Wednesday 25th August 2010

Work visa Dubai: medical screening requirements to change

Work visa Dubai requirements are changing according to reports in the region. Expats in Dubai were told this week that health check requirements will be relaxed and medical screening for Hepatitis B and C will no longer constitute a condition of being granted a work visa.

Authorities in Dubai have issued a statement this week that reveals plans to remove Hepatitis B and C from their list of diseases that constitute automatic rejection of work visa applications. The move, which is believed to be a significant part of Dubai authorities’ attempts to overhaul expat medical laws and cover gaps in the existing system: “Tests for Hepatitis B will only apply to six specified professions. The government will scrap all mandatory testing for Hepatitis C,” a Ministry of Health press release stated.

Speaking to the media in Dubai, the Health Ministry Executive Director, Dr Mahmoud Fikri revealed that the work visa requirements for Dubai had been agreed after seeking the professional opinion of expat health consultants in the region:

"Members from the Dubai Health Authority, Health Authority-Abu Dhabi and the Ministry of Health were involved in the technical committee," he said.

The six categories of workers who will be exempt from the new laws and will still require full testing for Hepatitis B and C are as follows:

Work visa Dubai: Mandatory-testing categories of employment

  1. Nannies
  2. Housemaids
  3. Nursery and KG supervisors
  4. Beauticians and barbers
  5. Health club workers
  6. Food handlers

Any workers who are found to have developed either of the blood diseases will no longer be deported but will be provided with treatment as opposed to being automatically deported as they have in the past. They will be provided with three doses of vaccinations, the first of which will be charged at Dh 50 with the remaining two being free of charge. Those undergoing vaccination will be required to show proof that they have taken the vaccinations prescribed.

Dr Mahmoud Fikri told the media that the new rules are to protect both the people and the society by making the UAE a disease-free place to live.

While the planned implementation date for the new medical test rules has yet to be announced, it is anticipated that the news rules will be implemented in a speedy fashion.

The Ministry of Health press release also stated that female expats applying for work visas in Dubai might face a mandatory pregnancy test depending upon the category of work within which they are employed. Women workers, specially maids, nannies and drivers, will be asked to undergo a pregnancy test and any workers found to be pregnant may be deported if their sponsor is unprepared to support their pregnancy in Dubai.

Mandatory testing for HIV and AIDS will remain in place and any expatriates who test positive for either of these viruses will be immediately deported.

It is believed that the existing fee structure for medical testing of expatriates in the region will remain the same.

If you’re considering living in Dubai then be sure to see our international relocation guide to Dubai. It contains full details of all visa rules and regulations and provides step by step instructions for securing a work visa that meets your needs, together with full contact details and hints and tips for making your application procedure as smooth as possible.

Read the full article: http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/health/rules-relaxed-on-workers-health-checks

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