Qatar said yesterday the visa-on-arrival facility made available at the Doha International Airport to the nationals of 33 countries, including the US and the UK, will remain in place.
Qatar had earlier announced plans to withdraw the facility for the citizens of those countries which did not reciprocate and extend similar privileges to its nationals.
The new system was to be implemented from May 1, after which citizens of the affected countries would have been required to apply for a Qatari visa in advance whether for business, visit or tourism purposes.
But Qatar’s Foreign Ministry has said it has received requests from some countries to continue with the old system and allow their nationals sometime before the new entry visa rules
According to Qatar News Agency (QNA), a source at the Consular Affairs Section of the Foreign Ministry said that the requests of these countries were being studied.
“It has, therefore, been decided that the existing visa-on-arrival scheme at the Doha International Airport for the citizens of the 33 countries will remain unchanged,” QNA quoted a senior Foreign Ministry official as saying.
The official also clarified that the mutual agreements Qatar has inked with a number of countries to extend their nationals visa-on-arrival facility provided they give similar privilege to its citizens, will remain in force. The countries whose nationals are eligible to get a visa on arrival at the Doha International Airport include, aside from USA and the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg and Switzerland.
The other countries are Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Spain, Monaco, the Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino and Lichtenstein, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and South Korea.
But with some of the above countries (excluding the US and the UK), Qatar has inked reciprocal visa-on-arrival deals.
QNA said it approached the Foreign Ministry for clarification after the local media reported about changes being introduced to the visa-on-arrival system and was informed that the scheme would continue unaltered.
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