What you need to know Before moving to Qatar

Documents to be sent for work / residence permit

When a job offer is accepted, your HR Generalist will contact you to give you brief information about working and living in Qatar. You will receive an email from the HR office requesting specific information regarding housing and schooling requirements.

You will also receive an e-mail from the HR Office requesting documents for immigration processing. The following documents are required to be sent electronically.

  • Clear copy of your passport
  • Clear passport copies of your spouse, and children (if relocating to Qatar with family)
  • A copy of your highest educational qualification certificate
  • Up-to-date Curriculum Vitae
  • A copy of your marriage certificate (if the employee is relocating with his/ her spouse)
  • Copies of your children’s birth certificates  (if relocating to Qatar with family)
  • Digital passport size photos for you and your family (non-white background with standard size of 4.8 x3.8 cm)
  • Copy of you and your dependent’s blood group certificates (it could be any official document that indicates your blood type)

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Police Clearance Certificate

The Police Clearance Certificate, sometimes referred to as a Good Conduct Certificate or a Criminal Record Check for Overseas Employment is a requirement of the State of Qatar from all expatriates intending to work in Qatar, you will need to apply for this document from your country of citizenship / residence in order to obtain your residence permit after arrival in Qatar.

U.S. Citizens

Your police clearance certificate should be attested from the following authorities in your country:

  • Notarization from a notary public in your county/ province followed by certification from your state)
  • The notarized document and fingerprinting card should be sent by courier to the following agency for legalization from the U.S. Department of State & Qatar Embassy in D.C.

Non-U.S. Citizens

Your police clearance certificate should be attested from the following authorities in your country:

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country
  • Embassy of Qatar in your home country.

Important Note: Once you accept the offer of employment, you are advised to start your police clearance procedures immediately. Any delay in receipt of your police clearance document will delay your residence permit process.

Documents to be carried to Doha

  • Medical records:  Please carry originals for you and all family members, including a blood group document for all family members. The blood group document is required to process your residence permit after arrival in Qatar.
  • Highest Degree of Certificate: This is required for your residence permit. If you are bringing your spouse and they are interested in working in Doha they should also bring a copy of their highest degree or certificate.
  • Schooling Records: The schools that your children will attend will need their birth certificate/passport, immunization records, previous years’ transcripts, and a health evaluation. Please check with the particular school you have chosen (see “Education” section) or the Orientation Administrator in Qatar for more information.
  • Home Country/ International driver’s license: Your home country driver’s license or international driver’s license can be used in Qatar for a certain period until you receive your Qatari residence permit. Please contact HR office for more details.

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In addition to shipping personal belongings, you may decide to pay the excess baggage charge and bring them with you. The airline can provide information about the cost of this option. Airfreight is the recommended method to ship your personal belongings to and from Qatar. Upon receiving a shipment in Qatar, you will be contacted by the Customs Department located in the airport. You may have to pay certain customs taxes (5% tariff) and duties before taking receipt of your belongings. Remember to make sure that your shipment arrives after you, because it is impossible to clear without the owner’s passport.

Note: Importing Regulations

Qatari law prohibits importation of certain items into the country, such as alcohol, narcotics, pork products, firearms, insecticides, cleaning preparations that include lye, chlorine, ammonia, jewelry, furs, silverware, fragile accessories or anything deemed pornographic by Qatari authorities. While importation of religious material for personal use is acceptable, importation of religious material for the purpose of proselytizing is not.

DVDs must be accompanied by a list of titles including a synopsis, actors, and running times. Make an itemized list of each container, this will assist Qatari customs with clearance of your items.

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The State of Qatar recognizes the American Academy of Pediatric standards for immunizations. All schools will require a copy of your child’s immunization records. Bring an original copy with a medical stamp on it. For further information consult the Department of Health and Human Service’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site:


Prescription Drugs

Not all prescription drugs are available in Doha. To check on availability of your medicine, visit the Approved Medication by Supreme Council of Health or contact VCUQatar’s Director of Human Resources. You may be able to purchase a one-year supply of medication from your local pharmacy with approval through your insurance carrier in the States. The cost of medication depends on the prescription, but usually the cost is cheaper than your US co-pay.

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Importing your pet to Qatar

All pets entering Qatar require an import permit from the Ministry of Agriculture. Cats with proper documentation are allowed to enter with no difficulty, but some breeds of dogs, especially large dogs, are not admitted. Be aware that even with the proper paperwork, the Qatari agricultural authorities can quarantine your pet up to 30 days at your expense. Application forms for import permits may be obtained from the Qatar Ministry of Agriculture through the Liaison Officer in VCUQatar. A copy of the pet’s health certificate and vaccination record must be submitted with the application. Within 10 days of your departure, the pet’s good health must be certified by a veterinarian on a U.S. Interstate and International Certificate of Health Examination for Small Animals form. Commercially made pet food is available in most supermarkets.

Consult your airline’s website for information about pet carriers and costs for reserving a place for your pet on the aircraft.

Important Regulations

The following regulations are of importance as they may stop the relocation plans for your pet, please read carefully:

Is your pet too young?

Qatar does not permit the import of pets which are too young to be administered a rabies vaccination. This means that your pet needs to be at least 4 months old; as your pet can be vaccinated at three months, though 30 days must elapse prior to import. Similarly, the vaccination cannot be older than 12 months.

Is your pet a prohibited breed?

If your dog features on this list (or is a cross-breed, with any mentioned on this list) – please notify us separately, as additional requirements apply and will need to be addressed as a special case:

* Rott Weiler                                                                          * Bull Dog

* Pug                                                                                       * Doberman

* Boxer                                                                                    * Great Dane

* The Shar Pei                                                                       * Japanese Akita

* Staffordshire Bull-Terrier                                                  * American Staffordshire Terrier

* Bull-Terrier                                                                          * Boston Terrier

* Neapolitan Mastiff                                                              * Boer Boel

* Afghan Hound

Your pet may be quarantined:

Should your pet arrive with incorrect, incomplete or inaccurate documentation – quarantine may be appropriate.

Your pet can travel in two ways

Accompanied Baggage:

This method of travel is when your pet(s) travels alongside you on the day of departure to the airport and is checked in (with prior notification to the airline) at the baggage check-in area; you will then pay the excess baggage rate per kilogram for your pet. This method of travel is offered at the airlines sole discretion; therefore you need prior acceptance of ‘Live Animals’ accompanying you.


Travelling as a ‘Cargo Manifest’ means that your pet will be travelling as an unaccompanied shipment. Therefore, your pet will NOT be checked in with your luggage, but rather is checked in at the airports Cargo Terminal / Section several hours before the time of departure. Your pet will then be handled with care by the airline representatives on which your pet shall travel. As with all cargo shipments, all associated documentation and security procedures will be required.

Important Note: The specific procedures for this method vary from country to country, therefore please check with your airline and airport for country-specific requirements.

Document Requirements

Pet Details:

  • Clear copy of vaccination record(s) – In-Date: (e.g. Administered within the last year)
  • For DOGS: Showing Vaccinations for: “RABIES”; “DISTEMPER”; “LEPTOSPIRA”.
  • Details of the pet(s) – Species / Breed / Age / Gender / Color / Markings & Weight
  • Microchip number (ONLY if the pet(s) already have one)

Owner Detail(s):

  • Letter of authorization from employee (As Enclosed Below)
  • Clear Passport Copy
  • Copy of employment contract
  • Contact details for the EXPORTER in Origin Country

Please also ensure that your pet’s original vaccination card and government health certificate travel with the airway bill (your pet’s “ticket”), this is necessary to clear your pet through customs upon arrival. If the original documents do not travel with the airway bill there may be lengthy delays in clearing your pet, or your pet may not be able to clear customs until the originals have arrived.


Please also note that the original documents and also copies of those documents must accompany the pet (either with the air-waybill or attached to the travel kennel). Different countries have varying regulations – therefore please check with your airline or choice as to their preference.

Many people tend to feel that they need to bring their pet with them as accompanied baggage if they can – as they feel more in control of their pets journey. However, if the method is cargo, this should not cause you any additional worry or concern. This method will allow you to feel less anxious about the relocation of your pet and as such your pet may be more relaxed given the quieter ambience. If you choose accompanied baggage, your pet will be in the hustle and bustle of a busy airport check-in. Also, handing your pet over to the porter/handler in accompanied baggage may make you feel anxious as opposed to the quieter area of the cargo terminal for live animals. Additionally as cargo is manifested, it provides slightly greater assurances that your pet is routed properly to your destination.

Pet Relocation is a service designed to provide a hassle free pet relocation service or assist you with relocating your pet. For more information, please visit the Qatar Pet Relocators.


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