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Community College of Qatar
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Yorks Lad



Joined: 16 Aug 2009
Posts: 93
Location: England

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I'm aware, there are no compounds as we would understand them in Qatar (though Qataris use the word compound to mean a villa with a garden/yard.) Most people live in apartment blocks or houses with mixed nationalities. It's probably not easy to get to know Qataris all that well - given that their lives are so heavily centred on family and religion - but you can easily make friends from all over the world. My friends there included a Nigerian, a Turk, a couple of Indian guys, some Spaniards....

Things don't close down for prayers (except on Friday) though you will hear the call to the mosque. Students may take advantage of prayer time as an excuse to escape class for 20 mins or longer....
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Hemlock32



Joined: 14 Apr 2017
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot Yorks and everyone,

I am going through the hiring process now and I just want to get the lowdown of things before I finally cross the bridge and step onto the plane.

CCQ is asking me for a few things...

They want to give me a contract upon arrival at Doha and not before. This makes me a little skeptical. Ideally, I'd prefer to see what I am signing up for before I arrive. I mean, I'm only a few thousand miles away, and it would be nice to know what I am signing up for before I do. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

Experience certificates. What would you do if you worked for a company over 3 years abroad and you didn't receive a experience certificate? Or, rather, you didn't have something in writing that shows you working for that company?
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helenl



Joined: 04 Jan 2006
Posts: 1198

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One small correction, 90% of the population are expats. There are about 300,000 Qatari nationals.

CCQ should be forwarding a letter of offer which would mirror the actual contract contents. This is not unusual in the GCC. You have to pass your medical and other checks (after you arrive, even though you have done some in your home country) before the contract is given to you for review and signature.

Can't answer your question about the previous employer except giving your permission for CCQ to contact them directly?

HTH
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Yorks Lad



Joined: 16 Aug 2009
Posts: 93
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've found that usually if you write to your previous employer, they're happy to write a letter on headed paper to say you worked there for 3 years or whatever.

As Helen says, signing the contract when you get here is quite common in the Gulf and with a large company like CCQ shouldn't be a problem. You should get to see the contract before you go you're not stepping into the unknown.

I should be there in late August so message me if you do go. I'm just waiting for my company to organise my offer letter. They've already congratulated me on my appointment but haven't sorted the offer out yet.....

YL.
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Hemlock32



Joined: 14 Apr 2017
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks,

Most likely, I will be in Qatar around that time. They told me I need to be in Doha by August 25th.

Here are a few more questions. I know I should do my own homework but maybe you can help me understand better the idea of authenticating and attesting my qualifications.

CCQ has told me this verbatim: "All Education degrees should be authenticated by your University, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Qatar in the country that issued the degrees. Then, in Qatar, you will need to attest them from the Ministry of Foreign affairs in Qatar."

What exactly, does this mean?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11353
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hemlock32 wrote:
They want to give me a contract upon arrival at Doha and not before. Ideally, I'd prefer to see what I am signing up for before I arrive.

As others have stated, this is the norm. You should get a conditional offer/preliminary contract with the essential terms and conditions of your employment. After you land in Qatar, you will sign your actual employment contract on the first day you report to work.

and Hemlock32 wrote:
Experience certificates. What would you do if you worked for a company over 3 years abroad and you didn't receive a experience certificate? Or, rather, you didn't have something in writing that shows you working for that company?

It's on you --- and not the new employer --- to verify prior experience. Experience certificates/employment verification letters confirm your work experience and are mainly used by the new employer to determine pay level. These docs are on the previous employer's letterhead and state your start and end dates. They should bear the person's original signature. I suggest asking your CCQ rep for clarification on what exactly they require.

lastly wrote:
"All Education degrees should be authenticated by your University, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Qatar in the country that issued the degrees. Then, in Qatar, you will need to attest them from the Ministry of Foreign affairs in Qatar."

It would be similar to the process and requirements shown on GU-Qatar's site: https://www.qatar.georgetown.edu/employment/employee-immigration/immigration-documents. The process starts with you contacting your US university registrar and asking about degree authentication for employment in Qatar. There also are visa agencies that can help you with the visa process.

Again, reach out to your CCQ rep if you're unclear what to do.
.
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Hemlock32



Joined: 14 Apr 2017
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nomad,

Thanks a lot. I'm looking over everything as we speak. My last question is regarding police clearance:

Does anyone in the US know which is the fastest and most reliable agency to pay for a background check?

I've been told that www.nationalbackgroundcheck.com is good. Has anyone from the states ever used this?
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nimadecaomei



Joined: 22 Sep 2016
Posts: 430

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It takes about a week or less to get a state background check through California DoJ. I would assume it is similar in other states. I did it from out of country and it took about 2 weeks.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11353
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hemlock32 wrote:
Does anyone in the US know which is the fastest and most reliable agency to pay for a background check?

I've been told that www.nationalbackgroundcheck.com is good. Has anyone from the states ever used this?

Since you're short on time, I suggest you Google authenticate police FBI background Qatar for a service that will also have your document authenticated at the fed level. (Qatar is not a signatory to the Hague Convention; an apostille does not apply to your documents.)
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Hemlock32



Joined: 14 Apr 2017
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, to keep bothering you all, but I really appreciate your feedback. I am still getting resistance from HR at CCQ regarding me seeing a contract before arriving in Doha in August.

For me, if HR is refusing to show me a contract before I arrive over in Doha that is either because they are hiding something from me they don't wish to disclose to me before I arrive there and, after arriving, make me feel pressured into signing a contract without first knowing what the circumstances are, or they want to do some sort of bait and switch kind of thing, which is also suspicious. The only reason HR has told me they can't send me the contract is because they can't send it through email. I am going to suggest fax or a more convenient method. Otherwise, this is really unacceptable. Has anyone been through this? On what grounds can they justify not showing me a contract before I get on the flight? To me, there is absolutely no justification. I am the one flying, moving away, etc.

If you have good advice on this one please let me know. Maybe there is something I am missing, but I think my position is justified. There position, I believe, is not.
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Yorks Lad



Joined: 16 Aug 2009
Posts: 93
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can understand why you're anxious about this. I think it's the norm to at least see the contract before you head off. Have they told you what the offer is (in terms of salary, leave and accommodation)?
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Hemlock32



Joined: 14 Apr 2017
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yorks,

Yes, I have seen those. I was shown those in an "offer." But again, if this isn't backed up by a contract, how do I know if any of it is true?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17604
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I taught in 3 countries over 10+ years in the Gulf and I never saw a contract until after I arrived in country. I was sent the standard "offer letter" which stated the basic stuff... salary, benefits, dates...

I never had any issue with a contract not matching the details in my offer. One key detail is that you are direct hire here. If it were a contractor situation like most of the Saudi jobs, I would worry too.

Pretty much, you accept this process... or if you find it unacceptable, you don't. The reality is that they are not going to change their process for any of us expat teachers.

VS
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Hemlock32



Joined: 14 Apr 2017
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VS,

I'm starting to talk to more people who have done what you have done and I'm starting to make sense of it.

Let me ask you this though. What would happen if you get over there with the standard offer letter, you see the contract and it isn't to your liking and you want to reject it, what happens? Are you gonna be on the hook to pay your way back or will they?

I just want to say, my inclination is to go abroad, as it seems like this is my ticket to economic prosperity. I just want to get the skinny on all of this beforehand so that I know.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11353
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hemlock32 wrote:
For me, if HR is refusing to show me a contract before I arrive over in Doha that is either because they are hiding something from me they don't wish to disclose to me before I arrive there and, after arriving, make me feel pressured into signing a contract without first knowing what the circumstances are, or they want to do some sort of bait and switch kind of thing, which is also suspicious.
....
What would happen if you get over there with the standard offer letter, you see the contract and it isn't to your liking and you want to reject it, what happens? Are you gonna be on the hook to pay your way back or will they?

Like you, VS, and many others, I received an email from my (Saudi) employer stating my conditional offer. I signed my actual contract when I reported to my first day of work.

You haven't stated what terms and conditions in your CCQ contract you expect to be dissatisfied with. They're not likely to cheat you.
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