Visas for Qatar

Most visitors travelling to Qatar for tourism or business purposes require a visa. A traveller’s nationality will determine whether they can obtain a visa on arrival or if they need to apply for a visa beforehand.

Those who wish to live and work in Qatar for the long term will need a work-residence permit for Qatar. Expats entering on a visit visa – and who have an employment offer in Qatar – can have their visit visa converted to a work-residence permit while they remain in the country.

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Residents of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and citizens of certain countries listed by the Qatari government can receive a visit visa on arrival without prior application or additional documentation.

Nationals from countries not on the list can apply for a visit visa via the Hukoomi website (the government’s official ePortal) or the Ministry of the Interior. Visit visas are valid for a maximum of one month and can be extended.

Those travelling to Qatar to do business will need to get a business visa rather than a tourist visa. The local business receiving the overseas visitor often takes responsibility for the process and will need to provide a letter of invitation. Business visas can be applied for online, are usually valid for one month and can be extended for a further two months.

To stay in the emirate, expats need to enter Qatar on the relevant visa and apply for a work-residence permit after they arrive. Permits are only granted to applicants who are either sponsored by a company or a family member in the country who earns more than the minimum threshold.

Expats will remain in Qatar while their entry visa is converted to a residence permit. Applying for a residence permit in Qatar can be tedious, and certain documents will have to be brought from the employee's home country.

In order to legally work in Qatar, expats will require the relevant permits. Work permits for Qatar are formally known as work-residence permits. Any visa allowing entry into the country can be exchanged for an employment-based residence permit after the holder arrives.

Before applying for a work-residence permit, expats will need to have a firm job offer from  a local employer, who will act as their sponsor. The employer usually takes care of the bulk of the application, including the relevant fees.


Expats who have a work-residence permit for Qatar and earn more than a stipulated amount per month can legally sponsor their family for a residence visa.

Certain documents have to be submitted to the Ministry of Labour in Qatar, including application forms for each family member, a letter from the expat’s employer, passport copies and proof of residence, as well as birth and marriage certificates, where applicable.

Expats in Qatar on a family-sponsored residence permit are not immediately allowed to work, but they can apply to the Labour Department for the right to do so after they arrive.