Getting a Tourist Visa for Qatar

This post is related to our recent Eid holiday trip to Qatar (August 16-20, 2012),  and hope it may be helpful in any way if you’re planning  to visit Qatar anytime soon.

Visa on Arrival (VOA)

Qatar grants tourist visas at border points for the nationals of more than 33 countries including USA, Canada, European countries, et al besides the nationals and professional residents of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries.

*GCC countries consists of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates.

For more information / details on  VOA from Qatar’s Ministry of Interior website, please click here.

Buboy & I fall under the category – GCC residents – being holders of valid RP (resident permit) in Bahrain.

Bahrain RP (left) & UAE Visa On Arrival (right)

Bahrain RP (left) & UAE Visa On Arrival (right)

However, not all RPs are entitled. Qatar has a specific list of professions which may only be granted VOA. To see the list, please click here.

Buboy’s profession indicated in his RP is Engineer and is included in the list, #179 Engineer (all specializations) so he’s OK. Fee is QAR 100 for 30day visa. Also extendable for another fee of QAR 100.

In my case, we had doubts as my RP indicated is Purchasing Executive, and was not in the list. The nearest equivalent was #176 “Procurement Representative” while only “executives” listed were #197 “Sales Executive” and #196 “Marketing Executive.” Awts.

By the way, my Bahrain RP entitles for VOA in Oman and the UAE (as of current regulations).🙂

To be sure, I called up the Qatar embassy here in Bahrain and even had my colleague Layla to translate my RP in Arabic.

Negative results. The embassy said that before, any GCC RP was accepted but recently the rules had become strict and the profession must be exactly as in the List.

Why oh why with a Big Sigh. Wat to do yani?

She suggested to get visa sponsorship from any of the ff:

a) a Qatari national

b) a Qatari company

c) a hotel (major hotels, 4 to 5 stars)

Thanked her for the advice and went to study this option further.

Sponsored Tourist Visa Processing

I don’t know any Qatari national… and though I have friends & former classmates working in Doha, I thought it would be a bother to request their Company to sponsor a non-business related visit.

So I chose hotel sponsorship which for me, most suitably matches a holiday trip.  :)

It’s good that I have thought of this possible scenario beforehand (Yes, I am a girl scout, pak!) So that the hotel I’ve booked, though rated 3 stars only, does process tourist/ visit visas to Qatar.

Some hotels don’t offer this service, so you have to go for travel agencies which, from forums (and initial inquiries), charge a minimum of QAR 800, for visa only. So expensive lah! (>_<)

So I’m really glad we chose La Villa Hotel. Another plus point for them, apart from the hotel’s ideal location, great staff and best rates, great value for money indeed!

Check out La Villa’s website, which includes their comprehensive rates. You may opt to book your whole stay in Qatar with them or minimum 1 night (esp. if you’d be surfing a friend’s couch hehe).

They are actually a group of hotels, there’s La Villa Hotel (where we stayed), La Villa Palace and La Villa Boutique Hotel – all located in central Doha.

Already had our hotel booking prior so I only need to pay the visa processing fee, for QAR 500. Quite pricey, you may say. But the convenience and the great value we got from our stay at La Villa Hotel made up for it. Naks.

I sent my visa inquiry by email which was promptly answered by their Visa Coordinator (also a Pinay) with the complete list of doc requirements and form attachments. They basically needed the ff:

1)      Copy of Passport (must be valid 6mos minimum)

2)      Copy of Bahrain RP/Visa

3)      Signed Guidelines Form

4)      Signed Credit Card Form for QAR 500 fee + copy of card both sides  (you can cover the CVV code)

5)      Copy of La Villa Hotel booking voucher (booked separately / prior)

6)      Copy of a Qatar resident’s ID (relative / friend), if none, company letter (where you’re working)

Can’t really blame the strict rules though.

Qatar is really a booming country right now and almost everybody wants to “jump in” esp. for major companies like Qatar Foundation, Qatalum, Qatar Petroleum…

Aside from my friends who were directly hired from the Philippines to Qatar, the rest went in from Bahrain or the UAE. They even invited me to join them. However, as of current, I am happy here in Bahrain. Pramis. Maybe in future, I may consider. But not now. 🙂

 Ok, lezz go back to the visa application. Ms. Anne, the visa coordinator acknowledged by email my completed application on 02.08.12 and advised to wait 5-10 working days. Sakto lang sa travel date naming 16.08.12, hehe.

On 09.08.12, received my approved visa. Tada!

qatar tourist / visit visa

Pahabol: Even if i have the visa already. I still verified at the airport and immigration if any chance I may be entitled for VOA (for future travel lah) .

At BIA, the British Airways boarding staff said, “must be OK, but not sure, so better re-check at Doha Immigrations.”

At Doha Immigrations, the officer confirmed the rules are indeed strict, must be exact as per the list. Haist. At least I verified lah.

So there, confirmed that I really still have to pre-arrange visa for a subsequent trip to Doha (unless the rules change later in my favor). Or I ask HR to change my visa to one of the listed professions.🙂

I’m looking at #62 Artist (Actor, Musician, Composer, Poet, Painter, Singer.. etc.) hehehe of course I’m just kidding. My boss was laughing when I told him about the trip and joked about this hehehe.

Here’s how the Qatar entry visa stamp looks like (the exit stamp was on another page),

Qatar Entry Stamp

Qatar Entry Stamp

Yalla, hope this post helps you in planning your trip to Qatar, or at the very least, my “processing adventure” have made you smile, cheers!🙂

Categories: Qatar, Travel Prep | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 61 Comments

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61 thoughts on “Getting a Tourist Visa for Qatar

  1. .. so ganun pala. when i was in uae for a short stint every 90 days i had to exit, pero assisted by a travel agency (kanoo) so walang masyadong hassle.

  2. haha, this post was inspired by you pala kuya.. ang agency namin is dnata pero unfortunately indi daw sila nag aarrange visa kaya DIY proseso ko hehe… pero kung ang RP mo ay andun sa List, Ok ka na,🙂

    e-exit tlga? dko pa naranasan ganyan ktagal sa lbas ng Bah (longest stay outside Bah, which was sa Dxb ay 3wks lng) Kelan kaya ako maassign outside… (kaso other offices ay sa jubail at sa kuwait lang… sige dito nlang ako hehehe)

  3. suplada

    hi! for how long did you stay in Qatar?

  4. pitpat

    hi there! stumbled on your blog while i was struggling to find a hotel that will process my tourist visa so i can join the husband whose RP has just been lodge. I am beyond thrilled reading your post & about la villa. my husband will check and call them. while we wasted 2 weeks waiting, its actually a relief that i can join him soonest. it may not be this christmas but at least and hopefully we are together come new year.

    thanks a lot for random people like you who are God’s messenger!🙂

    Merry Christmas and be blessed!🙂

  5. Kevin

    very informative indeed, were travelling as well from Bahrain to Qatar, I just chance upon your post.

  6. Supladita

    Do you think it is safe for a female to travel to Doha alone? Last year I got my visa stamped as tourist but unfortunately wasn’t able to travel until my visa expired. Now I am planning to apply again through hotel visa assistance. Do you think I will be granted?

    • Doha’s quite modern and easy to navigate, you won’t have much difficulty getting around, except siguro pag height ng summer, sobrang init nakakahilo pramis hehe…
      if u were granted visa prior, i don’t see a reason why you won’t be given again basta kumpleto ka ng doc requirements, good luck!🙂

      • Supladita

        Thanks for your reply. Will definitely try my luck this year. I will find my way to Doha soon!🙂

  7. Angelica Castro

    About the payment, is it really necessary to settle everything using credit card?..and what if po ung gagamitin na credit card eh hindi sa nagaapply ng visa?..hindi nmn ba magki-create ng problem un?..

    • well, credit card may be the preferred mode of payment, pero you can check other options (i.e. bank transfer, western et al) with their coordinator. pinay sya and prompt sumagot sa emails kaya feel free to email her all your queries, good luck! ^_^

  8. jake

    ilang days po ung processg ng qatar bisa…

    • mabilis lang po, 5working days lang po yung sa akin, good luck!🙂

      • deejay

        mis Leandra ask q po sau kung saan makakahanap ng travel agency para mag exit kasi po yun brother ko malapit na po mag xpired yun visa nya,pero may papasukan na po sya work ,please naman po need q po un reply para malaman q;;salamat po

  9. sorry sa late reply, kababalik ko lang from bakasyon. wala ako alam directly na travel agency, kasi sa La Villa Hotel ako kumuha ng tourist visa, pwede mo sila makontak for further info, good luck!🙂

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  14. Bratinela

    hey guys. I am planning to go to Qatar to visit my cousins and friends to spend Christmas with them. and I just want to be sure if i can get a Visa upon arrival or do i need to go through the procudes i read here? applying for a visa and requesting for an invitation letter. kindly advise me po. my profession is included on the list. Secretary po.

    • Hello Bratinela, Exec Secretary ata yung nasa list… pero para sure, call their embassy nearest to you to confirm, mjo higpit tlga sa Qatar e, unlike sa UAE / Oman,🙂

  15. Dennis

    Hi, I am planning to travel to Doha tomorrow with my family, to spend Christmas there. We are residents of KSA. My profession is cost accountant as per my RP. Our RPs are valid for 1 year. The only problem I see is my children’s passports, which will expire in April 2014, less than 6 months from now. Mine and my wife’s PP are valid until 2015. Do you think it would be a problem? We will just be travelling by land, and it will take us 5 hours. So, I want to make sure everything will be alright, after all, I dont want to spoil our Christmas..hehe

    • hello Dennis Happy New Year, sensya na, had limited access to internet during my leave, kababalik ko lang last Wednesday. I hope ur trip turned out fine kung natuloy man. Dito kasi pag malapit na mag expire, pinapaextend namin sa embassy pag may immediate travel (kc ngamas matagal ung renewal) para walang sabit sa immigration🙂

  16. mary

    hi,ture po ba na f nacancel ang visa jan sa qatar after 2yrs pa po ba b4 mkabalik?

    • hello Mary, i was only on tourist visa and not really familiar about work visa regulations, pinakamainam for you is to call the nearest embassy to verify information on this, good luck!🙂

  17. mojeed adeniji

    hello i need sponsor to dubai

    • hello mojeed, if u book your flight via Emirates or Etihad, they can sponsor your visa. U can apply it online, with reference to your flight booking, Happy travels!🙂

  18. Sheryl

    Hello miss leandra,, I want to ask po if my sponsor for my tourist visa going to qatar is the hotel do I still need an invitation letter or just the copy of my voucher from the hotel?

    • the hotel needs to apply the visa for you, and will send u a copy which u will present at the immigration counter with ur passport. an invitation letter or voucher won’t be enough. Good luck and happy travels!🙂

  19. I’m planning to stay in doha for 4 days. Do I need to book the hotel for 4 days or can I just book for a day to get the visa and move to my friends house for the remaining days?

    • yup, you can book 1 day and get the visa, then stay at your friend’s house. You can confirm this by phone/email with La Villa.🙂

  20. Bojert

    Hi ms. leandra.. Im wondering my fiance is working in Qatar but we are not married and I want to visit her and i will book through la villa.. is it possible i can invite here to stay along with me during the course of my stay. Im planning to stay for only 3 days. im worried that they might look for our marriage contract which i dont have..😦

    • SOP nga nila na hanapin yan upon check in. nakiusap nlang kami sa reception (kabayan din) na to follow na lang, then hindi naman na hinanap until maka check out kami.🙂

      • Bojert

        Thanks for the reply.. parang nabunutan ako ng tinik sa dibdib.. papahabol ko nga magpagawa ng pekeng certificate lang para in case maghanap may mapresent ako..🙂

  21. Bojert

    hindi po ba sila mahigpit sa security? kahit sino po ba pwede pumasok? for example.. mauuna ako xa kwarto at pasusundin ko na lang siya?

    • maliit lang reception nila, so malamang sisitahin sinumang pumasok esp kung hindi registered guest. mas mainam na magpaalam na may kasama ka. kung makapagpagawa ka ng certificate, mas mainam. kami noon hindi na hinanapan (cguro din kasi di kami mahagilap lol) maghapon kaming wala sa hotel at may time pang sa beach kami natulog/nagcamping with our friends na nakatira sa Doha.🙂

      • bojert

        malas naman po temporary tigil daw muna issuance ng visa for filipino until further notice.. buti at hindi ko pa naconfirm flight ko next month.. crossfingered na sana matuloy ako..😦.. regarding xa certificate, okay lang ba kahit photocopy lang?

  22. irene

    helo leandra ang brother ko nasa phil ng aply ako ng tourist visa sa hotel sila ng process ng visa ng brother ko i recieved already the visa and ngayon ang brother ko pumunta sa qatar embassy sa phil hinihigan siya ng invitation letter yan invitation letter n yan ay kilagan galing sa hotel n sponsor ng brother ko ako po ba walang kilagan ayosing paper dito sa qatar kasi dating ng brother ko next week n i already buy him ticket.salamt

  23. hello, sensya na just finished my exams. dahil sa Pinas sya galing kaya baka may additional doc requirements sa kanya, which should be verified sa embassy, Good luck!🙂

  24. allan

    hi there ms. leandra!im here in ksa now.my profession is not on the list in VOA..im planning to visit Doha this coming Eid (July29 – Aug01)..kindly advice me what to do…many thanks!

    • they are strict, gaya sa case ko, nag-apply ako ng visa via hotel as sponsor. Good Luck!🙂

  25. hi ms. leandra, ask ko lng po sna, im here in phil and im planning po to go in qatar i have sponsor in qatar which is the brother of my friend po, im the one po kasi na mag babayad ng process at visa and ticket po i just want to ask po if possible po ba na it took 20k po ang visa notice? wla pa daw po yung visa at ticket jn, napapaisip lang po ako kung ganyan po ba kalaki ang bayad po for visa notice? thank you po sa answer nyo and time nyo po

    • sorry pero dko sure ang visa notice process at fees sa Doha. sa Bahrain ako based actually, nagholiday lang kami sa Doha. medyo mas mahigpit nga lang talaga sa Doha compared dine sa amin. Try to get info sa mismong Doha Gov websites and other residents for reference, Good luck!🙂

  26. torbits

    HI lea!this is a good read. I am planning to travel to Doha through Bahrain (I am from KSA). You flew through British Airways right? yun din ang gusto ko i-book kasi cheapest flight siya. My profession in my ID is not in the list kaya for sure I need a apply for a visa.Bumalik ka na basa Qatar since this trip? I’m planning sa Hajjat nagkkwenta na ko. Sabi kasi you have to book through Discover Qatar di naman siguro di ba? tsaka sa Qatar Airways.com 55$ lang ang visa. Ang higpit naman sa Qatar aming kelangan. Hope to hear from you

    • thanks, i try to document our trips for record, and future reference na rin hehe. yup we flew via British Airways, being cheapest. hindi pa kami nakabalik, the following Eid sa Oman kami napadpad, neto naman e sa Egypt (kaliwali the heat lah lols), then sa UAE sa sunod naman.

      Compared nga sa ibang GCC countries mejo mahigpit entry sa Qatar, can’t blame them sa dami ng gustong makapunta to find work. Pero as long as complete naman docs mo and prove ur travel is for holiday lang, there shouldn’t be any problem, good luck & happy travels!🙂

  27. owo

    am frm nigeria pls kindly give me d clue thru which i can get qatar visa

  28. Juban

    Tanong ko lang po kasi plano ko magpunta ng qatar this coming eid oct 2014. Travel ako by land and manggaling ako ng Al Khobar, KSA. Applicable din kaya ito sa boarder ng Saudi-Qatar ang VOA? Thank you.

  29. torbits

    Hi Lea, mahigpit ba sa hotel sa La Villa? hindi kami married pero gusto namin doon mag stay for the holidays. I read na sinabi niyo na isusunod niyo na lang at di niyo rin naman nabigay.🙂 nag tatanong talaga sila?or maluwag?

    • Hello, i think SOP nila to ask for the certificate, kabayan ung nag-ask samin nung dumating kami ng evening. The following days ibang lahi asa reception e hindi nman na kami ni-follow up.

      Tska wala tlga kami maghapon usually kasi super gala sa labas kahit ang init-init lols, nakapag overnyt camping pa kami sa Dukhan Beach with Doha-based friends. Pag tinanong kau e mgdahilan ka nlng, i.e. to follow, or if u have couple rings that can also help.

      Sa 4-5 stars hindi sila matanong sa ganyan, pero sa 2-3 stars, esp. GCC e I think SOP nila yan.

      This 2nd Eid sa AbuDhabi + Dubai naman kami. Goodluck & Happy travels!🙂

  30. ricky

    nag tratrabaho po ako dito sa riyadh plano ko po kasing mag punta ng qatar kaylangan pa poh ba ng visa?

  31. ricky

    mag stay lang po ako ng 1 week ng qatar gusto ko lang kasi gamitin yung annual leave ko dito sa work ko..

  32. torbits

    Hi Lea! Nakapunta ako ng Qatar last week! Ang ganda doon. We traveled by land. Granted with Visa on Arrival sa Immigration kahit wala sa list!🙂

    • grace

      hello po philippines dn po b kau nang galing pnu po kau nkapag visit sa qatar? pa help naman po kung paano, at kung magkno magagastos saka un ticket po hehe slmt po! malaki tulong po sakin kun mabbgyan nyo ko ng idea thanku!

  33. grace

    hi mam, ask ko lan kung magkno nagastos or dala mo pera papunta qatar? ksi gusto ko sna mkapunta dun first tymer ako visit ko lan friend ko kya i hope masgot mo ko… thanks!🙂

  34. jay

    hi lea come across ur post and quickly called la villa palace but they couldnt help l have bahrain resident permit but my profession is not on the listed .stressed out as l need the visa for the next week to visit a friend

  35. Ann

    hello lea!. This is a very good read. I’ve checked for La villa hotel regarding sa pag process nila ng visa and yung requirements na sinend nila sakin is thesame as what you have mentioned sa post mo. They sent me the guidelines form, yung visa commitment letter. Is it true na talagang kelangan ma deposit yung passport ko sa kanila on the entire duration of my stay sa Doha?

    • Hello, thanks. Glad to be of help. During our stay, which was just a few days, we weren’t required to give them our passports. I’m just not aware if maybe there are some policy changes. Just double check with La Villa to be sure. Happy travels!🙂

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