Qatar launches Electronic Travel Authorisation System

Qatar’s Ministry of Interior (MoI) and Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) announced today that Qatar will now make Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) available to visitors of all nationalities who hold valid residence permits or visas from either the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Schengen countries, or the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

This new system, which will take effect on 27 September 2017, will allow eligible visitors to obtain an ETA by completing a simple online application prior to travel. As part of the application, applicants will be required to provide proof of accommodation (e.g. hotel booking), details of their return or onward travel, a copy of their passport with a minimum validity of six months, and a copy of their residence permit or visa to the aforementioned countries, with a minimum validity of 30 days.

Once the applicant’s request has been approved they will receive an ETA that is valid for use within 30 days. The ETA’s validity for use may be renewed for a further 30 days. The ETA allows travellers to obtain a visa-on-arrival to Qatar.

Brigadier Mohammed Al Ateeq, director general of the Department of Passport and Expatriates Affairs at MoI, said: “We are continuously reviewing Qatar’s visa policies and seek to update them in line with Qatar’s economic and social aspirations. We look forward to hosting visitors from around the world through this system, which will further streamline the visa application process. Visitors who are not eligible for an ETA are also welcome to apply for a regular tourist visa through the same e-visa platform.”

Qatar’s new ETA system was announced during the UNWTO’s General Assembly, which is taking place in Chengdu, China. Hassan Al Ibrahim, chief tourism development officer at QTA, remarked, “This additional enhancement to our visa policy is testament to Qatar’s commitment to openness, and to championing the right to tourism for all people. Together with our partners in the public and private sectors, we have examined the elements needed to… attract visitors from around the world. Time and again we found that openness and ease of access are crucial elements.”

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