The ultimate guide to leaving Qatar for good!
Leaving Qatar for good can seem daunting even with time to plan for the big move; however, many people have had to leave Qatar on very short notice since the pandemic. Gathering from experiences of expats who have left, it would take about 9 to 12 weeks if you had to do it fast. Therefore, I am sharing the ultimate checklist for leaving Qatar to help with your seamless departure.
Credit Cards & Debts
Cancel any credit cards, clear loans and overdrafts with your bank. It takes 45 days for credit cards to be canceled, so ensure that you give some time to complete all the paperwork. Do not forget to request a Bank clearance letter for your employer. Leave a forwarding address for any future correspondence.
Cancel your Residency
RPs are canceled online or through Metrash2. This is mainly done by the company you work for unless you are a resident who holds a Qatari Smart ID card. The process is very straightforward. Once canceled, you will have 90 days to leave Qatar.
End of Service payment
In Qatar, Expats are entitled to end of service payment, depending on the number of years worked for the company. Therefore, do not forget to request your gratuity payout statement and pay from your employer.
Bank account closure
Once you have canceled your credit cards, cleared your debts, and received all your last dues. Close any bank accounts if you no longer need them. There is a limit to how much cash you can take with you. So keep some money and transfer the rest back home to ease your transition. There are also limits on how much money you can transfer abroad, so ensure you ask for details at your bank in good time.
Police Clearance Certificate
The Qatar Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) is issued by the Qatar Criminal Evidences and Information Department (CEID) branch of the Ministry of Interior (MOI). It is a useful document to take with you as it may be required by the country you are moving to. However, you can also process it after you leave through agents. The process is straightforward. Apply for it on Metrash2, once approved. Then, go to the CEID offices on Salwa Road with your QID and collect it.
The standard procedure for medical insurance cover is to return the insurance card to your employer or the insurance company before leaving Qatar.
Settle utility and telecommunications bills
Settle outstanding phone/internet bills and arrange for disconnection of service to avoid penalties. If you want to do it in advance, you can then move to prepaid services to continue using your phone number, for example. Ensure that you receive a clearance certificate from your provider. Again, it's advised to do this as early as possible to make your exit a lot smoother and hassle-free.
Furniture, assets - sell or ship.
If you've been in Qatar for many years, you may have accumulated many possessions, including cars. Think about what you will take home, what you can sell, what you will donate, and how to dispose of the rest. Transporting goods back home will require some research and finding the right cargo company. Make sure you get several quotes to compare the value.
The easiest way to convert your goods to cash is to use an online marketplace. Think about how much you must sell and how long you have to do it. Listing your items in multiple forums will give your items more exposure.
Consider donating good-quality stuff to a registered charity if you have items that you can't sell or relocate with. Don't give broken or flawed things as gifts.
End tenancy agreement
As soon as you decide to leave Qatar for good, find out how much notice is required to terminate your tenancy. Tell your landlord so that you can work out the best terms to end the lease. Most landlords require at least one month's advance notice. Sometimes, finding someone to take over your remaining term is also an excellent option to consider. As long as you leave the premises in good condition, things should be straightforward. If you have issues with your lease agreement, you may check the Ministry of Municipality and Environment for further information.
School leaving certificate
For your school-going children, the parent needs to request for the student's withdrawal packet; this includes the school leaving certificate and transcripts. To get these documents, you must ensure that you clear all outstanding school fees.
It's essential to acquire the student leaving certificate for your children to prove the years of study in Qatar. Ensure this certificate is verified and attested before you go.
For students/pupils leaving the State of Qatar, it's important to be aware that you may require the leaving certificate to be attested by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Ministry of Foreign affairs also The Consulate or Embassy of the country your child will continue education.
House help job change
To help your maid transfer to another sponsor if she wishes, you will need to provide her with a NOC (No Objection Certificate). Also, you will need to give her your QID for the new sponsor to process the transfer. The easiest method is to recommend her to friends or use one of the many Facebook groups to get a new sponsor.
International driving license
Since you won't be able to get a driver's license in your new destination right away, it's a good idea to get an international driver's license while you're still in Qatar and have an RP and a valid driving license. You can get one from the Qatar Automobile and Touring Club. Phone: 44413265/ 44415718. An international driving license is usually valid for six months; this will help you drive rental cars when you move to a new country.
If you or a family member takes prescription medication regularly, talk to your doctor about stockpiling it. So that when you move to your new location, you won't have to worry about running out of it, at least until you can see a doctor in your new country and get a prescription. Another thing to keep in mind is to put your prescription medications in your carry-on luggage. Do not forget to carry the prescription as well.
Ensure your pet vaccinations are up to date; prepare export paperwork as travel regulations require you to have all relevant papers for your pet which must be ready before traveling.