How To Get Qatar Transit Visa For Free (2023)

Qatar has a free transit visa scheme which came into effect in November 2016. Under the free Transit Visa scheme, travellers with layovers of five hours or more at Hamad International Airport can request a complimentary Qatar Transit Visa.

The scheme will allow transiting passengers of all nationalities to enter Qatar for up to 96 hours (4 days) between flights.

PLEASE NOTE: This should not be confused with the mandatory transit visa for transiting through some airports. Whatever your nationality, you do not need a Qatar Transit Visa if you are not planning to leave Hamad International Airport. The visa mentioned here is optional and only required if you want to leave the airport and enter Qatar for sightseeing or to visit friends and family.

This article explains the eligibility requirements, application process, validity, and other details about Qatar Transit Visa.

Current Status For Transit Visa

20 JANUARY 2023 UPDATE

The Transit Visas Service by Qatar Airways has been suspended for several months now (since COVID-19 travel restrictions).

Travellers from 90+ countries are eligible for free Visas On Arrival. You can use this facility to visit Qatar during your transit. You can learn more about Qatar’s visa-on-arrival facility here.

The below content is not applicable now as the service is currently suspended.


Requirements for Qatar Transit Visa

To be eligible for the free Qatar transit visa, passengers must have :

  • You must hold a confirmed Qatar Airways ticket for flights into and out of Qatar, and both flights must be operated by Qatar Airways
  • A passport that is valid for a minimum of six months from the time of arrival in Qatar
  • Your name in the booking must match your name on the passport

Application Period

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

Application Through Qatar Airways

A pre-approved transit visa for the duration of 5 to 96 hours must be processed through a Qatar Airways Office or through the Qatar Airways website.

Here is the link to apply for a visa online (the service is currently suspended).

Qatar Transit Visa Application Online

Alternatively, you can also visit the nearest Qatar Airways ticketing office along with your passport to process your visa application

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

Qatar Transit Visa Processing Time

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

Visa Validity

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

Entry into Qatar with the 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 hours transit visa is issued free of cost. All other expenses, including accommodation costs in Qatar, must be borne by the passenger.

Hamad International Airport Lounge

Passport Requirements

  • Individual passport per visitor is mandatory (including infants).
  • A clear passport copy must be submitted at a Qatar Airways office or through the Qatar Airways website.
  • The passport should be valid for a minimum of six months at the time of entry into Qatar (not at the time of application).

Ticket Requirements

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

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

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 and 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 or make alternative arrangements of return travel to the origin/other destination at his own expense.

Passengers holding return tickets and originating their journey from the following countries (Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, South Sudan, and Sudan) will be only eligible for one stopover on the outbound journey. Stopovers on one-way journeys originating from these countries are not permitted.

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 applying from one of these countries.

READ NEXT: Doha Airport Transit Requirements And Procedure 


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 the 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 of cost. However, only one stopover is permitted for the entire journey.

Can I extend the duration of my Qatar Transit Visa?

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

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

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

Should I collect my baggage if availing Transit Visa?

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


Related Articles:

  1. Carrying Medicines to Qatar: Important Things To Know
  2. Visiting Qatar: The Complete Guide
  3. Doha Metro Guide: Map, Stations, Timings, Ticket Prices
  4. Qatar Visit Visa Types, Requirements, and Cost
  5. Drinking Alcohol in Qatar: Important Rules To Know

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  1. Hi, Looks like I’m on the same boat as of many, got here after trying everything else(embassy, QA, DQ).
    I am pakistani national ( in eligible voa country) with valid visa of UK. i have layover in doha DOH for 20 hrs, want to roam arround. The issue i am facing is as hotel booking through Discover qatar is necessory but for VOA hotel i can book min of 48 hrs tho stopover hotel i can book for 24 hrs(which i actually needs). Am i ok to proceed with stopover hotel booking ? Does the stopover visa and transit visa are the same thing?

  2. I’m a Bangladeshi national, resident of Germany has booked a 4 days stopover package from Qatar airways. I’ve tried to contact every single way to every single authority ( embassy, airways, ministry of interior) and most of doesn’t reply back. Now I’m uncertain about my visit. Should I still take the risk and try to get a visa on arrival or better change my plan and cancel the stopover?

    Thanks
    Mahmudul Hasan

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Mahmudul, As Bangladesh is not on the list of visa-on-arrival countries and the ETA service for German residents is not active now, you cannot get a visa on arrival. Please call the Qatar Government Helpline at +974-4406 9999. If you don’t get a confirmation from them or from Qatar Airways it would be better to change your plans.

  3. Hey, I plan to have a stopover in Qatar from 18th-21st Jan. The transit visa website is still suspended. I am finally planning to book a hotel from discover qatar. Since there are separate stopover and VOA hotels; does anyone know if I can get a Visa On Arrival if I have booked a stopover hotel? Or am I supposed to book a VOA hotel only?

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Kevin, This will depend on your nationality. The VOA hotels option on the DQ website is only needed for citizens of India, Pakistan, Iran, Thailand and Ukraine. If you are from any other nationality that is eligible for a visa on arrival, you can book a hotel from any website. The stop-over option on DQ is not mandatory but can be a good deal as it can give you special rates (with Qatar Airways booking). You can contact the DQ call centre at +974-4423 7103 for further info.

  4. The transit visa application portal is still suspended as of Jan 4, 2023. I have contacted Qatar Airways, Discover Qatar, Visit Qatar, Hukoomi Gov portal, and none of them can tell what is going on (by pointing finger to each other), neither when the transit visa application will be re-opened. We are traveling on Jan 15 with a 3-day stopover in Doha, and already preparing to spend those 3 days in the airport. As mentioned in the earlier comment, Qatar Airways should not sell stopover package as long as they can not accommodate transit visa.

      1. Hi Joyce. I could not do anything to keep the stopover plan as I am a citizen of a country not in the visa on arrival list, and normal tourism visa requires an apppication of 2 weeks in advance (while we only had a week left). That left us no choice but changing our flight to remove the stopover. Funny enough, Qatar Airways silently removed all their stale pages on “Qatar transit visa” after they got our questions. They should have done it long time ago when the transit visa started being suspended so that people like us simply book normal tickets without stopover…

        1. Hi Daniel, thank you for the reply. Just like you I’ve done my research as well. I’m not on a VOA list countries but qualified for the ETA as I have a valid UK visa but don’t know where to apply (QA, DQ and MOI). I’ve read on the MOI site shared to me by DQ, if you don’t have pre-arranged transit visa, you may still try to enter Qatar at the discretion of the immigration officer. I have 12hrs 30min layover Doha to Heathrow. Good luck to me then. Again thank you Daniel! All the best!

    1. I thought I’m the only one who encounter this. I also have booked my flight and had to call 5 multiple departments (including embassy) and no one can answer my question regarding applying qatar transit visa as none of their website is working. I get so stressed as everything has been booked already. 🥹

      1. Hi Michelle, when is your flight? Mine is on the 4th of February. I even contacted the local embassy in our country. I emailed Hukoomi and I’m crossing my fingers, you can try to enter Qatar but at the discretion of the immigration officer (valid passport and 8hrs to max of 96hrs transit visa). All the best!

        1. Hi Joyce, I spoke to the visa team on the suspension of the transit visa and they stated that the transit visa application was launched during FIFA only. Right now it’s suspended because no transit visa is required if your stay is less than 36 hours and more than 5 hours. This means even if you are not on the eligible list, you will still be allowed to enter Qatar if your stay is less than 36 hours with confirmed tickets but at the discretion of the immigration officer.

  5. The transit visa scheme is still suspended as of Jan 1 but the Qatar airways sold the stopover package from Jan 1. I don’t find this country very welcoming or well organized, better not to visit

      1. Im in the same boat. Qatar Airways phone representatives are not even aware they help with visa. Kept trlling me to contact the embassy. Needs training.

  6. Hi!

    I will have my layover with my husband there in HIA on January 28 from US. We have 8hrs lay-over and we are planning to go around Qatar and meet some friend. Can you help me with this. Thank you

      1. Hi team, I am an Indian passport holder and currently residing in the United States.
        Since transit visa is suspended, I understand that I need to book a hotel through DQ website.
        Could you clarify if I can use stopover option in the DQ website while booking and also is hotel for one day enough.
        I am having a layover of 13 hours at Doha while flying from USA to India.

  7. Aftab Ahmad Sethi

    Can I stay at my son house at Doha during this 96 hours before leaving for Addis Ababa after 30 January 2023

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Aftab, This is possible with a transit visa, but the transit visa service is currently suspended. You can check if you are eligible for a visa on arrival.

  8. I have a flight on Jan. 1 to Manila..and stop over to Hamad Airport for 8 hrs. before i resumed my flight to Manila with the same Airlines which is Qatar Airways…can i have transit visa….
    Thank you.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Nelia, Transit visa service is currently suspended. You need to check with Qatar Airways if they will resume it by 1 January.

  9. Hello,

    I have a flight to Doha with Qatar airways then after nine hours waiting at the airport ı will continue to ıstanbul with pegasus airways.

    Do ı need to get transit visa or can ı take my baggage and make check-in and give my baggage again to pegasus airways without any visa?

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Mehmet, If you have booked with two airlines, you need to leave the airport through immigration. You will need to be eligible for a visa on arrival or have another type of visa. The Transit visa is currently suspended. If you do not qualify for visa, please check with Qatar Airways.

  10. Hi there,

    If I have a layover less than 10 hours in Doha, but taking different flight services to and from Doha, do I need a visa. Because, I supposed to collect my baggage from Doha before I take next flight, right?

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Chalakkal, You will need a visa on arrival to exit the airport arrivals area. There is no transit visa now. Also, the visa on arrival is suspended now. Hopefully, it would resume after 23 December.

  11. Farhan Ahmad Khan

    Hello I am a stay over for about 12 hours in Doha as transit returning from Tblisi on 13th Jan 2023 so can I apply transit visa on arrival or can apply online also.

    Farhan

  12. Hi i am travelling from Cape Town, South Africa on 14 January 2023 on Qatar airlines. The transit time in Doha is 20 hours . Do I need to apply for a transit visa 7 days before the 14th of January from the Qatar airline office or online?
    What options are available for 1 night acccommodation and how do I book this. Akbar

  13. FIRDHOUS ALIMATHUNISA ABDUL KATHER

    Hi. Does the 96 hours start from the time of arrival of the flight or when we step out of the airport?

    1. Hi Firdhous, This is calculated from the time of entry at the immigration counter (when your visa is issued). Please note that the transit visa service is currently suspended.

  14. Hello there. I am travelling back home with 14 hours layover in Qatar and I want to get out of airport and roam around instead of just staying at the airport for those 14 hours. How can I apply for transit visa of Qatar?
    Thank you

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Pash, Unfortunately Transit visa is not available now. During the FIFA World Cup, only Hayya Card holders are allowed to visit Qatar. If you are travelling after 23 December you can try a visa on arrival (if you are eligible).

  15. We have a 16 hour layover in Qatar on Oct 29. Traveling via Qatar airlines. Do we need transit visa? How to apply?

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