Visiting Qatar: What You Need to Know

Whether your company is sending employees to Qatar or expanding globally, Northman & Sterling is ready to help. Our team of experienced immigration professionals works with businesses of all sizes to create immigration strategies that match your goals.

Immigration Strategy and Visa Services

Qatar’s immigration system offers limited options for employers of foreign nationals, and the immigration laws provide a significant level of discretion at each stage of the process. Criteria, processing times, employment eligibility, and benefits for accompanying family members vary depending on the visa classification.

Foreign nationals requiring a pre-approved visa to enter Qatar can apply for an entry visa online through the Hayya platform. Visas obtained via the Hayya platform permit multiple entries and a stay of up to 30 days. Applicants on the Hayya platform can specifically request an Entry Visa with the purpose of a visit stated as “Business Meeting or Convention Participation,” allowing visa holders to engage in light business activities, such as meetings. This option is also available to foreign nationals eligible for visas on arrival. However, both visas-on-arrival and Hayya visas do not authorize hands-on work activities. Individuals seeking employment in Qatar must obtain a Work Visa and Residence Permit through sponsorship from a Qatari host entity.

  • Block Visa Acquisition
  • Citizenship Consultation

A labor quota Block Visa must be acquired if the sponsoring entity is located on the Qatar mainland. The Block Visa specifies the number of visas granted for individuals of a specified nationality and gender, associated with a defined job title. Once a Block Visa matching a candidate's profile is available, based on job title, nationality, and gender, a Work Visa valid for up to 180 days for entry into Qatar is issued. Notably, Block Visas are not mandatory in free zones. Moreover, for entities operating in Qatar's free trade zones or similar areas, the Department of Labor is not involved in the work permit process, and the requirements may be more flexible.

Northman & Sterling goes beyond visas and permits. We also provide guidance on citizenship matters, offering assistance within the limits of local law.

Qatar Visa Requirements

In general, nearly all visitors to Qatar, except for citizens of GCC nations, are required to obtain a visa for entry. However, there are some exceptions. Some visitors from certain countries can obtain a visa upon arrival. Nationals from countries where immediate visa issuance is not possible must apply for a visa in advance.

Additionally, Qatar offers different kinds of visas, such as single or multiple-entry visas, with validity periods of 30 days, 90 days, or even up to 6 months.

Qatar Visa Types: How We Can Help

Qatar offers various visa types, depending on the purpose and duration of your visit. These include:

1. Qatar Business Visa

2. Qatar Investor Visa

3. GCC Resident Visit Visa

4. Family Visit Visa

5. Family Residence Visa

6. Official Visa

Qatar Visa Processing Time

The time it takes to process a Qatar visa depends on the type of visa:

• Regular visas may take up to two weeks to process.
• EVisas and ETAs are usually processed more quickly.