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 for a complimentary Qatar Transit Visa.
The scheme will allow transiting passengers of all nationalities to enter Qatar for up to 96 hours (4 days) in between flights.
PLEASE NOTE: This should not be confused with the mandatory transit visa for transiting through some airports. Whatever be 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 visiting friends and family.
This article explains the eligibility requirements, application process, validity and other details about Qatar Transit Visa.
AUGUST 2020 UPDATE: Due to the global COVID-19 situation, entry into Qatar is now restricted to Qatari nationals, their families, permanent residency holders and Qatar ID holders only. For more information, please check the Ministry of Public Health’s website.
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 with your name in the passport
Visa applications should be made at least seven days (excluding public holidays) prior to arrival in Qatar and a maximum of 90 days.
Application Through Qatar Airways
A pre-approved transit visa for the duration between 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 visa 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 at [email protected]
Qatar Transit Visa Processing Time
The processing time for the visa application is a minimum of seven days excluding public holidays.
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 from the date of issuance. Extension of validity is not permitted, and 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 if any, must be borne by the passenger.
- Individual passport per visitor is mandatory (including infants).
- A clear passport copy is required to be submitted at a Qatar Airways office or through the Qatar Airways website.
- Passport should be valid for minimum of six months at the time of entry into Qatar (not at the time of application).
- Confirmed tickets for a journey into Qatar and the onward journey out of Qatar must be on Qatar Airways ticket document.
- Layover in Qatar should be at least 5 hours.
- Both the flights must be operated by Qatar Airways.
- The facility is not applicable for travel where Doha is the point of turnaround e.g. BOM-DOH-BOM.
Customers must hold a copy of the approved transit visa at the time of boarding and upon arrival into Qatar.
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 into Qatar, the passenger may travel onwards if holding a valid visa for a final destination or make alternative arrangements of return travel to origin/other destination on 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 80 countries are eligible for visa free entry into Qatar. If you are applying from one of these countries, a pre-approved transit visa is no longer needed.
FAQ On Qatar Transit Visa
Do I need a visa for transiting in Doha?
No, you do not need a visa for transiting 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.