Preparing for your move to Doha


Preparing to go abroad includes securing important documents, making copies, and a lot of planning (and patience). Ideally, you should make 3 copies of your passport, visas, and other important paperwork. Keep one with you, leave one in an accessible, but safe place (i.e. safe deposit box), and leave one with a trusted relative or friend who can give you the information if something were to happen to you or the other copies.

A checklist of other things to consider before moving to Doha:

  1. Passports & Visas: Check expiration and initiate visa applications if necessary. Passports must not expire within 6 months of your arrival. Make at least 2 copies and keep one in a safe place separate from your original passport. For visa information, refer to the "Passport, Visa & Permits" section of the guide.
  2. Secure medical insurance and possibly travel insurance to prevent unmanageable medical bills and enable entry into other countries. If you are moving to Qatar for work, your employer may do this for you, but you should verify anyway.
  3. Research and apply for a Visa. Your employer will sponsor your visa and residence permit application, check with them regarding what documents they will require from you, and if any documents have to be translated or notarized in your home country.
  4. Save enough money to support your cost of living and lifestyle, plus travel costs, with enough of a buffer to be prepared for the unexpected.
  5. Bring things to facilitate transition like a universal electric plug adaptor, any medications you take, or anything else to make you comfortable during the transition.
  6. Get an international driver's license (valid for 6 months in Qatar) if you are planning on driving in Doha.
  7. Cancel your subscriptions and forward your mail at home to your new address in Qatar.

Financial Preparation for Moving to Qatar

Make sure all bills are paid or have a means of being paid before moving abroad. If you are retaining a residence while abroad, make sure the rent/mortgage is taken care of and that utilities are being paid while you are away. Insure that important institutions like your bank are able to reach you.

If you are retaining a bank in your home country, ask about fees for overseas transactions. If you have a credit card, find out if there are additional fees or any changes you need to make with your account. Inform banking industries that you will abroad so as to not arouse suspicious activity on your account as anti-theft systems can see this activity and put a most inconvenient hold on your account.

Tax Preparation for Moving to Qatar

It is best to inform tax offices of any change in residency. Some countries have reciprocal tax agreements, and others may require you to pay some form of taxes both in your home country and aboard. Most National Tax Administrations are an excellent resource for exactly what steps to take when moving away. For more information, refer to our section on taxes.

For example, UK nationals should refer to the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for details of managing their taxation payments and National Insurance contributions in the UK while living abroad.

Refer to the Guide's section on "Tax System in Qatar" for detailed information about taxes abroad.

Health Preparation for Moving to Qatar

Before moving to Qatar, make sure you are up-to-date on all immunizations and vaccinations, including Hepatitis A, typhoid, Hepatitis B, rabies, measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) and tetanus-diphtheria. However, there are currently no vaccination requirements for entering the country.

When applying for a Residence Permit you may be required to undergo a blood test, chest x-ray and blood group analysis.

For concerns about your health when abroad, the World Health Organization (WHO) publishes International Travel and Health, which is revised annually and is available free online. Another excellent resource is MD Travel Health. It provides free, complete travel-health recommendations for every country and is updated daily.

Update 1/10/2013


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