Published:  02:08 AM, 13 August 2017

No visa-free entry to Qatar for BD


Qatar has recently announced visa-free entry facility to eighty countries including India. But Bangladesh is none of these eighty countries.

 As a result Bangladesh is deprived of this extraordinary privilege offered by Qatar government. It has sparked arguments and questions have arisen about the dynamism of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). While contracted, at least three foreign policy experts told The Asian Age: "If a total of 80 countries get the advantage except Bangla-desh, it is certainly a diplomatic drawback."

Wishing not to be named, one of them termed the matter "a bolt from the blue" while all of them straightly held the MOFA officials responsible in this regard. According to Qatar's new visa regulations, citizens from the 80 countries with visa-free entry will not have to pay visa fee for visiting Qatar. They only need to have passports with at least six months validity and confirmed return tickets for port entry into Qatar.

Qatar will be hosting World Cup Football 2022. It will lead to a huge inflow of tourists according to expectations from Qatar government.

It may be noted that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates (UAE) snapped diplomatic ties with Qatar on 5th June this year on charges of Qatar's alleged alliance with militants and fanatic Islamic groups.

 These countries have imposed all out embargos  on Qatar as well. However, Qatar government has denied all these allegations.Earlier, Qatar's Ministry of Interior (MoI), Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and Qatar Airways announced that Qatar will allow visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries, effective immediately.

Citizens of those countries wishing to visit Qatar will no longer need to apply or pay for a visa; instead, a multi-entry waiver will be issued free-of-charge at the port of entry, upon presentation of a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket.

Depending on the nationality of the visitor, the waiver will either be valid for 180 days, from the date of issue, and allow the visitor to spend a total of 90 days in Qatar (multiple-entry waiver); or it will be valid for 30 days from the date of issue and entitle the visitor to spend up to 30 days in Qatar with the possibility of applying for an extension of the waiver for an additional 30 days (multiple-entry waiver).

These developments come as part of a series of measures that Qatar has taken to facilitate visitor access to the country. Last month, Qatar launched an e-visa platform, www.qatarvisaservice.com, through which travelers of all nationalities can apply for tourist and visitor visas with more efficiency and ease.

The country is also considering further enhancements to its visa policy, such as waiving visa requirements for holders of a residence permit or a valid visa from the nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates), United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or the Schengen countries.

 This waiver would allow eligible visitors to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization by completing a simple online application at least 48 hours prior to travel.


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