Qatar scraps visas for 80 countries, including SA

2017-08-10 06:30
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Qatar is scrapping visa requirements for visitors from 80 countries as it weathers a boycott by four Arab states and gears up to host the World Cup in 2022.

Under the new policy announced by Qatar Airways and authorities on Wednesday, citizens of 33 mostly European countries can enter without a visa for 90 days in single or multiple trips during a 180-day period.

Americans, Britons, Canadians and citizens of 44 other countries, including South Africa can enter visa-free for an initial 30 days on single or multiple trips, and can extend that for a further 30 days.

The list of countries includes the likes of UK, the USA, Canada, South Africa, Seychelles, Australia and New Zealand among many others.

Qatar authorities state citizens from the selected countries need not apply or pay for the visa from now on. A multi-entry waiver will be issued, which will be free of cost at the port of entry, after presenting a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or a return ticket.

Energy-rich Qatar's economy has taken a hit since Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain moved to isolate it two months ago over allegations it supports extremists. Qatar denies the charge.

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