Detailed Information on Relocating, Travelling with Pets to India

rawsinc1
By rawsinc1

Hi All,

We recently relocated our two pet cats from Qatar to India (Delhi airport of arrival). It was a difficult experience and we had to run around to gather information. Thus I am posting here so others don't have to go through the uncertainity we went through. 

Dog owners can also follow a similar process. 

We have 2 cats (both almost 22 months during relocation), and we moved them to India in early July, 2023. Please look at the following steps - 

 

Documentation Process

  1. Keep your vaccinations UpToDate. For both years the cat should have atleast one each of Rabies and other standard flu vaccinations (ask your vet). All vaccinations should be update and there should be no gap. Always maintain a vaccination passport /booklet / card (whatever you call it) for your pet with all vaccination history on it - with vet signatures. 
  2. There should be atleast 2 Rabies shots in the history of the Pet, and the most recent Rabies shot should have been given atleast a month before travel. Delhi airport is more stricter regarding Rabies vaccinations (atleast 2 shots in pet history), than the Mumbai one. Blood test is not required for India. 
  3. Microchip your pets, from your Veterinarian. It is mandatory for any kind of travel. Keep the microchip stickers of bar code carefully. 
  4. In India get an agent who can help you get an import permit from the government. I would not recommend my agent, as our experience was not good. However, please remember the agents role is providing you the right documentation to fill, give you guidance and file the import permit application in India for you. Don't pay a lot - as the Qatar part you will have to do yourself. 
  5. Go to Veterinarian 10-13 days before travelling and get the "Veterinarian Health and Rabies Certificate" and his/her approval on the Annexure 2.1.1 form (Indian Government form for Vet health certificate for Import - ask your agent for this). 
  6. If your agent gives you Annexure 1.1 – just an FYI, that it is really not required anywhere. So don’t worry about it.
  7. You will have to fill the AQCS declaration form for for the pets, provided by the agent for the Indian goverment. 
  8. For the above - We visited the Pets Care Veterinary Center in Al Hilal West. Consult Doc. Ron - she knows everything about the process, online filings, etc. Highly recommend her (we are not endorsing her). 
  9. Now go online and make your account in the Ministry of Municipality & Environment (MME) website (mme.gov.qa) -  E-services – click on Issuing veterinary health certificates and import permits - Apply for Services - enter your mobile and QID # and enter the page  - click on Veterinary Health Certificates for Dogs and Cats Export - Enter your pet details, and upload the "Veterinarian Health and Rabies Certificate" your vet gave and the scans of the vaccination passport/ booklet of the pets. 
  10. After applying online, within a day you will get a message to pay a fee for the certificate. Pay it online and after that, from the same page you uploaded the documents, you can download the approved certificate within 1-2 days. The digital certificate is - Veterinary Health Certificate for Dogs and Cats Export. Check if the information is correct in it and print it out. 
  11. In the morning go to the MME Animal Resources Department, Qatar behind Qatar National Museum (Check on GPS) with all documents -  vaccination certificate,  Veterinary Health Certificate for Dogs and Cats Export, Veterinarian Health and Rabies Certificate and the Annexure 2.1.1. The concerned authority there will sign off the Annexure 2.1.1 and then your task is done in Qatar. Go prepared with the documents, as the people there itself do not know the whole process.
  12. Mail the approved Annexure 2.1.1 to your agent and they will file for an Import permit from the Indian government. This will take 4 business days, if there are no queries form the government or else it can take almost a week. You have to ask your agent to get it done by using their contacts (Agree upon this with your agent before engaging with them, that they will help with this approval). 
  13. Your agent will mail you the copy of the Import Letter. Print it out and keep all documents handy for travel. 
  14. The Import Letter is valid for 10 days – so just in case you miss you flight you can reschedule.  

  

Qatar Airways 

  1. You need to have flight tickets booked, atleast 3/4 weeks before the travel date. WE used QR, business class, so we faced less hassle at the airport. Economy should also be fine. For other airlines you will have to call them and enquire. 
  2. Go to Qatar Air (QR) website and on your booking put a request for carrying the Pets - you will have to enter all details of pets and their Carriers. No payment is required at this moment. It is only for the QR Cargo team to check if their planes can carry the pets, and if they have a manageable number of pets travelling. Pets will go in check-in luggage and not cabin - QR does not allow that (allowed only for falcons and service dogs). 
  3. Kindly note, you can carry upto 2 pets in one carrier - so mention that above accordingly. But these 2 pets should be either of same breed / siblings / co-habited. Overall the wt. of each pet should be under 32 Kgs, or else there would be different arrangements - check with QR. 
  4. Call QR if no response is received. Ideally you should get a Yes a week before travelling. You do not want them to say no in the end, when all your documentation is done. 
  5. QR will charge you per carrier - so two pets in one carrier will only be USD 200 (one carrier price). Please, please make sure you get a bigger carrier - in which the two pets can standup and turnaround freely if they want. Its a long trip, and your pet would be scared, please think about their comfort. You can keep water and food inside. There are no standard dimensions from QR for carriers, so you can chose what you want. I saw a Pilipino lady carrying her two small dogs in one giant carrier - with food and water - I think she did it very well for them - do the same.  
  6. On the day of travel, just keep the pets in carrier and directly go to the airport. QR will direct you to the desk which handles pet travel. Come atleast 4+ hrs before. Generally there is only one desk and it takes atleast 45 mins for each case, in case there are other travelers with pets too. 

 

Upon landing in India

  1. The Airline should provide you a representative in the landing airport, who will scan the microchip of pets with a machine and show it to the concerned customs. 
  2. The customs will mostly look at the import permit and the microchip details and that’s it - very less hassle. 
  3. No need to go to government office to get original import letter. It anyways expires in 10 days.
  4. You and your beloved pets should be good to go. make sure you talk to them and touch them when u see them to help them relax. 

I hope this is helpful and you do not have to run from pillar to post, like us to understand what to do. 

If you have any queries, please post here. 

 

Regards

Ankit R.

By jessica_36• 17 Dec 2023 17:11
jessica_36

Also it is possible to do it without an agent?

By jessica_36• 17 Dec 2023 17:08
jessica_36

Hello! This was very helpful. Can you share how much the whole thing came around to cost wise and how to find an agent in India?

By rawsinc1• 13 Jul 2023 12:09
rawsinc1

Hope it helps

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