Check with the recruiting agent the exact terms of the contract - especially about the duration of contract, salary, working hours, and other benefits like housing, food, vacation, tickets for annual leave, responsibility for payment of Iqama etc. charges, the place where you are supposed to work and the living conditions, accident/disability insurance, end-of-service benefits etc.
If the contract is in Arabic you should have it translated into English and also understand the contents of the contract before signing it.
If the contract is an "initial contract", then you must ask for the "final contract" and sign that before leaving India. You should not sign any other contract after the ”final contract”.
2. Sponsor / Employer
Check with your agent the exact details (name, address, tel./ fax nos) of your Qatari sponsor / employer (known as KAFIL) - whether it is a person or a company, and the person who is supposed to supervise your work. Get the telephone number of this person and talk to him before leaving India. Ask him or the agent about who is going to receive you at the airport, how will you be transported to your residence or work place, etc. If you are not familiar with Arabic and English and if this employer knows only Arabic or English, then you should ask someone else you trust, who knows Arabic / English, to talk to the employer over the telephone from India in your presence to get all the details and finalise your programme accordingly.
Knowledge of English & Arabic is very useful and it would be good if you could pick up some basic Arabic before coming to Qatar.
While having your passport made either through the agent or directly, you must furnish your correct particulars and correct address. This is also important in the case of any tragedy which (God forbid) may occur. You must always truthfully record all your particulars. When you get your passport, please check that all your particulars are recorded properly and if there is any mistake you should have it corrected. Do not travel on a passport, which contains inaccurate information about you.
Before leaving India, check whether your visa is an appropriate one. The visa may have endorsements in Arabic. If you are unable to understand the endorsement - please ask a trusted person who can read Arabic, to translate. Do not rely entirely on what the recruiting agent tells you.
6. Working Conditions
Before coming to Qatar you must talk to trusted people who are either working in Qatar or have been to Qatar in the recent past to know about the living conditions and working conditions in Qatar. You must be thoroughly acquainted with all this and you must not come here only on the basis of what your recruiting agent tells you. Do not come to Qatar with pre-conceived notions and be prepared to leave if and when things do not turn out the way you had imagined or wanted it to be.
7. Minimum Wages
Click here to open Minimum Wages File* (As per current webpage), for different categories of jobs.
8. Photocopies / Photographs
Photocopies of your passport and the contract that you have signed should be available with you in adequate numbers, stored in different places and not all of them together.
You must also leave a set of the photocopies of your passport and contract with full address / telephone & Fax number of your sponsor with your family in India, so that in time of need you may be able to get the same easily
Carry at least 20 of your recent passport size photos with you.
9. Air Ticket
When you get your air ticket to Qatar, you must check when you are going to land and how you are going to be transported from the airport to the place where you are to go.
10. Air Travel
You must ask a knowledgeable person about travelling in an airplane - how to use seat belts; how to use the toilets in the aircraft and other details relating to flying etiquette.
You must also be aware of how much luggage you can carry and what type of luggage is to be carried in hand and of what specifications.
All your luggage should be properly marked with your name & address in Qatar.
11. Drug Trafficking
Carrying drugs and other narcotic substances and prohibited medicines entails very harsh sentences in Qatar. You must be extremely careful not to accept any gift or packet or any item from anyone, not even from close relatives or agents, while coming to Qatar. The baggage that you have both checked in baggage and hand baggage, should not have any open pockets on the outside in which packets can be pushed in by anyone. You will be held responsible for anything illegal found in your baggage. Please remember that it could land you in prison in Qatar.
If you are under medication and you are carrying certain prescribed medicines, you must have the doctor's prescription in original and the medicines should be carried along with its original packing and literature so that custom authorities can easily identify them. Carrying medicines without the prescription or carrying large quantities of disallowed medicines can land you in prison in Qatar.
13. Other Banned Items
You must know that religious literature, liquor, obscene video cassettes and other obscene literature are banned in Qatar and you are liable for punishment if detected carrying them. Get to know the exact rules of customs from your agent especially about prohibited articles. Otherwise, you could be fined or imprisoned, or both.
14. Recruiting Agent's Fees
In many cases, recruiting agents are said to be charging exorbitant amount of fees from the workers. The company or person recruiting you would in any case be paying a substantial amount to the agent. If at all any amount is to be paid to the agent it should be as per the rates prescribed by the Protector General of Emigrants (PGE), Govt. of India, and you should not be asked to take a loan, sell land or pawn your property / jewellery to pay the agent. Do not get carried away by the green pastures that the recruiting agents show to prospective candidates coming to Qatar. Please be careful while befriending anyone on your way to Qatar. You may be cheated and put into serious trouble by such people.
You must be aware of how to use telephones at the airports. In case you are stranded at the airport or any other place you should be able to ring up your employer or the person who is in-charge, with whom you should have already talked from India, and inform him about your situation.
16. No Contract on Arrival
Do not sign another contract on arrival in Qatar, especially if the terms and conditions are unfavourable compared to what you signed in India or if it is in a language that you do not understand. If you are coerced, please bring it to the notice of the Embassy.
17. Identity Documents
While in Qatar, always carry either your passport (which should have a valid visa) or in lieu of the passport, a valid residential permit called 'Iqama'.
In no case you should part with your Iqama or give it to anyone else. It is your basic identity document without which you may be arrested and deported.
While leaving Qatar on leave etc., you need to have an 'Exit / Re-entry Visa' stamp on your passport and a permission letter from your sponsor.
18. Labour Complaints
In case of labour complaints, kindly approach the Indian Embassy for help. The person who is employing you is called the "Kafeel" (sponsor) and your basic relation is with your sponsor.
If you are shifting sponsors, it is important to know that such a transfer is illegal without a valid permission.
If you run away from work and take another job, that is also illegal and action can be taken against you.
In case you find that your current job is not suitable, you should have the financial means to travel back to India.
Ladies who are coming to Qatar to work as house workers, beauticians, nurses, teachers, etc., should be very careful about the place where they are supposed to work and the conditions of their employment, especially if they are coming alone. In case of any trouble, please contact the Embassy.
Kindly note that in Qatar, road traffic moves on the right side (as against left side in India) of the road. It takes some time to get used to it. The number of deaths due to traffic accidents in Qatar is high. Pedestrians and bicycle riders have to be particularly cautious while on roads.
21. Vehicle Insurance
Please note that the administration of justice in Qatar is carried out in line with the Islamic Shariat Laws. Accordingly, a person held responsible for causing damage / injury / death in a traffic accident is liable to pay compensation. It is, therefore, advisable to have comprehensive insurance for yourself and your vehicle.
22. Agricultural Farm Workers / Shepherds
Such categories of workers are not covered under the Qatari Labour Law. The living conditions for them are severe since they have to live in remote farms and work in deserts. The wages for farm workers / shepherds are low. Please do not accept visas in this category unless you are prepared to work in such conditions. If you are asked to do this job although your visa is for another category, please get in touch with the Embassy.
23. Register with the Embassy
Once you arrive in Qatar, it is always desirable to register with the lndian Embassy in Doha, so that in case of need or when you are in distress, the Mission officials are able to help you.
The relevant link is https://indianembassyqatar.gov.in/indian_national_reg
FAQ - Dos and Don’ts for Foreign Travel
Q: I plan to travel abroad. What are the precautions I should I take?
A: Before/during foreign travel, we suggest that you:
Familiarize yourself with the countries you are visiting.
Check the latest travel advisories of MEA and follow them.
Take personal responsibility for your travel choices, your safety, finances and behaviour overseas, including obeying the laws of the country you are visiting.
Make sure you have the right visas for the countries you are visiting or transiting and check any other entry or exit requirements.
Organize your finances to cover your planned travel.
Obey the laws of the country you're visiting (even if these appear harsh by Indian standards). Don't expect to be treated differently from the locals.
Take appropriate travel and comprehensive medical insurance that covers you for any unexpected costs; make sure you have sought medical advice for health concerns, have up to date vaccinations. If you're carrying pharmaceutical products or medicines from India, make sure they are allowed in the country you are visiting.
Protect your passport and report it promptly if it is lost, stolen or damaged.
Make sure your passport is valid (with at least six months validity from your planned date of return to India) and will not expire when you are overseas.
Carry extra passport photos in case your passport is lost or stolen and you need to replace it while you're abroad.
Make copies of your passport (including visa pages), insurance policy, traveller’s cheques, visas and credit card numbers. Carry one copy in a separate place away from the originals and also leave a copy with someone at home.
Keep in contact with friends and family back home and leave a copy of your insurance policy details and your overseas itinerary with them.
In case your stay in a foreign country is for a reasonable length of time, register with the local Indian Embassy/Consulate before leaving India or soon after arrival, to get better access to consular assistance and updates. (Students can register on the Students’ Module of MADAD)
Treat consular staff with respect and be honest in providing the Embassy/Consulate with all relevant information when seeking our assistance.
If you get arrested or detained for some reason, insist on Consular access (under the Vienna Convention) to a representative from the nearest Indian Embassy/Consulate.
Note: Please do not carry packets in your hand baggage or your checked-in baggage, if these were given to you by your agent or someone else, if you do not know the contents of such packets. If in doubt, please have them specifically scanned by CISF staff at the departure security checkpoint.