Middle East: Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen Introduce Entry, Residency and Transit Ban for Qatari Nationals

Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen have severed diplomatic ties with Qatar. As a result, these countries have imposed an entry, residency and transit ban for all Qatari nationals and announced a withdrawal of their diplomatic staff from Qatar within 48 hours. All land and marine borders with Qatar have been closed, and the airspace closure will come in effect as of June 6, 2017.

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Jun 06, 2017
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Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Yemen have severed diplomatic ties with Qatar.  As a result, these countries have imposed an entry, residency and transit ban for all Qatari nationals and announced a withdrawal of their diplomatic staff from Qatar within 48 hours.  All land and marine borders with Qatar have been closed, and the airspace closure will come in effect as of June 6, 2017.

Impact
The following is a summary of the impact of the entry, residency and transit ban:

  • Qatari nationals in the region:  Qatari nationals will be denied entry, residency and transit through the territories of the Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
  • Qatari nationals in UAE:  Qatari diplomatic staff will have 48 hours to leave, and regular Qatari nationals must exit the country in the next 14 days.
  • Bahraini, Egyptian, Saudi, UAE, and Yemeni nationals: UAE and Bahraini authorities have announced bans for their nationals from travelling, transiting or residing in Qatar. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Yemen have not yet applied similar restrictions on their nationals. 
  • Other foreign nationals currently residing in Qatar:   It is not yet clear whether holders of the Residency Visas from Qatar will face restrictions for obtaining Visit Visas to Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.  It is also unclear whether there will be any impact on foreign residents of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE seeking entry to Qatar based on the Visitor Visa for Gulf Cooperation Council residents.
  • Other Countries: The relationship between Kuwait, Oman and Qatar remains unchanged. 
  • Air Travel:  UAE airlines, including Etihad Airways, Emirates Airlines, FlyDubai and Air Arabia have suspended their operations with Qatar.

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 traveling to Qatar should prearrange their visas when possible, rather than relying on visa-on-arrival processes, if applicable. This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to Middleeast@ae.fragomen.com

© 2017 Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

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