The US and British embassies have posted information on their websites about the new visa regime which makes it compulsory for citizens of their countries to obtain visas prior to their travel to Qatar.
Nationals of 33 “affluent” countries are now eligible for visa-on-arrival at the Doha airport.
“We have been advised by the government of Qatar that from May 1, 2010 they will withdraw the provision whereby British passport holders can obtain a visitor’s visa on arrival in Qatar. British visitors intending to travel to Qatar from May 1, 2010 should contact their nearest Qatari embassy (www.english.mofa.gov.qa) for details of how to apply for their visa,” the posting on the British embassy website said.
”British passport holders should ensure they have at least six months’ validity and at least one blank page available on their passport before arriving in Qatar,” the note added.
”For further information on exactly what will be required at immigration, please contact the Qatari embassy in London.”
A warden’s message posted on the US embassy website said Americans will no longer be issued visas on arrival in Doha.
“The government of Qatar recently informed the US embassy that as of May 1, 2010 US citizens will no longer be able to apply for tourist visas on arrival in Qatar.
“US citizens who plan to travel to Qatar after May 1, 2010 should contact either the Qatari government online portal (www.gov.qa/wp/portal), their nearest Qatari embassy (www.english.mofa.gov.qa) or the Ministry of Interior (www.moi.gov.qa/site/english) for details on how to apply for their visa.
The warden also advised US citizens travelling abroad to regularly monitor the US embassy in Doha’s website, http://www.embassy-worldwide.c..., and the US Department of State’s travel website at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts can be found.
The spokesman has urged US citizens residing in Qatar to register their presence in the country through the US Department of State’s automated online registration system, https://travelregistration.state.gov.
“By registering, US citizens make it easier for the embassy to contact them in case of emergency. US citizens may also contact the consular section at the US embassy via email at [email protected] or by calling 496-6000, extension 6117 for routine services or extension 6600 for after hours emergencies.”
Meanwhile, the French embassy said the agreement on visas exemption for holders of official passports (diplomatic and special passports), signed on May 13, 2009 between France and Qatar, will be effective only after the accomplishment of the internal procedures by both French and Qatari authorities, as well as an exchange of notifications.
“Two months’ minimum delay will be necessary before the implementation of the agreement. The holders of ordinary passports are not concerned by this agreement and still need visas,” a note on the embassy’s website said.
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