• Entry, Residency and Transit Ban of Qatari Nationals Takes Effect
  • July 4, 2017
  • Following the announcement yesterday, the entry, residency and transit ban of Qatari nationals and the withdrawal of diplomatic staff from Qatar by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Yemen has taken effect. Qatari nationals must leave Bahrain and the UAE within 14 days of June 5, 2017. Multiple UAE and Bahraini airlines have also discontinued air operations with Qatar.

    However, it is still unclear whether foreign national residents of Qatar seeking to enter either Bahrain or the UAE on a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Resident Visitor Visa will be able to do so. It is likely that the relevant authorities may not recognize the Qatar Residence Permit as a valid permission to enter resulting in foreign nationals either being refused to board the aircraft or denied an E-Visa approval when applying for the UAE's GCC Visitor Visa. Therefore, foreign national traveling to Qatar should prearrange their Business or Tourist Visas in advance and consider other sponsorship categories such as companies, airlines, hotels or tourist agencies.

    Qatari authorities have not yet announced whether reciprocal measures impacting nationals or residents of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE will be applied. However, this is subject to change without prior notice.

    Although there is no official announcement from any of the courier companies, courier services and document deliveries to or from Qatar to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are severely delayed.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    Considering the nature of this situation, many aspects related to entry, residency and transit remain either unclear or subject to change without prior notice. Foreign nationals should refrain from travelling on the basis of the Qatar Residence Permit unless they obtain a prearranged visa.