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UCL-Q Immigration Procedures

These conditions of service are only applicable for those staff employed at UCL Qatar


Requirements

This procedure outlines the Immigration formalities required for those applying to reside and work in the state of Qatar. Immigration processing involves obtaining various documents and is a complicated process which includes several government agencies once in Qatar.

To work and reside in Qatar, a residency permit is required for all employees and their families. The issuance of the residency permit is contingent on the medical clearance process. Immigration laws require that persons seeking residency in Qatar be screened for tuberculosis, HIV, and Hepatitis B and C. Positive results will exclude continued stay in the country; therefore, it is advised that all applicants and family members (over the age of 14) have an examination and ancillary testing within two to four weeks prior to departure.

UCL’s occupational health department have secured a contract with Fleet Street Clinic to undertake this confidential screening. This screening is not obligatory, and further tests will be undertaken in Qatar. The Qatar tests will be the conclusive tests, however you are strongly encouraged to undertake this preliminary screening before relocating. See Health and Wellbeing document for details of accessing this screening and other health related considerations.

PROCEDURE: Prior to Arrival

Visa

Once a provisional job offer is received, subject to visa or other requirements the candidate should forward securely a:

Send a secure scanned version to Nazim Wedatalla, Employee Liaison Officer at  n.wedatalla@ucl.ac.uk.These will be forwarded to the Qatar Foundation (QF) Government Affairs Team contact for UCL who will then process the visa application. Processing time for a permanent visa is approximately 3 – 4 weeks.

On receiving an entry visa, the Government Affairs Team will scan and send a copy of the document to the UCL HR contact to be forwarded to the employee, with confirmation that this aspect of the provisional offer is satisfied. This document must be printed out by the employee and presented to Immigration on arrival at Doha Airport.

Police Clearance

At the same time as submitting your documents for visa entry, you should also undertake a police clearance check from all over UK. The easiest way to obtain this is to request a basic disclosure through Disclosure Scotland - this is a basic level CRB check you can do yourself: http://www.disclosurescotland.co.uk/apply-online/

It is an online application, costs £25 and has a 14 day turnaround. You will be reimbursed this cost through expenses on arrival in Doha.

You can also get this same basic disclosure through any police force in the UK for £10, but in can take up to 40 days in turnaround. You would need to attend your local police station and fill in the relevant forms. Applicants from outside the UK will need to follow processes within their own country for obtaining police clearance. You must ensure your clearance certificate is signed by the body undertaking the checks. Once your signed clearance certificate has been received this must be stamped by the Foreign Office (contact the Finance Division of UCL for details) - in the UK this known as an Apostille, and then authenticated by the nearest Qatari embassy in your home country.

PROCEDURE: Upon Arrival

Upon arrival all new overseas recruits will attend the employee Orientation and will be introduced to the Immigration Team where the new employees will hand over their original passport / 2 passport size photographs/ a copy of Permanent Entry Visa and the Police Clearance Certificate.

The QF Government Affairs Team will arrange all the paperwork and arrange a medical appointment which is normally scheduled 5 working days after receipt of documentation. Medical Clearance release takes approximately 4 working days from the appointment date. The Government Affairs Team will inform the UCL Qatar Campus designate their scheduled dates for attending the two (2) immigration appointments for both medical tests and finger printing.

All employees are required to undergo medical examination, and QF will provide a letter to the physician along with specified medical examination forms, explaining the need for the required tests and a request for a Statement of Fitness. The State of Qatar’s Immigration Services will consider their results official.

Once the medical and finger printing has been successfully completed, the application to stamp the Qatar residence permit in the passport will be made. The whole process takes approximately 3-4 weeks. Employees are required to remain in Qatar until the Residency Permit process is over. Residence Permit holders are not permitted to remain out of Qatar for more than 6 months at one time after which the Residence Permit becomes invalid. Employees are allowed to commence work whilst this process is ongoing.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS. (FAQ’S)

Q1. What do I do if I have an emergency concerning immigration, i.e. getting in
or out of Qatar?

A1. Contact your UCL Qatar Campus designate to receive authorisation to expedite any needed immigration documents (i.e. due to funeral, illness).

Q2. What if I lose my passport outside Qatar?

A2. Contact your UCL Qatar Campus designate and fax / scan a copy of your new passport. The UCL Qatar Campus designate will complete a request form and submit this to QF Immigration to obtain permission for you to re enter Qatar on a new passport. Time required to obtain the above permission is 5 working days. It is important to have a photocopy of each of your documents for backup use.

Q3. What is a Permanent Entry Visa?

A3. A permanent visa is required for people who are coming to work here or for those coming to live as dependents of an employee.

Q4 What is an exit permit?

A4 Every employee under QF sponsorship who wants to travel outside the Country requires an Exit Permit. This is a state document signed by your sponsor stating that they have no objection to your leaving the country.

Q5. What is the process to get one?

A5. Fill out a request form and submit it to your UCL Qatar Campus designate at least 6 days prior to your departure. You need to provide the date of departure/return, the destination and your original passport.

Q6. Is my homeland driver’s license valid in Qatar?

A6. As per the Qatar Traffic Policy, some nationalities can exchange their driving license provided that they get a valid driving license from their home country. You will need a sponsor’s covering letter (in Arabic) from QF, your home country driver’s license plus four photographs. If you wear corrective lenses, you need to have your picture taken with these glasses on. The Traffic Department will require you to take an eye examination. As a part of obtaining your residence permit in Qatar a temporary driving license is issued and can be converted to a full/Permanent license once your residence permit formalities have been completed.

For more details, please visit http://portal.www.gov.qa/wps/portal , you will be directed to a site call "Hukoomi" the new government portal on line. "Hukoomi " is your gateway to the government information and online e-service.