IMPACT – MEDIUM
What is the change? Qatar has opened its visa-on-arrival program to Pakistani nationals.
What does the change mean? Pakistani nationals are now eligible for visas on arrival in Qatar, provided they have a passport that is valid for at least six months, a confirmed return ticket and cash funds equal to 5,000 Qatari riyals (about 141,250 Pakistani rupees or US$1,340) or a valid credit card. Visas are valid for 30 days and are renewable once with confirmation of a return ticket. Those traveling directly from Pakistan must also show that they have been vaccinated for polio according to current procedures.
- Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing. The change was announced Sept. 19 and has taken effect.
- Visas/permits affected: Visas on arrival.
- Who is affected: Pakistani nationals traveling to Qatar for tourism.
Background: Qatar announced in August that it would waive visa requirements for 80 countries. According to media reports, some countries, including Pakistan, were unhappy about being left off the visa waiver list. Qatari authorities announced Sept. 19 that Pakistani nationals who meet the criteria listed above would be eligible for visas on arrival.
BAL Analysis: The change reflects Qatar’s hopes to open up the country to foreign travel amid a diplomatic crisis intended to isolate the country and will be welcome news to Pakistani travelers. But while the visas on arrival will be available for tourists, the program does not cover those intending to conduct business or work activities.