Are You Neither US Immigrant nor Eligible for NIE? You can Bypass US Entry Ban via Qatar

With effect on May 4, 2021, the United States’ presidential proclamation restricted the arrival of non-immigrants who were in the pandemic-hit India during 14 days prior to their attempted entry to the US. Indians who were neither eligible for National Interest Exception nor belonged to any exempted category found a way to bypass the presidential proclamation. Many of them entered the US via Mexico. They travelled to Mexico, spent 14-15 days there, and then entered the US.

One more country has opened for Indians. Those affected by President Biden’s restriction on arrival of non-immigrants from the COVID-hit India can now travel to USA from India via Qatar. If your travel or return to the US is urgent, you can bypass the presidential proclamation by staying 15 days in Qatar before making onward travel to the United States. You can book a multi-city trip to USA from India with a 15-day stopover in Qatar.

bypass US travel ban India, Travel to USA from India via Qatar, Qatar guidelines for entry of Indians

Picture Credit: The Times of India (representative image)

The government of Qatar welcomes fully vaccinated travelers from India on certain conditions. They are subject to certain rules and regulations for entry into Qatar. Qatar’s guidelines for fully vaccinated Indians require them to undergo a 10-day hotel quarantine upon arrival.

If you’re inoculated with both doses of the vaccine approved by the government of Qatar, you should produce an original vaccination certificate on arrival. The certificate must include the following information:

  • Name of the passenger and it must match the passport
  • Type/name of the vaccine taken
  • Lot number of the vaccine (if any)
  • Official logo or seal of the vaccination authority
  • Dose dates according to type of the vaccine (one dose for Jansen/Johnson & Johnson and two doses for other vaccines)

You will not be considered fully vaccinated if you travel to Qatar within 14 days of taking your second dose of an approved vaccine. Please note vaccinated Indians must take an RT-PCR test within 72 hours prior to traveling to Qatar and undergo an antibody test on arrival. Unvaccinated children aged 0-11 traveling with their fully vaccinated parents from the red listed countries including India are subject to minimum 7 days of quarantine in Qatar. The vaccines approved by Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health are listed below:

  • Pfizer / BioNTech (Comirnaty)
  • Moderna (Spikefax)
  • AstraZeneca (Covishied/Oxford/Vaxepheria)
  • Jansen/Johnson & Johnson (only one dose)

Pre-arrival travel authorization is mandatory, in addition to your vaccination status.  Qatar requires you to apply for travel authorization, free of charge, on the Ehteraz website by submitting an application and uploading the required documentation, at least 12 hours before undertaking travel to Qatar from India. Airlines are directed to onboard travelers with a valid travel authorization from the Ehteraz website. Moreover, you need to install and activate the Ehteraz mobile app with the help of a domestic Qatari SIM card. You can avail of a local SIM card on arrival at Hamad International Airport, Doha. Only upon activation of the SIM card, you can access public facilities, including local transportation in Qatar.

Indians who are restricted from travel to the US can find Qatar a most feasible country for a stopover for 15 days or more. It is all because of Qatar’s ‘visa waiver on arrival’ policy for Indians. Indians’ visa-free entry to Qatar is valid for 30 days, which can be extended for another 30 days. You should have a copy of passport with minimum 6-month validity and provide details of your return/onward travel to apply for Qatar’s visa waiver. Indians on B1/B2 visa, who are otherwise restricted from travel to the US, can benefit from Qatar’s visa waiver policy.

Qatar Airways’ air bubble flights to and from India have been flying Indians, irrespective of their US visa type, for months amid the pandemic. The reopening of Qatar has made it a lot easier for B2, H1B, H4, L1, L2, and other US visa holders from India, who are currently kept away from the US borders, to bypass the US entry restrictions. Please note if you take a 14/15-day stopover in Doha, you must take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of your onward travel to the US.

47 thoughts on “Are You Neither US Immigrant nor Eligible for NIE? You can Bypass US Entry Ban via Qatar

  1. Roshan D

    Have people on B1/B2 visa successfully undertaken the journey from India to USA with 14 days stopover in Qatar? Please post experience.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Roshan! If you meet Qatar’s entry requirements, you will have a hassle-free stopover in Doha before you take onward travel to the USA. Two of our customers holding B2 visa successfully entered the US via Qatar.

      Reply
  2. SK

    Hi! I’ll be traveling to the US from Singapore (where I currently live) and plan on returning to India afterwards. I understand most flights have been suspended recently, could I please know which airlines are still offering flights to India from the US at the moment?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi SK! You can Air India, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, British Airways, Emirates and Qatar Airways are operating flights from the US to India.

      Reply
  3. Ravi

    The reopening of Qatar has made it a lot easier for B2, H1B, H4, L1, L2, and other US visa holders from India, who are currently kept away from the US borders, to bypass the US entry restrictions. Please note if you take a 14/15-day stopover in Doha, you must take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of your onward travel to the US.

    HAVING B2, H1B, H4, L1, L2, WITH NIE , Can I travel with out 14/15 days layover in Qatar ????

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Ravi! If you have got NIE approval, you can travel without a 14/15-day stopover in a third country.

      Reply
  4. Jay

    Hi, do the passengers from India traveling to US with a 3-4 hr layover in Qatar require to be fully vaccinated?(considering they are eligible per NIE requirements – H4 traveling with a US citizen kid)

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Jay! As far as we know, there is no such requirement. Please be advised to check with the airline as well.

      Reply
  5. Shanker Adepu

    How many people have been travelled to USA on B1/B2 visa after USA President’s Proclamation… is there any rejections for B1/B2 Tourist Visa holders by US immigration. Secondly which route is more economical and safe travel and quarantine stay and cost of the total package including travel costs
    Thanks,
    Shanker
    Hyderabad, India

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Shanker! Many Indians on B1/B2 visa have entered the US following a 14/15-day stopover in Mexico or Doha, without much hassle. Doha is a safe city for international visitors. Besides, you can book a hotel with entertainment facilities in Doha so that 10-day hotel quarantine does not bore you. For cheap flights, you can contact our travel advisors at 01-800-615-3969.

      Reply
  6. Priya

    Hi,

    My parents are planning to travel to San Francisco without NIE approval. Is 14 days quarantine in Doha required before entering USA or just a stopover is sufficient? Also, they can roam around in Doha or need to quarantine?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Priya! Your parents will go undergo mandatory hotel quarantine for the first 10 days right from the day of arrival in Doha. They can go out and tour Doha from the 11th day.

      Reply
  7. Menaka

    Hi My parents have taken covaxin by Bharat Biomedicals. And the hold a valid B1/B2 visa. will they be able to travel to US via Qatar?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Menaka! If they are planning on taking a 14day stopover in Qatar before making onward travel to the US, they will be denied boarding by Qatar Airways. Covaxin is not approved by the Government of Qatar.

      Reply
  8. Saikat Pal

    Hi, I have valid L1 visa and I have to travel to Tampa (US) for work from Kolkata (IN) in September.
    Q1. What’s the quarantine requirements now as I am fully vaccinated?
    Q2. Do I need a return ticket as I will be having a onward journey?
    Q3. For children, quarantine required?
    Q4. Is any visa required for qatar on arrival?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Saikat! Travelers from India, including children, need to undergo 10-day hotel quarantine on arrival in Doha despite being fully vaccinated. You must have flight tickets either for return travel or onward travel. On certain conditions (mentioned in the article), Indians are eligible for free entry visa to Qatar, which you can avail on arrival at Doha International Airport.

      Reply
  9. Arun Mani

    Hi IndianEagle,

    how much additional expense would take for by pass travel from india to mexico to usa?

    Reply
  10. Tulip

    Hello firstly thankyou so much for all this information. Can you please help me clear doubts
    1: Do we need to have International health insurance
    2: Approximately How much Money is required for the stay in Qatar if we are staying in hotel
    3:While returning to US from Qatar do we need to have antigen test report or Covid-rtpcr report
    4:Can we exchange the money at the airport on arrival in Qatar or is it recommended to exchange it prior boarding from India.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Tulip! International health insurance is required for travel to the US. We have no idea about accommodation costs in Doha. You are required to book hotel accommodation for 10-day quarantine through Discover Qatar portal. You need to take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to traveling from Doha to USA.

      Reply
  11. Ram

    Hi, If I arrive in Doha by 5.30 on 10th September and leave for SFO on 24th September by morning flight and reach on September, would that meet the requirements

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Ram! There is time difference between between India and Doha, and between Doha and the US. Please be advised to spend at least 15 days in Doha before traveling to SFO.

      Reply
  12. Ramaswamy

    Hi ,
    I have taken 2 dose of Covid shield Vaccination having B2 visa. How many days quarantine is required at Doha before traveling to USA.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Ramaswamy! You need to spend minimum 14 days in Doha before traveling to the US. Our of the 14 days, you are required to undergo 10-day hotel quarantine in Doha as per the guidelines set by the Government of Qatar.

      Reply
  13. Gurdeep Singh

    Hi,
    I have USA b1/b2 visa. Actually I use live Australia I took USA visa from Australia. But now I’m stuck in India can travel to USA after spending 15 days in Doha?
    So I’ll get any problem to enter to USA?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Gurdeep! In our opinion, you can travel to the US from India via Doha.

      Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Muthu! Please check the “Warning” message in the link you put in your comment.

      Reply
  14. RB

    Hi,
    I need to travel from India to US on my B1/B2 visa and was hoping to stop in Qatar for 14 days.
    I got COVAXIN vaccine, second shot completed first week of April, 2021.
    Can I enter Qatar with a RT-PCR Negative report done 48 hour before the flight?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi RB! As Covaxin is not approved by the Government of Qatar, you are not eligible for a stopover in Qatar.

      Reply
  15. sam

    Hi , Kindly help with your knowledge on this , can a B1/B2 visa holder travel from India to Singapore quarantine in singapore for 15 days and and then travel to USA (SFO)?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Sam! Entry to Singapore is currently limited to Singapore citizens and permanent residents. Singapore is open to vaccinated travelers only from Hong Kong, Macao, Brunei and Germany, beginning September 8.

      Reply
  16. Arshi

    We have B1/B2 visa..and are fully vaccinated with Covishield …can we travel to Washington dc after 14 days transit in Doha

    Reply
  17. Snehal Gandhi

    Hi, I am on a h1b visa and am required to travel to US? Do I need to book return ticket to India or a onward ticket to US either from Mexico or Doha will suffice?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Snehal! If the US is your final destination, you need an onward flight ticket to the US from Mexico, Doha or Dubai.

      Reply
  18. Sri Ram

    Hi,

    Can LTVP holders travel to Singapore by staying in Doha for 21 days . Will they still require to get permission from Singapore immigration authorities prior travel?

    Reply
  19. Sam

    Hi ,
    My mother has has B1 visa and has to travel to SFO . I’m through this thread that indians can travel through Doha quarantine for 14 days and fully vaccinated. Can you please provide details what all has to be looked out for , so that there is no issue in the process ?
    Since my mom has to travel alone is there any travel agency as such which you can recommend who can handle the entire process of required documentation , Quarantine etc smoothly ?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Sam! Hotel accommodation in Doha must be booked through Discover Qatar portal. Is your mom vaccinated with two doses of Covishield? If yes, only then she can enter Qatar and stay in Doha. You need to apply for Qatar’s tourist visa which she will get on arrival at Doha Airport. Please note she needs to take an RT-PCR test within 72 hours before traveling to the US from Doha.

      Reply
  20. Joshua

    Hi,

    Thank You so much for providing the information regarding traveling to the US via Qatar or Mexico .
    Due to health issues, i am unable to take the vaccine . Hence i cannot travel to US through Qatar as they will not allow entry . Any idea if Mexico Allows Entry for un-vaccinated passengers ? What about UAE?

    Regards,

    Joshua

    Reply
  21. Ruhi Chopra

    Hi

    I am on F-1 (student visa). I plan to travel from Boston to Mumbai and then back to Boston. I will have a layover at Doha both the ways during my travel. Can you throw light on following:

    1. Will travel to Mumbai from Boston. I have a 3 hour layover at Doha. So do I need to to give a swab sample for a molecular test on arrival to Mumbai? Is there any mandatory institutional quarantine in Mumbai?
    2. While travelling back to Boston from Mumbai with a 2.5 hour layover in Doha. Will I have to undergo any quarantine? I am just transiting from Doha and won’t be leaving the airport.
    3. As a F-1 student can I fly Qatar airlines?

    Thank you in advance.

    Best,
    Ruhi

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Ruhi! You will be required to undergo a RT-PCR test upon arrival at Mumbai Airport and exit the airport after submitting your swab sample. The result will be conveyed via email and you will be required to undergo home quarantine for 14 days. No, you won’t be subject to quarantine upon returning back to Boston and yes, you can fly Qatar Airways.

      Reply
  22. Rekha Devdas

    I would like to fly to the US through Dubai since I have relatives there. Can I stay with my relatives or will I be asked to stay at a Hotel for 14 days before flying to the US? I have a visit visa of USA

    Reply
  23. Leo Senju

    I am traveling from Mumbai-India to USA via Qatar Airways on Nov 5. My itinerary is Mumbai-Doha-SFO-Vegas. I have a H1b visa with NIE approval. Will I need a transit visa for Doha? Apart from the negative RT-PCR, Qatar consent form and CDC consent form is there anything else that I need for my travel to the US. Kindly advice

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Leo! If you don’t step out of the transit area of Doha Airport, you don’t need a transit visa. You don’t require anything else other than the documents you mentioned. Wish you happy and safe travel!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *