mentioned in the article, online application for transit visa has been suspended (since 2020). Nationals of 90+ countries are eligible for free visa on arrival. If your nationality is not eligible and you still need a transit visa, please contact your local Qatar Airways office.

  6. Hello, I am a US citizen and will be travelling through Qatar both ways while going to and returning from Nepal. Going to Nepal, I have a 5 hr layover and returning from Nepal, I have a 19 hr layover. Since all flights are booked on a single ticket a couple weeks apart, can I obtain a free transit visa to tour Doha during both layovers, or only for one of them? Thank you very much!

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Nikki, For transit visa kindly check with your Qatar Airways local office. Note that there is no transit visa on arrival. So you need to arrange for transit visa in advance by contacting the airline.

  7. Hi
    I’m Deedee from Nigeria, please I used the multi-city option on Qatar Airways to book my Flight from Lagos – Doha on 22/08/2023 and Doha – London on 25/08/2023
    I only hold a valid UK Visa. Do I need a transit visa or any other type of visa since my stay in the airport is not up to 72hours.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Deedee, If you are not leaving the airport or collecting baggage at Doha, you don’t need a transit visa. However it seems your second flight is after two days. In that case you may not be able to stay in the airport. So please check with Qatar Airways office.

  8. Hi, I’m a New Zealand citizen and have an 8 hour transit through Doha while flying from Zurich to Auckland, New Zealand in mid-September. If I wish to leave the airport for a transit tour (approx 3 hours) do I need to have travel insurance with a provider ‘acceptable’ to Qatar? I do have travel insurance but it is with a New Zealand based company. Thank you,

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Justine, As per the official rules, travel insurance is not required for visit less than 30 days. However due to some confusion in the message, some airport staff may ask for this. If you are asked for an insurance you can buy this at the airport itself using your mobile phone and credit card (takes less than 5 minutes).

  9. Hi!
    I am Ruth from Nigeria, I plan to travel to London with Qatar Airline but will like to transit in Doha. So using the multi-city route, I booked Nigeria to Doha on 18th August, 2023 and Doha to London on 19th August, 2023. Do I need a transit visa for the hours I’ll spend at the Doha Airport before leaving for London?

  10. I am an Indian citizen travelling from Amsterdam to Inida via Doha. I have a stop over in Doha for more than 8 hours and is planning to visit Doha city. I have booked my hotel through Discover Qatar(Stopover option), how can I get my transit visa? To get visa on arrival do I need to book hotel through VOA option in Discover Qatar?

  11. Hi, im a citizen of India and my traveling route is Hyderabad(Gulf airlines)-Bahrain(Gulf airlines)- Doha(Turkish airlines)-Edinburgh(Air Canada).
    My layover in Doha is for 8 hours and I have to checking my luggage in Doha. As for as I’ve learned I need transit visa as I’m checking my luggage again. And I come from India which can get Visa on arrival at Qatar.
    However my stay is for 8 hours only, so do I need accomodation through Discover Qatar and debit/credit card with minimum balance.


    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Shaik, If you haven’t travelled yet, it is better to get a Tourist Visa (A1) through Hayya platform.

  12. Hi, I’ve spent atleast 20 hrs trying to find some information about this.

    I’m flying Dublin-Doha-Delhi (with a 9 Hr stopover at Doha).
    I’m an Indian passport holder and want to do a 3 Hr (Paid by me) city tour offered by Discover Qatar.

    1. Will be be able to get a Transit visa on Arrival
    2. It says that being a Indian passport holder, I need to book hotel, but my transit time for the tour is only 3-4 hrs, and then the tour will bring me back to the airport.

    Any guidance will be appreciated.


    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Abhay, As far as we know (from the experience of other travellers) you can get visa on arrival by showing the Discover Qatar city tour booking and ticket for next flight. However it would also depend on the immigration official. You can double check with Qatar Government Helpline at +974-44069999 or [email protected]. All the best.

  13. Hey, how can I apply for a transit visa? My research says I can’t do it online so what is the way forward? I would like to tour the city during my 22 hour layover.

  14. Venkat Padmanabhan

    I have made 2 separate return flight bookings, 1) Mumbai- Doha – Mumbai, and 2)Doha – Cairo- Doha
    I will be transiting Doha Airport for my onward Journey to Cairo, with a Transit wait time of 7 Hours.
    My flight (Air India) arrives at 9.15 pm, and the following day at 4.10 am i will be departing for Cairo. I will be required to collect my baggage and then again check in with Egypt Air
    On the return leg from Cairo, I wish to stay for 2 nights with my friend, and then proceed to Mumbai with my Mumbai-Doha-Mumbai return ticket
    My Query
    For my first leg can i get a Transit Visa on arrival to collect my baggage for onward Journey to Cairo,
    Again, a tourist visa or on arrival for my return Journey with Transit in Doha for 2 nights before returning to Mumbai, I will be staying with my friend and not in a hotel
    best regards,

    Mumbai, India

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Venkat, Online transit visa service is currently suspended. Only Qatar Airways offices are issuing transit visa to their customers (in some cases). As your airline is Air India, we don’t think you can get a Transit Visa. For tourist visa on arrival, the rule is that Indian nationals require Discover Qatar booking (regular hotel booking or staying with relatives is not accepted). Due to these reasons, we don’t have a solution to offer you. Kindly contact Qatar Government Helpline at +974-44069999 or [email protected].

  15. Hi,
    I am from Vietnam (not in the list of countries that have visa on arrival), I will have 19 hour transit between Qatar airway flights. Please let me know how I can apply for Transit visa.

  16. Hi I hold a Sri Lankan passport travelling Qartar Airways from botswana to Sri Lanka.. I will be having more than 8 hours transit.. I have a cousin I havent seen for more than 5 years living in Qartar & would like to take this stop over opportunity to visit her.. how do I get a transit visa for a few days?

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Sarah, Please contact the local Qatar Airways office because online Transit Visa is suspended.
      New tourist visa type will be launched in the coming days, but it is yet to be announced. So you cannot apply for that now.

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