People with old tuberculosis scars can get UAE visa

People with old tuberculosis scars can get UAE visa

Dubai - Residents will now also be tested for TB upon visa renewals -- which is currently only being done for new residencies -- but will no longer be deported if found suffering from active TB.



by

Asma Ali Zain

Published: Fri 26 Feb 2016, 5:01 PM

Last updated: Sat 27 Feb 2016, 2:00 AM

In a major shift in policy, UAE will now allow residents to sponsor their spouses, children and parents with old and cured tuberculosis upon approval by relevant authorities.

Residents will now also be tested for tuberculosis (TB) upon visa renewals -- which is currently only being done for new residencies -- but will no longer be deported if found suffering from active TB. At present, residents renewing visas are only tested for HIV/AIDS.

The new rulings are back dated and have come into effect from January 27.

However, policy remains unchanged for people with active or old TB who are applying for a UAE visa for the first time. Other rules also remain largely unchanged which means people applying for new visas and undergoing compulsory medical fitness testing under UAE laws will continue to be tested for HIV, TB, Syphilis, Hepatitis B&C and pregnancy tests for certain categories such as maids, salon workers, food handlers. If found suffering from any of these infectious diseases, they will not be allowed entry into the UAE as per the law. Workers in the above categories will continue to be vaccinated against Hepatitis.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai on Thursday made amendments to the laws that were last changed in 2008.

Expat students enrolled with UAE universities, members of diplomatic corps and leading investors will be allowed to apply for a new visa even if they have scars from cured TB since they belong to the exempt categories that also include spouses, parents and children of current UAE residents.

However, UAE residents with active TB will be declared medically unfit upon visa renewals but will not be asked to leave the country as was being done earlier. They will instead be issued a one year visa with a medical certificate that mentions visa renewal subject to treatment.

The patient will have to make three consecutive visits to preventive health centres for free treatment follow up until cured. In case the person does not follow the treatment schedule, he/she will be declared medically unfit and could be asked to leave the UAE.

The move will benefit hundreds of thousands of people who have been writing to Khaleej Times asking if changes in the law were expected.

Many said they had to leave the country after their spouses were denied residence visas due to old scars. However, a major chunk who were afraid of seeking treatment due to the fear of being deported will also benefit from the changes.

asmaalizain@khaleejtimes.com


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