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Qatar Announces Visa Facilitation Measures for Moroccans, Algerians

Visitors with valid Residence Permits or Visas to Schengen countries, Australia, Canada, UK, USA, New Zealand or GCC Countries, will be eligible for Electronic Travel Authorisation

Qatar’s Ministry of Interior (MOI) and Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) recently announced that visitors from Morocco and Algeria will be issued visas-on-arrival in Qatar provided they hold valid residence permits or visas from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or any of the Schengen countries, and from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

The new system, set to take effect starting this 15 September, will allow eligible visitors from Morocco and Algeria to obtain Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) by completing a simple online application at least 48 hours prior to travel to Qatar.

Applicants will be required to provide proof of accommodation (eg hotel booking) and details of their return (or onward) travel, in addition to a copy of their passport with a minimum validity of six months.

Once these steps are complete*, eligible travelers from Morocco and Algeria will obtain a visa-on-arrival to Qatar, which will permit visitors to stay in the country for up to 30 days (for a single visit). The visa can be extended for 30 additional days (during the same visit). If the visitor leaves the country and wishes to return, they will need to apply for a new ETA 48 hours before travelling to Qatar.

Brigadier Mohammed Al Ateeq, Director General of the Department of Passport and Expatriates Affairs at MoI, said that they are continuously reviewing Qatar’s visa policies and that they seek to update the policies in line with economic and international developments.

We are delighted to announce the implementation of the ETA system for our brothers and sisters in the Kingdom of Morocco and the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria. This new development will facilitate cooperation between our nations and will help attract visitors from those countries. Algerian and Moroccan visitors who are not eligible for an ETA are also welcome to apply for a regular tourist visa through the same e-visa platform.’

This development comes as part of a series of measures that Qatar has taken to facilitate visitor access to the country. Last month, Qatar waived visa requirements for nationals of 80 countries. In July, Qatar launched an e-visa platform, which allows visitors of all nationalities to apply for a tourist visa through a seamless and transparent process.

Hassan Al Ibrahim, QTA’s Chief Tourism Development Officer, said that this development is one of many steps that Qatar has taken to develop its tourism sector and diversify tourist source markets.

We have introduced several measures to ease entry to the country, and we hope this will provide an added incentive to our guests from Morocco and Algeria to choose Qatar, whether as a stopover or final destination. We also aim to encourage businessmen and women to visit Qatar to attend business events and find out more about investment opportunities here. Over the next few days, we will be announcing additional measures to further diversify source markets.’

In November 2016, Qatar introduced a free transit visa which allows travelers transiting in Qatar for more than 5 hours to stop over for 96 hours (four days). This has resulted in a 40% increase in the number of stopover visitors in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. Check this link to access the online application.

* Entry to Qatar is approved at the sole discretion of Qatar’s MOI.

Note: Cover picture, credit to owner

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