UAE changes medical testing system for expats coming to work and reside

Salam Abu Shehab, Staff reporter

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, issued 9 Cabinet Decisions, including amending certain provisions of Cabinet Resolution No. 7 for 2008 regarding the system medical test for expatriates coming to work or residence. The decisions were published in the latest edition of the Official Journal.

With regard to the health aptitude test, Resolution No. 75 for 2022 amends certain provisions of Cabinet Resolution No. 7 for 2008 concerning the medical test for expatriates coming for work or residence.

The decision obliges expatriates coming for work or residence to have medical tests decided beforehand. The conditions for issuing or renewing the residence permit depend on the type of infection and the category of people tested.

These tests include: The AIDS test, which is carried out for all categories of arrivals in the UAE for residency upon issuance of residency for the first time or upon renewal. Residency is not issued or renewed for positive cases.

By decision of the Minister or the head of the health authority, depending on the circumstances, it is permissible to exempt certain cases from the health fitness test, as appropriate.

Viral hepatitis is also tested for those coming to the country to work for the first time and when renewing residency.

This is done for five categories: babysitters, servants, supervisors of nurseries and kindergartens, workers in hairdressing salons and health clubs, and workers in health facilities.

The stay is only issued or renewed for positive cases if the purpose of the stay visa is changed within a period not exceeding 30 days from the date of notification of the test result. Three doses of vaccine are given to all negative cases of new arrivals in the above categories.

Regarding the pulmonary tuberculosis test, it is limited only to all newcomers. Cases found to be elderly or active are considered unfit for health and residency is not issued.

The tuberculosis test must be done by all residents when renewing their residency, and if it is proven that they have old or active tuberculosis, the person is considered healthy, provided that they are followed by the preventive medicine services. He is then given a certificate of health aptitude on which appears the mention “subject to care”, according to which he is granted a residence permit for only one year, provided that it is followed during the ‘year.

If the patient does not adhere to the treatment, he is considered unfit and the authorities concerned are notified and his stay is not renewed.

Any member of the diplomatic and consular corps is exempted from the condition of fitness for health for an old and progressive tuberculosis disease, when the first residence permit is issued and considered to be healthy.

The exception is made on the recommendation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation or his authorized representative.

Relatives of the residing expatriate, husband, wife, children who are sponsored by him, or those studying inside the UAE and on the sponsorship of the educational institution and parents who are on his sponsorship.

Large investors are also excluded based on the approval of the competent health authority and on the recommendation of the competent economic authority of the relevant emirate, in addition to other categories determined by a competent committee.

With regard to the pregnancy test, domestic workers must undergo it before issuing a health certificate, free of diseases, and in the event that the pregnancy is confirmed, the employer has the possibility of authorizing or not the woman to work, after acknowledging the result of the test in writing.

A leprosy test must also be carried out for new arrivals and when renewing residency. Residency is not issued or renewed for positive cases for all groups.

As for the syphilis test, it is limited to the five categories mentioned above, whether for new arrivals to reside or during a renewal, provided that the necessary care is provided to positive cases before giving them a certificate of sanitary fitness.

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