DOHA: Seventeen Indians who landed in Doha on tourist visas on Thursday were denied permission to enter the country and sent back after they failed to fulfill all conditions to become eligible for on-arrival tourist visas, Indian media have reported.
The 17 passengers, who arrived on an Air India Express flight from Kozhikode around noon, failed to show QR5,000 toward their expenses during their stay in Qatar, or a credit or debit card with the required balance, which is mandatory for Indians seeking on-arrival tourist visas.
The passengers were sent back at night after spending around 10 hours at Doha airport, source said.
The voice messages from some of the passengers stuck at the airport went viral on sections of Indian social media in Qatar yesterday, with many wondering how so many passengers could land in Doha without being aware of the rules.
Travel agency sources said the confusion arose because though a passenger is required to possess QR5,000 to become eligible for tourist visas. The rule has not been enforced strictly, with many entering the country without the said amount.
“It’s up to the authorities to enforce the law. Those who came yesterday must have thought they could enter the country without keeping the sufficient amount based on the experience of those who had come before. But everyone must obey all the rules to avoid inconveniences like this,” a travel agent told The Doha Globe, requesting anonymity.
Since there are no flights to the UAE and Saudi Arabia from India due to the dire Covid-19 situation in India, several Indians, who are working in those countries and currently stuck in India, have started using Doha as a transit as they can travel to those two countries after spending 14 days in Qatar, sources have said.
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