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New Student Arrival

Arrival to Qatar

Once you share your travel plans with the International Education Office, you will receive information about transport options from the airport to your housing. You will also receive a detailed booklet on Qatar, important places, how to get around Qatar, cultural expectations, important numbers, and other useful information.

Student Visa and Resident Permit

As an international student, VCUarts Qatar will arrange for your entry visa to Qatar and your Resident Permit. You cannot enter Qatar on a visitor visa in order to study. You will need to provide your passport copy (with at least 6 month validity), along with the passport photo to get started with the visa process when requested by the International Education Office. The visa will be emailed to you prior to your traveling to Qatar.

  1. Once you have received your visa and entry permit, you can book your ticket. Please do not book your travel until we have notified you that your visas and entry permits have arrived.
  2. After you have booked your ticket, share your travel details with the International Education Office.
Getting your Residency Permit (RP):

After you arrive in Qatar, we will begin the process of obtaining a residency permit (RP). The RP allows you to stay in Qatar for more than 30 days and facilitates other processes, such as getting a National Health Card, a driver’s license, etc. The process includes:

  1. Submission of the necessary documents and photos to the International Education Office. 
  2. The Immigration Manager at VCUarts Qatar will arrange an appointment for fingerprinting and medical. 
  3. Processing: The process of getting a residency permit takes approximately 4-6 weeks. You will not be able to leave Qatar until your RP process is complete, unless there is an emergency. Please do not plan to travel for at least one month after your arrival.
  4. Getting Medical Clearance: To study and reside in Qatar, immigration laws require that individuals seeking residency be screened and test negative for HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and Tuberculosis. The issuance of the residency permit is contingent on passing the medical clearance process. We strongly recommend having these tests done in your home country prior to your arrival to Qatar. Positive findings may result in immediate repatriation from the country.
Obtaining a SIM card:

It is easy to buy a SIM card with a Qatar number in Doha. You can add time by buying ‘top-up’ cards or a monthly plan. The two main vendors are Ooredoo and Vodafone. Please review their Qatar websites before your arrival so you can get connected quickly. Both Ooredoo and Vodafone have dedicated kiosks in the Arrivals Hall at Hamad International Airport and in major shopping malls.

International Student Housing:

On-campus housing is available for students. Separate housing is also available and entails modern residential halls purpose-built to cultivate a supportive living environment that is designed to satisfy student needs. 

International students can apply for housing if they are interested. To apply and learn more about student housing, please email – [email protected]

More information about student housing can be found here – www.qf.org.qa/education/student-housing.