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Moving to Qatar/Process Help

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by aladdin86_2008, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. Hi Everyone,
    I’ve recently accepted a job in Doha and just sent my contract back all signed. I was wondering whether anyone knew how long the process of getting my work visa/permit will take. The only reason why I’m on edge is because I want everything to be set in stone before the deadline for handing in my notice. At the moment I cant seem to celebrate having a job just in case theres a catch or something goes wrong as so far it has all been too good to be true. I would very much appreciate ANY advice on this topic.
    Thanks in advance

     
  2. Hi Everyone,
    I’ve recently accepted a job in Doha and just sent my contract back all signed. I was wondering whether anyone knew how long the process of getting my work visa/permit will take. The only reason why I’m on edge is because I want everything to be set in stone before the deadline for handing in my notice. At the moment I cant seem to celebrate having a job just in case theres a catch or something goes wrong as so far it has all been too good to be true. I would very much appreciate ANY advice on this topic.
    Thanks in advance

     
  3. tyler durden

    tyler durden New commenter

    First off, congratulations.

    The whole residence permit (RP) process will not start until you are actually in Qatar. Once you arrive you will need to go for a medical (HIV blood test and TB chest X-ray). You will also need to have your blood type checked and be finger printed. The length of this process varies depending on a number of factors (How good the schools admin is/When you arrive/What the person processing your RP had for lunch etc. Mine took 6 weeks but some of that time was during Ramadan, so it can be completed more quickly.

    So in answer to your question, there is no way for the school to get you your work permit unless you are out here in Qatar. Our school prepared an entry visa for us but other schools ask you to come in on a tourist visa whilst your RP is being processed. Ask about this.

    You've been sent a contract and you've signed it- it doesn't get any more set in stone than that I'm afraid.
     
  4. Thanks Chumley for the link and thank you Tyler for the comprehensive answer.
    Right, the rp is only completed once in the country. I haven’t been told that I will need a tourist visa but something along the lines of an entry visa (or I could be imagining them saying that!) To be honest, who I’m dealing with is a very efficient and a lovely person so I’m assuming she’s doing everything as quick as possible.
    What do you think are the next stages after signing the contract? I’m just itching till I have a flight booked as everything just seems surreal at the moment!
    Thanks in advance

     
  5. I think you will be itching much longer than you wish for. I know of colleagues who have worked for the best of them in Qatar and the process does take its course. There is no set limit. Over xmas, I know of the change of Ministey's and all family visa's came to a halt till they shifted offices. Most of it is down to the school, situation you find in terms of how busy immigration are etc... I would summise 4 to anything for the RP to be done. On arrival you will enter on a Tourist Visa. That costs about 20 pounds. You may be able to hire a car for a month (I think) on an international licence. Without and RP you won't be able to get services connected to your home like the internet, landline phone etc. Be prepared for a shift in focus and attitude once out. Things arent as efficient or better in many ways than your used to in the UK. The sunshine, fresh food, laid back society (except for the dangerous, crazy traffic with its loony drivers) does compensate for the frustrations. What will make or break your stay here I feel will be the school environment. Your management in particular and colleagues.Best of luck.
     
  6. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Some wise words from Mr Chips and I do not think that I have much to add, except that getting your RP is the start of a long process, not the end. After you finally get your sweaty little paws on that piece of official plastic, there is the rigmarole of the driving licence, the booze licence and the Qatari medical card.
     
  7. Could anyone confirm if it is worth getting an international driving license? I have read some conflicting advice with some people saying that you can actually use a UK license for longer than is allowed with international? Thanks.
     
  8. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    An international driving licence is a bit of a waste of time. Bring your UK licence and then you can have a temporary Qatari licence and with that you will be able to drive a rented car. When your RP finally comes thorugh, getting a full Qatari licence is not too difficult and then you can buy your own car. The classified adverts on www.qatarliving.com is a good place to look for second-hand cars.
     
  9. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Good advice all around.
    Point of order: You do not have to enter on a tourist visa. Many schools arrange for an entry visa that is the first step towards getting your residence permit. I think this route is slightly better, but either can get you there in the end.
     
  10. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Schools will vary in how soon they book your ticket. I really can't predict what the time frame might be.
    The entry permit will definitely take longer. They have a limited validity period, perhaps as short as a week, so schools can't get them for you until right before you come.
    Ask your school.
     
  11. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I recall buying my visa at the airport in Doha. Make sure you have a credit card handy. It is not very expensive.
     
  12. <font face="Calibri">Thanks gulfgolf and the hippo. I think in my next contact with the school I will ask about the process of the entry permit etc etc. Can I not pay by cash for my visa or is credit card a must to take with me?</font>
     
  13. tyler durden

    tyler durden New commenter

    They do not accept cash at immigration- must be a credit card I'm afraid.
     
  14. Just to be clear, the good schools will not let you enter on a tourist visa. If you are being recruited now, there is ABSOLUTELY no reason why the school should no process a proper working visa that allows you to enter the country and work legally. If you do enter one tourist visa, you will then be working illegally. It used to be the case (3 or 4 years ago) that school brought staff in on tourist visas and then shifted it to a work visa. If your school is proposing to bring you in on a tourist visa, then ask some serious questions as this is not a proper or legal process these days. It's fine for any dependents that might come with you, but not the right way if you are being sponsored.
     
  15. Right, credit card will be to hand!! This week I will be on a mission to find out what the next step is and how soon I could expect to hear from them. Does anyone know if there is a teachers union in Qatar that I could join?
    Thanks

     

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