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Recommended vaccinations

To obtain a job and get a residency permit in Qatar, it is necessary to pass a health check which includes tests for HIV, a chest x-ray and blood work.

Some vaccines are required, and at a minimum you will be expected to have received immunisation for Hepatitis A and tetanus. Failing any of these tests may either result in a withdrawal of a job offer, further testing, or if you are already in the country, deportation.

It is sensible to get any standard vaccines from your local health care provider before you arrive in Qatar, for peace of mind. Parents should have their children immunised against all common childhood illnesses and bring their immunisation records with them. It’s easy to forget which vaccines they’ve had, or need, when you have no familiar reference points or schedules to rely on. Having your records means these can be passed to your new doctor in Qatar for their files. Polio, hepatitis B, diphtheria, rabies, and typhoid immunisations may also be required — so always check for updates before travelling.

Restricted prescription medication

Visitors should be aware that the criminal penalties are high for the importation of any illegal drugs into Qatar. Illegal drugs are not only the usual Class A street drugs, but include medications other countries consider restricted but available on prescription. Drugs such as diazepam (Valium), anti-depressants (Prozac and the like), and anything containing codeine, all fall into this category. These laws apply to those in transit or stopping in Qatar. The airports have excellent technology and security with which to detect even tiny amounts of a drug.

It’s recommended that any person travelling into Qatar with prescription medication takes a copy of their prescription with them, and keep it with their medicine at all times. It’s best to announce to customs officers that you have prescription medication with you on arrival. Flouting the laws around illegal substances is not a risk worth taking as the penalties can be severe.

To check you meet all the vaccination requirements for your residency visa, speak to us before you travel. You may decide that immunisations, like tetanus, should be done by your local health care provider before you leave, rather than waiting until they’re needed in an emergency in a foreign country. We can also advise where you can continue with children’s immunisation schedules after arrival in Qatar, and which hospitals are familiar with your home country’s vaccination programme.

It is always a good idea to keep up to date with the latest travel advice from your home country, when you are considering a move abroad. For example, for UK citizens, more information is available at Fit for Travel, and for those from the U.S., check out the governmental website here.

Your health care requirements will change with the amount of time you spend overseas and the growth of your family. We’ll ensure you have what you need, when you need it, with no unpleasant surprises along the way.

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