We are flying from Singapore into Doha on March 2, arriving at just after midnight. I read that we can get visa at the Doha airport upon arrival, but we are trying to avoid ending up on a long line at 1 AM, so we thought we could get the visa before leaving the US. We leave the US on Jan. 15 and will be on a cruise ship for almost the entire time before we fly to Doha at the end of a cruise. The Qatar embassy in Washington has only one person who deals with tourist visas, and he has not returned two phone messages. The information online makes it look like a complete hassle to get a visa in advance. They require a letter of invitation, but I don't know from whom, since we decided to visit Doha for sightseeing on our own, and thus have not been "invited". They also require three months' bank statements. The entire situation is exacerbated by the fact that we cannot apply for a visa more than 60 days before we arrive, which means that somehow, about January 1, we have to mail our passports and visa applications to the embassy in Washington, and hope to have them back before the 15th...not a very encouraging situation. I am tempted to just cancel our airline tickets from Singapore to Doha and Doha back to Chicago, and find a flight directly from Singpore to Chicago.
Has anyone gone through this routine of getting a visa in advance? How bad is it? How much of a hassle is it to just show up at the Doha airport with the intention of getting a visa upon arrival? What type of documentaion, photos, etc., does one need to do it that way? Is Doha interesting enough to justify going through all this?
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