It is now mandatory for all citizens of South Africa to have a visa before travelling to Qatar. Applicants who are applying for the first time must present a completed, signed application form and four passport size photographs.
If you’re travelling to Qatar and you’re a South African passport holder then this page is for you. I know how frustrating it is to find the right information when searching online. Well, here it is! All the information you need on how to get that elusive Qatar visa…
If you are a South African citizen, you may require a visa before travelling to Qatar. This is especially true if you are planning to enter via Ras Laffan Seaport or Doha International Airport, but travellers entering the country through Al Daayen or Salwa Road border crossings may also need a visa if not on a passport endorsed for travel to Qatar.
Qatar Visa For South African Passport Holders
South African expats moving to Qatar must be aware of the visa requirements for Qatar. Many people are often not aware that Qatar, being an Arabic country, requires all of its residents to have a “kafaat” before they can get a new visa or renew their existing one. Kafaat simply means letters or, more accurately, statements from the South African embassy proving that you have a job and your employer is sponsoring your relocation and place of stay in South Africa.
Qatar visa on arrival 2022 latest news
As per some sources, the visa on arrival service to Qatar has now resumed after it was suspended in 2020, following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
At present, over 95 countries around the world are eligible to obtain a visa waiver upon arrival to Qatar.
Qatar visa on arrival eligible countries
The Qatar visa on arrival allows nationals of 95 eligible countries to obtain a visa waiver upon arrival to Qatar by presenting a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket.
The nationals of these countries do not require any prior visa arrangements before travelling to Qatar. Visitors intending to stay in Qatar must hold a valid hotel booking for the duration of the stay. Find best hotel prices in Qatar
The countries eligible for the Qatar visa on arrival will, however, be divided into two categories depending on the types of visa on arrival they are eligible.
90-day stay period
For nationals of the countries listed below, the waiver will be valid for 180 days from the date of issuance and entitle its holder to spend up to 90 days in Qatar, during either a single trip or on multiple trips:
Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine
30-day stay period
For citizens of the following countries, a visa-free stay of 30 days is allowed from the date of issuance and may be extended for another 30 days.
Andorra, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Georgia, Guyana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Macau, Macedonia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Russia, Rwanda, San Marino, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Suriname, Thailand, The United Kingdom, The United States, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela.
Qatar visa on arrival rules for travellers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and the Philippines
Citizens of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and the Philippines headed to Qatar can get a Visa on Arrival (VoA) valid for 30 days from the date of issuance, and valid on single trip or multiple trips. This can be extended for a further 30 days if the following terms and conditions are met:
- Passport must be valid for at least 6 months
- Return ticket must be confirmed.
- The arriving passenger must possess a minimum cash amount of US $1400 or a valid credit card, the same applied to an entire family.
- Travellers from the above-mentioned countries will have to pre-book hotel stay for their entire duration of stay in Qatar. The bookings will only be valid if they are made through Discover Qatar.
- Must be fully vaccinated with vaccines approved by the Ministry of Public Health and have completed a period of 14 days after the last dose.
- Must have a certificate confirming negative PCR test completed during the 48 hours from the time of arrival.
- Must have an electronic registration completed on the Ehteraz platform to obtain the approval of the Ministry of Public Health before travelling.
Please note that this also applies to Visa on Arrival seekers who have friends or family in Qatar and want to stay with them.
Visa exemption for GCC countries
In addition to the countries eligible for visa-free entry to Qatar, nationals of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) also do not require a visa to enter Qatar.
Qatar visa on arrival requirements
Passengers from countries eligible for the Qatar visa on arrival can possess visa-free entry to Qatar and obtain a visa waiver on arrival if they meet the following requirements:
- The passenger must be a citizen of an eligible country.
- Must present a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months
- Must possess a confirmed onward or return ticket.
- Passengers intending to stay in Qatar must hold a valid hotel booking for the duration of the stay.
- Passengers from Pakistan and India might also require:
- proof of fund or a credit card to be eligible for the Qatar visa on arrival. Make sure to carry an International Debit/Credit Card, under your name, with a minimum balance of QAR 5000.
- a bank statement from the last three months might also be required to prove that the balance is equivalent to QAR 5000.
Please note that passengers from India and Pakistan will have to go through some additional requirements to obtain the Qatar visa on arrival, as mentioned above.
Qatar visa on arrival application process
1. Ehteraz travel permit registration
Before applying for a Qatar visa on arrival, travellers eligible for visa-free entry must get pre-travel approval by registering on the Ehteraz website. Passengers will be notified as soon as their travel permit is approved. Make sure to download and print the travel permit, and keep it handy during your travel.
After this, passengers will be required to show the Ehteraz travel permit to their respective airline check-in agent.
Please make sure to download the Ehteraz mobile application prior to your departure to Qatar.
2. Visiting the immigration counter
Visit the Immigration counter in Doha, and show the officer your travel permit.
Submit all the required documents like Passport, Return or onward ticket, hotel booking confirmation, vaccine certificate and International Credit/Debit Card with three months’ bank statement (for India and Pakistan) to the Immigration Officer, and go through all the procedures and requirements the officer asks you to.
If confirmed, the Immigration Officer will fix a small sticker to your passport, marking the acceptance of a visa on arrival to Qatar.
Qatar visa on arrival fee
The Qatar visa on arrival is absolutely free of cost for all the travellers eligible for the visa. The extension or renewal of the Qatar visa on arrival is also free of cost.
Qatar visa on arrival extension
Passengers from countries eligible for the 30-day visa are the ones eligible to extend the Qatar visa on arrival for an additional 30 days. The visa extension can be done online through the Ministry of Interior portal, by following the steps given below:
- Visit the Ministry of Interior (MOI) website from here.
- Fill in all the details including, “Visa Number” (can be found on the sticker attached to your passport), “Passport Number”, and “Nationality”.
- Enter the Captcha displayed on the screen, accurately.
- Click on ‘Extend’.