Expats have to pay for Health Card while renewing Visa

Expatriates renewing their residence visas in Dubai will have to shell out an extra Dh300 for the health card that is now compulsory.

Asma Ali Zain of Khaleej Times reports that according to this new rule, implemented from December 1, 2008, residents now have to pay a total of Dh550 instead of the Dh250 charged for the medical fitness test earlier.

Before a residence visa is stamped/renewed, applicants have to undergo screening for diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B & C, tuberculosis and syphilis.

Though a person applying for residency in the UAE for the first time has to obtain a health card, renewing it had not been compulsory until now.

A health card (valid for one year) was also made compulsory for renewing visas but the date when it would come into effect was not announced. The health cardholder can avail of basic health services at low cost only in government hospitals and clinics.

As per the new rules, health insurance policyholders do not require a health card, though the policy certificate has to be attested by Dohms at a cost of Dh200.

Maisa Al Bustani, Head of Medical Fitness Centre at Dohms, had explained to Khaleej Times earlier, “If the resident does not hold a health card and has a valid health insurance policy, Department of Health and Medical Services will charge Dh200 to attest the policy certificate before the screening is done.”

However, residents who have valid insurance policy said they were forced to pay for the health card when they went for visa renewal.

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