IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Egypt has ended visa-free travel to the country for Qatari nationals, the latest move in the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and its Persian Gulf neighbors and their allies.

What does the change mean? Qatari nationals must apply for a visa before traveling to Egypt.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Entry visas.
  • Who is affected: Qatari nationals traveling to Egypt. Officials have said that Qatari nationals with Egyptian spouses or mothers will be considered for exemptions on a case-by-case basis.
  • Impact on processing times: The change will add to the time it takes for Qatari nationals to travel to Egypt because they will be required to apply for a visa before travel.
  • Business impact: Qatari nationals traveling to Egypt may need to adjust their schedules into account for the new visa requirement.

Background: Tensions have been building between Egypt and Qatar for months. Qatar had been closely scrutinizing Egyptian visa applications even before Egypt and more than a dozen other countries cut ties with the country last month. The countries claim that Doha sponsors terrorism and is a threat to destabilize the region. Qatar says the allegations are baseless. The countries that either cut or downgraded diplomatic ties with Qatar last month include Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, the UAE and Yemen.

BAL Analysis: Qatari nationals planning travel to Egypt should take note of the change and arrange to apply for a visa if necessary. The diplomatic crisis continues to evolve. Many of the countries that cut or downgraded ties have not imposed travel restrictions, but others have.