Russia Travel Advisory
August 15, 2022

Do Not Travel and Leave Immediately

International Travel

English

Country Information

Qatar

Qatar
State of Qatar
Exercise normal precautions in Qatar.

Exercise normal precautions in Qatar.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman region, including Qatar, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an advisory Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Qatar.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined Qatar has a high level of COVID-19. Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

If you decide to travel to Qatar:

Last Update:  Reissued with updates to health information.

 

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Embassy Messages

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:


6 months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


Minimum of 2

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


Yes

VACCINATIONS:


The Government of Qatar requires all non-Qatar citizens aged 12 and over entering the country to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccinations over six months old require a booster.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


None

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Doha

Al-Luqta District
22nd February Street
PO Box 2399
Doha, Qatar
Telephone: +(974) 4496-6000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(974) 4496-6000
Fax: +(974) 4488-4298
Email: ACSDoha@state.gov or ConsularDoha@state.gov

 

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

The Government of Qatar requires all non-Qatar citizens aged 12 and over entering the country to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccinations over six months old require a booster.   Please visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Qatar. 

Travelers are required to download the contact tracing “Ehteraz” app and register on the mobile application prior to arrival. 

COVID-19 guidance can change. For the most up to date guidance, please see the Qatar Ministry of Health website. 

Tourist visas: When traveling on a U.S. tourist passport, travelers may obtain a free visa upon arrival, if they have six-months validity in their passport and a return or onward ticket. The waiver is valid for 30 days from the date of issuance and entitles the holder to spend up to 30 days in Qatar, or multiple entries during the 30-day validity. The waiver may be extended for a further 30 days. See the Government of Qatar’s website for visa information.

Special Requirements for the World Cup:

Travelers during the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup that takes place from November 20, 2022 to December 18, 2022 must apply for a Hayya Card. A Hayya Card is a form of Fan ID and serves as your entry permit (visa). It is required to enter the country as of November 1, 2022 and attend matches during the tournament period. It will also provide free public transport access on match days. The card will be required regardless of whether you intend to attend a match. See the Hayya portal website for the latest information.

Check the FIFA website for ticket information. Only purchase match tickets from official providers. Match tickets bought through unofficial means may not be valid.

Please note:  World Cup related entry restrictions will remain in place until January 23, 2023.

For more information visit the U.S. Embassy in Qatar’s World Cup webpage.

Former Residency Permit Holders: Former resident permit holders seeking to return to Qatar should carry a “no objection letter” issued by their former sponsor.

For further information on residence permits, see the Qatari government or U.S. Embassy website.

Exit Permits:

  • Exit permits are no longer required for U.S. citizens working in Qatar, with the exception of employees deemed “essential” by their employers, who must still be granted an exit permit.
  • If you owe money, you will be barred from exiting Qatar. Qatari banks place holds on accounts to ensure all debts are paid before you leave.
  • U.S. citizens with family residence visas do not need an exit permit. However, a family member who sponsors their dependents (usually the person employed in Qatar) can elect to receive instant notification if dependents attempt to depart the country.

Qatar does not recognize dual nationality. If you hold Qatari citizenship, Qatari law requires that you enter and exit on your Qatari passport. Qatari authorities may confiscate your U.S. passport if you hold Qatari/U.S. dual nationality. Should this happen, contact the U.S. Embassy. The seizure does not constitute loss of U.S. citizenship.

Military Personnel should consult the Department of Defense Foreign Clearance Guide before traveling, since different entry/exit requirements may apply. For further information, call the Host Nation Coordination Cell of the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing at 011-974-5551-0815.

Some restrictions exist for foreign residents of Qatar who test positive for certain communicable diseases, including HIV/AIDs. Medical exams are required for individuals seeking residency in Qatar, but not for transit passengers or short-term visitors.  Qatari authorities will not bar HIV-positive temporary visitors from entry to Qatar based on their health status.  However, Qatar denies residency and employment to HIV or tuberculosis-positive applicants (among other communicable diseases).  Short-term visitors to Qatar with medications on their person are advised to carry a copy of their prescriptions. Please verify this information with the Embassy of Qatar before you travel.

Customs regulations prohibit the import of alcohol over the duty-free cap, narcotics, pork products, weapons or weapons-related articles (hand cuffs, laser pointers, etc.), drones, professional photography equipment to include telescopic lenses, as well as pornographic or sexually-related materials.

See Qatar’s website for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

Terrorism:  Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad.  Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to target crowds more effectively target crowds.  Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as: 

  • High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.) 
  • Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists 
  • Places of worship 
  • Schools 
  • Parks 
  • Shopping malls and markets 
  • Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights)  

 

For more information, see our Terrorism page.  

Exercise normal precautions in Qatar.  See our Travel Advisory for more information.

Safety Precautions:

  • Practice personal security measures at all times.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and local events.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Monitor local media broadcasts and consular messages.
  • Vary travel routes and times when possible.
  • Be extra vigilant when frequenting banks or ATMs.

Areas to Avoid:

  • Large crowds and demonstrations in case of unrest
  • Labor or work camps located outside of cities and major industrial areas.  These areas are highly congested with limited physical and hygiene standards.

Crime: The crime rate in Qatar is generally low. Incidents of violence and petty theft are rare but do occur.  There is a large police presence throughout the country.

International Financial Scams: See the Department of State and the FBI webpages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police at 999 and contact the U.S. Embassy at + (974) 4496-6000.  Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.

Victims of Sexual Assault: Sexual relations outside of marriage are illegal in Qatar and subject to criminal prosecution. Instances can result in arrest, fines, imprisonment, and deportation.  If a U.S. citizen is a victim of sexual assault in Qatar, we strongly encourage you to contact the U.S. Embassy immediately, prior to contacting the local authorities.

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are strongly urged to contact the Embassy immediately at + (974) 4496-6000 for assistance. Victims may also seek medical care through Hamad Hospital emergency room at 16060 or +(974) 4439-5777 if you are calling from overseas.

We can:

  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation   and following its conclusion Provide
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • Help you arrange flights home
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport
  • Assist in the birth or death of a U.S. Citizen

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

Information on local resources and assistance can be found on the Protection and Social Rehabilitation Centre website and through their hotline: 6693-3999, 6693-3108, or 6693-3919.

Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Exit bans prevent those faced with legal proceedings from leaving Qatar until their case is abandoned or resolved.  This can take months or years. The Government of Qatar does not offer any social support for individuals under exit bans.

Reasons for exit bans can include:

  • Labor or financial disputes
  • Personal debt (including bounced checks, credit card debt, and bank loans)
  • Outstanding contracts or leases
  • Traffic fines
  • Pending legal matters, including cases related to gestures or behavior reported by Qataris that are viewed as “offensive.”

U.S. citizens have been subjected to exit bans and/or placed in prison pending payment of debts.

Always carry a copy of your passport for proof of identity, or authorities may detain you for questioning.

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be arrested, deported, or imprisoned.  Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Criminal penalties for certain offenses are much harsher than those in the U.S.:

  • Incidents involving obscene language, gestures, or insulting comments often result in arrest, imprisonment, and/or fines.
  • Alcohol-Related Offenses, including public intoxication, can result in severe penalties such as arrest, heavy fines, imprisonment, and/or deportation.  Qatar maintains a zero-tolerance policy against drinking and driving.
  • Use of Illegal Drugs can result in long jail sentences and steep fines.

Arrest Notification: Qatari authorities do not routinely notify the U.S. Embassy of a U.S. citizen’s arrest. If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. If you are not allowed to do so, ask a friend or family member to contact the U.S. Embassy.  See our webpage for further information.

For more serious crimes, Qatari authorities may not allow U.S. Embassy officials to visit until the initial interrogation is completed.

Qatari police sometimes arrest U.S. citizens without providing access to legal counsel. You could be arrested for being a:

  • Potential witness to a crime (including traffic accidents involving injuries; slander, traffic arguments, etc.)
  • Relative of a suspect
  • Criminal Suspect

If arrested—regardless of the charge—you may spend 1-2 nights in jail before a hearing takes place. Once arrested, only the Qatari Public Prosecution and Courts have the authority to grant a release.

See our webpage for further information.

Qatari law favors employers over employees. In the event of a contract or employment dispute, Qatari authorities refer to the Arabic language of a contract. Employees have limited recourse if their employer terminates a contract early. If a sponsor files a complaint against an employee who departed Qatar, the employee may be barred from returning to Qatar, even on a tourist or airport visa. Many terminated U.S. citizens have been barred from departing Qatar because of pre-existing debt.

Despite recent legal changes, transferring employment prior to the end of a contract often requires the permission of the previous employer and is subject to approval by the Ministry of the Interior. Additional mechanisms for transferring employers exist through the Ministry of Interior in cases such as bankruptcy, abuse, or repeated failure to pay an employee on time.

Drug Use: Most drugs that are illegal in the United States are also illegal in Qatar, including marijuana/THC, CBD products, and vape products. The potential consequences for use or possession may be harsh.  

Clothing: Many public areas in Qatar have dress codes that require both men and women cover shoulders, chests, stomachs, and knees, and that tight leggings be covered by a long shirt or dress. Attire standards can vary between neighborhoods and facilities. 

Faith-Based Travelers:
 Religion is a very sensitive issue in Qatar; treat any discussions on religion with care and caution. The law provides for a prison sentence of up to seven years for defaming, desecrating, or committing blasphemy against Islam, Christianity, or Judaism. Public worship by non-Islamic faiths and atheism are illegal and subject to prosecution.

Proselytizing is against the law. Attempts to covert a member of another religion or even “share your faith” can be considered “proselytizing.” Penalties cancan include deportation or imprisonment.

While you may import religious material for personal use, bringing religious materials into the country for proselytizing purposes is prohibited.

Charitable activities, both religious and non-religious, must be approved in advance by the Ministry of Social Affairs.

See our following webpages for details:

LGBTQI+ Travelers: Same-sex sexual relations between men are illegal, even if consensual. Penalties include lashing, lengthy prison sentences and/or deportation.

There is no law criminalizing same-sex sexual relations between women, though cultural norms are conservative.

Businesses are prohibited from selling and individuals are prohibited from distributing rainbow colored merchandise.  

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers with Disabilities: The law in Qatar prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disabilities, the law is not enforced.  Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is not as prevalent as in the in the United States.  Expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation, lodging, communication/information, and general infrastructure.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: Unaccompanied expatriate women may be verbally and/or physically harassed. In deference to Islamic culture, avoid wearing sleeveless shirts, halter-tops, or shorts. Only wear athletic clothing in public when engaged in sports activities.

See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Journalists: Journalists, including independent content creators and vloggers, need specific visas and permissions to use photography and videography equipment, or to conduct interviews or reporting within Qatar. There is no legal guarantee of press freedom or freedom of expression in Qatar.

Photography: Photographing local people in Qatar, particularly women, is illegal without permission.

Health

Please visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Qatar. 

Modern medical facilities and Western-style pharmacies are available. Doctors and hospitals expect immediate cash payment for health services.

For information on the Qatari national healthcare system, see their Qatar Ministry of Health website.

For emergency services in Qatar, dial 999. 

Ambulance services are widely available. 

We do not pay medical bills.  Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas.  Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas.  Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments.  See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.  Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.  Some prescription medications from the United States are unavailable or restricted in Qatar, for example, stimulants, strong pain medications, and some medications used by HIV+ patients.  Check with the Qatari customs authority on proper travel procedures and the Ministry of Public Health to ensure the medication is legal in Qatar. Discuss a health care plan with your doctor before you travel.

Contraceptives, Pregnancy, and Prenatal Care: Sexual intercourse outside of marriage is illegal in Qatar. As such, pregnant women must present a marriage certificate to receive prenatal care at medical facilities in Qatar. Unmarried pregnant women should consult the U.S. Embassy prior to pursuing prenatal care in Qatar. Contraceptives are available over the counter, no prescription required, although common brands available in the United States may not be available at pharmacies in Qatar. Emergency contraceptives are not available. We advise all travelers to plan accordingly.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further Health Information:

Air Quality: Air quality is poor in Qatar, with frequent dust and particle pollution. Members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.  Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals.  We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: For current traffic regulations, see the Ministry of Interior’s Traffic Police website.

Driving:  The legal minimum driving age is 18.  Holders of a U.S. issued driver’s license can drive in Qatar for two weeks, but most car rental agencies require an international driver’s license. Three-month Temporary Licenses are available.  International Driving Licenses are valid in Qatar for six months from the date of arrival.  Resident expatriates should apply for a full Qatari license. If you are caught operating a vehicle without a valid license, penalties can be severe.  For more information, see the Qatari Traffic Services website.

Traffic accidents are one of the leading causes of death in Qatar. The extensive use of roundabouts, numerous road construction projects, and high-speed driving can be challenging. In rural areas, poor lighting, wandering camels, and roads without shoulders create hazards.  If you are in an accident without a license, any insurance may be held invalid, and you could be left with extensive bills and legal charges.

Avoid arguments over traffic incidents. Qatari citizens who feel insulted can file a police complaint that can result in your arrest and overnight detention. Drivers are liable for persons injured in a traffic accident. Local police have held U.S. citizens overnight while ascertaining the extent of injuries.

Traffic Fines: Please be aware that traffic offenses are easily captured via well-placed cameras and the fines can be expensive. Unpaid traffic fines can result in an exit ban until reconciled. 

Public Transportation: Regulated and registered taxi services (Uber, Karwa, Fox Transportation, and Careem) are widely available and generally safe to use. The Embassy recommends you avoid use unlicensed taxi operators or drivers who approach you and attempt to solicit business. Do not allow the driver to pick up additional passengers along the way. To avoid cultural misunderstandings, females traveling alone should always sit in the back (never the front) seat. 

Qatar Rail: The Doha Metro is safe, modern, and inexpensive.

Mowasalat Public Bus: Laborers and construction workers predominantly use this mode of public transportation. The front seats in the buses are generally reserved for women and children. The U.S. Embassy recommends the use of regulated taxi services rather than public buses.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Qatar’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Qatar should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the  U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Qatar. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

Last Updated: August 16, 2022

Travel Advisory Levels

Information for Vaccinated Travelers

The CDC's latest guidance on international travel for vaccinated people can be found here.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Doha
Al-Luqta District
22nd February Street
PO Box 2399
Doha, Qatar
Telephone
+(974) 4496-6000
Emergency
+(974) 4496-6000
Fax
+(974) 4488-4298

Qatar Map