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Update: The Qatar Embassy in South Africa is not aware of the visa waiver for South African travellers and advises them to still go through the usual channels for visas when flying to Qatar. See the full update here.

Qatar’s Ministry of Interior, Qatar Tourism Authority and Qatar Airways announced visa waivers for over 80 countries, including South Africa, on August 9. 

Travellers wishing to visit Qatar will no longer need to pay or apply for a visa, effective immediately. Instead, travellers will be issued with a multi-entry waiver, free of charge, at their port of entry into Qatar. A valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket must be presented.

There will be two types of visa waivers. The first will be for 33 countries including Austria, Germany, France and the Seychelles. This waiver will be valid for 180 days from the date it is issued and will allow the holder to spend up to 90 days in Qatar on either a single stay or on multiple trips.

The second, which will apply to South Africa, Canada, America, Australia and the United Kingdom, will be valid for 30 days from the date of issue. The waiver will allow the holder to spend up to 30 days in Qatar, either on a single trip or on multiple trips. It can also be extended for a further 30 days.  

This is one of many steps Qatar is taking to encourage travel and access to the country following the Qatar travel ban in June. Last month, Qatar lunched an e-visa platform that enables faster and more efficient visa applications. 

This story has been updated since first publication.

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