Assessing travel and visa obligations in Qatar

When traveling to Qatar, your nationality and the types of activities you will conduct during your trip will determine whether you may travel lawfully as a business visitor or if you require work authorization. Please seek advice from your immigration counsel if you are uncertain about the specific types of activities that constitute business or work.

Traveling for business

What types of activities may I engage in as a business visitor?

As a business visitor to Qatar, you may engage in the activities below. While this list is not exhaustive and other activities could qualify as business, you may:

  • Attend business meetings or conferences
  • Buy goods for sale outside the country
  • Tour a company facility
  • Conduct negotiations or exploratory activities


If I qualify as a business visitor, do I need a visa for Qatar?

Most foreign nationals, including nationals of the United States and the European Union member states, are required to obtain a Business Visa from a Qatari Consulate or Embassy prior to travel. Only nationals from eligible Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states are eligible for visa waiver status, which allows visitors to enter and conduct business activities in Qatar.

Please obtain an individual assessment prior to travel to determine your eligibility for a visa waiver.

Working in Qatar

What types of activities require work authorization?

Foreign nationals may work in Qatar with a Business Visa or visa waiver on a short-term basis without having to obtain work or residence authorization, as long as they are not remunerated in Qatar. Foreign nationals are advised to consult with their immigration counsel prior to travel to verify that their activities are permitted without obtaining work authorization.


If I am traveling to Qatar for work, what type of work authorization do I need?

The requirements for work authorization depend on your qualifications, on the nature and duration of your work and on whether your employer has an entity in Qatar. The most common types of work authorization for Qatar are:

  • Temporary Work Visa (short-term work visa)
  • Work Visa and Residence Permit (long-term work authorization)


Is it possible to be exempted from work authorization requirements?

While not exempt from work authorization requirements, nationals of eligible GCC member states benefit from an abbreviated process for obtaining work authorization in Qatar. However, registrations or other formalities may be required prior to working or residing in Qatar.


What else should I know?

Inevitably, the legal and strategic considerations impacting visa selection, as well as visa waiver and work authorization eligibility, entail the careful consideration of many factors. We recommend that you consult with your immigration counsel before taking any course of action.


Copyright ©2024 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. Government immigration agencies often change their policies and practices without notice; please consult an immigration professional for up-to-date information. This document does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. BAL maintains comprehensive immigration information and processing specifics for our clients.