Which countries need a visa to enter Qatar for the World Cup?

Qatar is gearing up to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup
Qatar is gearing up to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Qatar is hosting the 2022 World Cup in November and December, in what is both a first time for the tournament in the Middle East region and a winter World Cup in the Northern Hemisphere.

Fans from all over the globe are set to descend on the Gulf state, which is hosting games across a smaller geographical area than ever before – four of the venues are in and around the Doha area alone.

Those who travel abroad to World Cups or other international tournaments must think about more than just the football, with visas, flights, accommodation and internal transport all considerations that also have to be taken into account to watch the action.

Ordinarily, the vast majority of citizens from countries that have qualified for the 2022 World Cup would be able to enter Qatar without having to apply in advance for a visa. Most can obtain a simple visa waiver issued on arrival covering a limited amount of time (30, extendable by another 30, or 90 days depending on the issuing country of an individual’s passport).

Visa waiver upon arrival for up to 30 days (extendable by 30 days)

  • Ecuador
  • England & Wales (both part of the United Kingdom)
  • USA
  • Iran
  • Mexico
  • Australia
  • Costa Rica
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Uruguay

Visa waiver upon arrival for up to 90 days

  • Netherlands
  • Argentina
  • Poland
  • France
  • Denmark
  • Spain
  • Germany
  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Serbia
  • Switzerland
  • Portugal

Visa free as fellow member of Gulf Cooperation Council

  • Saudi Arabia

Online tourist visa*

  • Senegal
  • Tunisia
  • Morocco
  • Cameroon
  • Ghana

*being a resident in certain countries may still entitle travellers to visa free entry

However, the rules are a bit different while the World Cup is on, as well as slightly before and after.

No standard visas will be issued between 1 November 2022 and 23 January 2023 and all travellers arriving in Qatar during that period must present an approved Hayya Card, which will temporarily be the only means of entering the country. The normal visa process will resume after 23 January.

Visit Qatar, the country’s official tourism website, recommends applying for a Hayya Card as soon as possible. Not only is it vital to enter Qatar, but a Hayya Card is also required to enter the stadium for any game at the World Cup, in addition to a match ticket. That matchday aspect even includes local residents, who obviously wouldn’t need the Hayya Card to enter the country.

A significant benefit of the Hayya Card is free access to public transport from 10 November 2022 until 23 December 2022.

Following the Covid-19 pandemic, Qatar is open to international travellers, but always be sure to check and adhere to the latest travel policies to enter the country.

For up to date travel advice and requirements, always consult the official Visit Qatar website.