People come and people go! Some go because they want to; some go because they have to. Whatever your reasons are for leaving Qatar, it’s important to keep in mind that relocation is not an easy task. There are a lot of things that need to be taken care of, documentation to fill, accounts to close, things to sell, what to move and what not to move and so much more, and all of this takes time.
That’s why we’ve put together a checklist for you so that if and when the time comes to bid Adieu to Qatar, you’ll know just what to do and how to get things done, for a smooth departure from this beautiful country.
90 days to leave Qatar when your RP is cancelled or expires.
Your RP can be cancelled online, or through Metrash2. This service enables you to cancel valid residence permits for persons under company or personal sponsorships. It is available for Qataris, residents, companies and organisations holding Qatari Smart ID Cards.
- Login with your smartcard to the e-services portal of the Ministry of Interior or ontoMetrash2.
- Click on “Residency Services” then “Cancel Residency”.
- Enter the required RP numbers to be cancelled.
- Pay appropriate fees online.
- Print payment receipt.
Applicable fees for residence permit cancellation are as follows:
- For personal sponsorship: QR 20
- For company sponsorship: 50
If you want to cancel online, click on the following link: https://eservices.moi.gov.qa/eservices-portal/
Once your sponsor has cancelled your RP, or it expires (whichever comes first), you will have three months to leave Qatar. That may seem like a lot of time, but keep in mind, that there are many things that need to be taken care of before you leave, so it’s better to get started as soon as possible.
An exit permit is no longer needed.
As an expat, if you come under the Qatar Labour Law, you can can leave the country without obtaining a prior permit, while the employer can restrict up to 5% of his workforce to obtain prior consent because of the nature of their work, for example, someone in finance may need an exit permit.
Don’t forget to get your gratuity payment from your employer.
For expats who come to the end of their employment in Qatar, they are entitled to a gratuity (end of service), if they worked for the company for over a year, and is given by the employer as a way of thanking employees for their service to Qatar.
So, don’t forget to get that end of service from your employer who will calculate it based on your basic pay and the amount of time you spent with the company!
Making a list is a great way to start.
Make a list and put it on your fridge or someplace you can see it all the time, so you can cross out the things you’ve done and add new things when you remember them.
Put all necessary documentation in a folder.
You may need any important documents at any time before you leave, so it would make sense to keep all necessary paperwork in a folder, so that you know where everything is, if and when, you need it. This would include, but is not limited to:
- Birth certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Passport size photographs
- Naturalisation, passport, green card, proof of citizenship, etc.
- Vaccination, medical and dental records
- Insurance policies
- Academic certificates and diplomas
- Letters of Employment
- Proof of residency (utility bill, statement, etc.)
- Any wills you may have
Pay off any outstanding loans.
You won’t be allowed to leave Qatar unless you have paid off any debts or loans you have incurred during your stay in Qatar. Any outstanding bank loans (credit cards, car loan, personal loan, etc.) must be paid off before you leave and your end of service (gratuity) amount will be withheld until you’ve paid off your loans. As soon as you clear them off, you will be given a signed and stamped letter that you will show your employer/sponsor so he can give you the end of service, and to finish off the process.
If you leave the country without paying off any loans, you will be punished, fined and/or jailed as soon as you try to re-enter.
Close all bank accounts.
It’s important after clearing any debts or loans you may have incurred to close any bank accounts you have in Qatar. Also, request a bank clearance letter for your employer/sponsor, and leave a forwarding address for any future correspondence.
It’s important to start closing bank accounts 30-45 days before your last salary payment, or banks may freeze your accounts to make sure there is enough money in your accounts to pay off any unpaid loans. Also, close all credit card accounts, at least, a month before your date of travel.
If you want to transfer any money abroad, do so, much earlier because there is a limit on how much money you can transfer out of the country from a bank account at any one time.
Return medical insurance cards.
You must return your medical insurance cards to your employer or the insurance company before you leave Qatar.
Pay off all electricity or phone/internet bills.
Settle off any electricity bills or phone/internet bills that are outstanding and arrange for disconnection of the services before you vacate your accommodation otherwise there may be a penalty. Once disconnection services have been arranged a Clearance Certificate will be provided to you and any deposit you paid will be refunded.
The sooner you pay off everything that needs to be paid off, the sooner you will be able to settle everything and leave the country.
Sell off unwanted items.
You may or may not want to take all your belongs with you when you leave Qatar. If you are planning on getting rid of unwanted items, you can put an ad on the I Love Qatar Classifieds page. Alternatively, there are many groups on Facebook where you can advertise anything you want to sell including your car.
Do keep one thing in mind though. You won’t get back a lot of money when you sell something. It may go at half price or even less than half price in most cases. You’d have to be really lucky to get a good deal when you sell any used items, furniture, household items, etc.
Selling or shipping your car.
Once you’ve decided whether you want to take your car with you or sell it off before you leave, you need to move on to the next step.
If you’re selling your car, you could take it back to the dealer who sold you the car. Alternatively, you could take your car to the used car dealers in Qatar and have the car checked and evaluated, so they can sell it for you. Another option is to post an ad on the ILQ Classifieds or numerous Facebook pages that are dedicated to selling cars and other items.
If by any chance, you aren’t able to sell your car before you leave, you’ll either have to transfer it on someone you can trust’s name or give them a Power of Attorney, so they can sell the car on your behalf after you’ve left, and pass on the money to you.
On the other hand, if you’re planning on shipping your car to your new destination, well, that’s another ball game altogether.
There are two basic steps you will need to follow so you can ship your car from Qatar without any hassle:
- Prepare all your documents: In order to ship your car from Qatar, the documents you will need for the export customs clearance are, you will need to have your passport copy, your Qatar ID copy, driver’s license, original car registration, car export certificate issued by the Traffic Department and attested by the Qatar Chamber; QC will issue a Certificate of Origin (get the details here).
- Find the right car shipping company for you: Get in touch with different car shipping companies in Qatar and ask them for quotes for car shipping your car out of Qatar to your destination. Once the companies send you their quotes, you can decide accordingly.
Find the right movers that fit your needs and requirements.
There are many international movers in Qatar. The best way to begin is to get in touch with a number of different movers here in Qatar and ask them for a quote, so you can compare the different moving companies. When you find a mover that you are satisfied with, and they come to pack your stuff, make sure you keep your valuables safe. It has happened to some people that the movers have packed their valuables in with the other stuff, and these people have had to wait till their stuff reached the new destination to retrieve them. Not a nice feeling.
Inform the landlord of your home that you will be vacating your accomodation.
As soon as you know you’re leaving Qatar, tell your landlord because most landlords require at least one month’s notice in advance before you vacate their premises. It’s important you know that you have to try to leave your home in the condition it was given to you in. before you leave the landlord will do a check of the premises and after deducting any costs necessary for any damages, will hand over the security deposit you gave when you rented the accommodation.
With school going children, you’ll need a school leaving certificate.
If you have school-going children, you’ll need a school leaving certificate for each child from their school. Many of the schools in Qatar require a four week notice period before the leaving date. School leaving certificates will only be issued when all school or library books are returned and any outstanding payments are made, and are usually issued on the last day of the kid in the school.
Stock up on any prescription medications you are taking.
If you or a member of your family uses any medication on a regular basis, talk to your doctor and stockpile on it, so when you move to your new destination, you won’t have to worry you have run out of it, at least, till you get to visit a doctor in your new country and get prescribed there. Another important thing to remember is to keep these prescription medicines are with you in your carry on luggage when you travel.
Relocating your pets out of Qatar.
Travel regulations require you to make all necessary documentation for your pet available before travel. Such documents include their health certificate (signed by your veterinarian, indicating that the animal is fit to fly), updated vaccinations, and identification or pet passport.
Important note: If you’ve missed out anything during the pet relocation procedure, your pet won’t be able to fly out of Qatar.
You should know the pet relocation laws and regulations of the country you’re planning to move to with your furry companion, so you ensure you follow the correct procedure, otherwise, your pet won’t be able to travel. Most of these regulations are similar, but it’s always best to double-check in case there are additional requirements.
Some countries in Europe, Canada and the USA are pretty much straightforward, but it may still take up to five months for the entire procedure. For some countries like New Zealand And Australia, you should start planning your pet’s relocation, at least, seven months before you actually plan to leave.
Your pets must have all the necessary vaccinations as required from the country to which you’ll be travelling to. Your pet should be checked at a vet prior to travel to ensure it’s in good health and does not carry any parasites. The most important vaccination is the rabies shot. A pet passport/health certificate is definitely required, as well as microchips for your pets.
Before travelling out of Qatar, it is a requirement that all dogs and cats have a current rabies vaccination that has been given a minimum of 30 – 364 days prior to travelling. Your pets must also have Export Certificates even if the country you are travelling to does not require one.
For the European Union and a lot of other countries, your pet must pass a RAT test (rabies antibody titre test) not less than 30 days after their last rabies shot, even if they have a pet passport. Once your pet passes this test, it will take another 90 days before they can actually travel. The RATT can be done at any time as it lasts for the life of your pet as long as the rabies shots are kept up to date.
If you are relocating your pet to the more strict countries, it can’t travel until 180 days (6 months) after blood is taken for a satisfactory rabies neutralising antibody titre test RNATT. The RNATT result is valid for 2 years after the date that the blood was collected. The animal must have a valid Rabies vaccination certificate at the time of export. Australia accepts a rabies certificate that is valid for three years. The most important thing to do therefore is to get this done at least 180 days before the date you plan to export your dog to these countries.
4. Select your airline
Similar to researching the regulations of the country you’re planning to travel to, you must also research the regulations of the airline you’re planning to take your pet(s) on. It’s also important to note the International Air Transport Association (IATA) rules.
Different airlines have different regulations where some breeds may be allowed, but others may not be. Airlines also specify the weight and size of the crate in which your pet will travel in. Make sure that there is enough room for your pet to be comfortable as the journey will most likely be a long one. Check out Qatar Airways regulations (you’ll get a lot of important and relevant information here): https://www.qatarairways.com/en/baggage/animals.html
5. Veterinary Health Certificate
A Veterinary Health Certificate to show that your pet is healthy for travel is required a week or so before departure. This can be obtained from the Ministry of Municipality and Environment. The pet-owner will have to present their travel details and personal information at the ministry.
6. Pet comfort
Ensure that your fur-baby will have a comfortable journey by providing it with enough food and water (check flight regulations). It’s recommended that there should be a blanket in the crate with your pet. Don’t sedate your pet for the journey. Most airlines prohibit the use of sedatives on your pets. Make sure the crate is fully secured and isn’t in risk of breaking or opening on the flight. For more information on how to acclimatize your pet for its journey, contact your vet.
For additional information, you can contact pet re-locaters in Doha, in case any further requirements or changes have been made to the process of importing or exporting. You can even hire pet re-locaters to carry out the entire process for you.
Get yourself an international driving license before you leave.
When you move to your new destination, you won’t be able to get driving licence immediately, so it’s a great idea to get an international driver’s license while you are still in Qatar and have the RP and valid driving license. The international driving license is valid for six months and allows you to drive rent-a-cars in your new country.
You can get it from the Qatar Automobile and Touring Club (Tel: +974 4441 5718) or some travel agencies in Qatar with the following documents:
- Valid Qatar Driving License
- 2 Passport size photographs
- Process fee
Adapted from: iloveqatar