Qatar Airways, the flag carrier of Qatar, now has a new USP when you are travelling with the airline. In an attempt to boost tourism in Qatar, the airline has now, in alliance with the government, made it possible to get a free transit visa to access the country if you are travelling on the airline and have a stop for more than 5 hours in the country.
The Transit Visa will be available to passengers who will be able to make a stopover for anything between 5-hours to 96-hours in Doha while flying Qatar Airways. One can include the stopover while booking a ticket on Qatar Airways at no extra cost now.
How to apply for the Visa?
The Visa is not available on Arrival, but has to be applied at least 7 days prior to departure (excluding public holidays). The visa is valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. You need to visit the Free Transit Visa microsite on the Qatar Airways website, accessible here, to apply for the Visa. A scanned copy of your passport will be required, which should be valid for at least 6 months at the time of entry into the country. You need to have a copy of the approved visa ready on boarding your flight from your origin.
Also do bear in mind, that you need to have confirmed tickets for a journey into Qatar and onward out of Qatar, ticketed on a Qatar Airways ticket number, and the flights must be operated by Qatar Airways (no codeshares allowed). Also, you need to transit Qatar, which means a return trip to the same origin within 96 hours won’t count.
Passengers holding return tickets and originating their journey from the following countries (Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates) will be only eligible for one stopover on the outbound journey. Stopovers on one-way journeys originating from these countries are not permitted.
Passengers originating from any other country are eligible for stopovers on either inbound or outbound journeys. The transit visa can be availed in one direction only for the entire journey.
This is great news in case you are planning one of those many cheap fare flights on Qatar Airways, and do intend to make a stop. I’ll be sure to keep this in mind the next time I am flying via Qatar.
Would you make use of this new facility from Qatar Airways for using Qatar as a transit point going forward?