Your guide to everything you need to know before you leave Qatar
19 August 2020| Last updated on 20 August 2020
Don't leave Qatar without doing these important things
Thinking of moving from the country for good? Leaving Qatar isn't as simple as leaving a hotel room, as you cannot just pack up all your things and go.
Relocating from Qatar as an expat will require you to settle your documents, bills, and more or it may lead to you getting stopped at the airport or even arrested. Try to give yourself a good few months to get all your affairs in order before you jet off from Qatar.
Don't be tempted to skip these steps, you might want to print this checklist to leaving Qatar stress-free. Before moving away from the country, ask yourself these important questions...
1. Is your Qatar residence permit cancelled/expired?
If your residence permit hasn't expired yet, you can cancel it online or through Metrash2.
How to cancel my Qatar residence permit
Here is the step-by-step process to cancelling your residence permit:
- Login to the Ministry of Interior's e-service portal, here, using your Qatari Smart ID Card. You can also login on Metrash2
- Select "Residency Services" and then click "Cancel Residency"
- Enter the number of the residence permit you wish to cancel
- Pay the online fees (personal sponsorship will be QR 20 / company sponsorship will be QR 50)
- Print and keep your receipt
Once your residence permit has expired or cancelled, you have 90 days to leave Qatar.
2. Do you need to pay off any outstanding debt?
Don't forget to pay off any debts or loans you took out in Qatar. Trying to leave the country without paying off your loans will result in you getting.
Be sure to double check if you have any due payments for your bank loans, credit cards, car loans, etc.
In addition, employers and sponsors in Qatar will not give you your end-of-service payment until you've completely paid off your loans in the country. Once you clear your debts, you will receive a signed and stamped letter which you must present to your employer/sponsor so you can receive your gratuity amount.
3. Did you get your end-of-service benefits?
Once you're in the clear for your debts and loans, and you have worked at company for over one year in Qatar, you are entitled to a gratuity amount. This end-of-service payment is an employer's way of thanking staff for their service to the company.
Your gratuity will be based on your basic pay and the amount of time you spent with the company in Qatar. You are also entitled to other end-of-service benefits that were stated in your employment contract, so long as the requirements (if any) were fulfilled.
4. Do you need an exit permit to leave Qatar?
If you arrived in Qatar as an expat under the Qatar Labour Law, you don't need an exit permit before leaving the country.
However, an employee may require an exit permit before flying out, due to the field of the work. For example, a staff member in the Finance department will require an exit permit prior to leaving Qatar.
5. Did you pay off all your bills?
It's important to pay off any pending phone bills, internet bills, electricity bills, water bills, etc.
Once done, you must be sure to disconnect all your monthly services before you leave, this way you can receive a Clearance Certificate and get a refund on deposits.
6. Have you closed your bank accounts in Qatar?
Following clearance of loans/debts in Qatar, you must close all of your bank accounts in Qatar. You should also request for a bank clearance letter to give to your Qatar employer.
We suggest closing your bank accounts and credit cards a little over a month before your last paycheck. Any later than that and the bank may freeze your accounts.
7. Have you returned your Qatar medical insurance card?
Before leaving Qatar for good, you are required to return your medical insurance card to either your employer/sponsor or to the insurance company.
8. Are you ready to leave your home?
Notify your landlord
As early as possible, you must inform your landlord that you will be leaving Qatar. Be sure to try and leave your house or apartment in the same condition it was in when you first arrived, as landlords will typically charge you for any damages they may spot.
Get rid of unwanted belongings
You may also have a lot of accumulated items in Qatar that you don't need to take with you. If you want to get rid any unwanted belongings, such as furniture, electronics, etc., you can place a FREE ad on our ExpatWoman classifieds.
Alternatively, you can visit our Facebook page in Qatar to see if someone may be interested.
9. Will you sell or ship your car?
Selling your car in Qatar
There are several ways to sell a car in Qatar. One, you can bring the car back to the dealer who sold the vehicle to you.
You can also sell your car to used car dealers in the country. This is a faster option but you will typically receive a lesser amount.
Alternatively, you sell your car through classifieds in Qatar or online groups. Usually, this will take more time, however, you have more control over the amount you receive for your car.
In case you're unable to sell your car before your expected travel date, you must transfer ownership to someone else so they can sell the car on your behalf and transfer the payment to you.
Shipping your car from Qatar
If you hope to ship to your car to your new location, you will need a list of documents beforehand and find a car shipping company in Qatar. These are the documents you will need:
- Passport copy
- Qatar ID copy
- Driver's licence
- Original car registration
- Car export certificate (this is issued by the Traffic Department)
- Certificate of Origin from the Qatar Chamber
There's a good number of car shipping companies and relocation services in Qatar. Ask around for their quotes and pick the most suitable option for you.
10. Did you request for a School Leaving certificate?
If you have children with you who are enrolled in a school in Qatar, don't skip out on acquiring a School Leaving certificate for each student. They will need this document when enrolling in a new school.
Most schools in Qatar will require a notice in advance, so try to request for the certificate at least 30-45 days before your intended travel date. You might also want to check if your child has any library books that needs to be returned, outstanding payments, fees, etc.
11. Will you be able to drive immediately in your new destination?
On the chance that you won't be able to immediately get a driver's license in your new destination, we suggest you get an international driver's licence while in Qatar. This licence has a six month validity and enables you to drive rented cars in other countries.
You will typically need the following documents:
- Valid Qatar driver's licence
- 2 passport-sized photos
- Valid passport
12. Will your pet be joining you?
If you are a pet owner, then you know how unbearable it can be to consider moving overseas without your furry friend. You will need the following documents so you can import your pet:
- Veterinary health certificate (can be received from the Ministry of Municipality and Environment)
- Pet passport
- Export certificates
- Valid rabies vaccination certificate
The requirements for pet travel may vary per country, so be sure to look into the requirements of your destination country so you will be prepared. EU countries will ask for additional documents. The processing time may also differ depending on the country.