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No Dubai visa unless you have health insurance

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No one will be able to get a new residency visa, or renew an existing one, unless they have health insurance, under a new system being brought in.

Dubai Health Authority (DHA) said on Tuesday that the scheme aims to ensure that all employers and sponsors comply with rules that make it mandatory for every person in the emirate to have insurance.

The DHA said the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) will not issue a visa or renew an existing one if the individual concerned does not have health insurance coverage in place at the time of the application or renewal.

The new scheme will start from August 1, 2015.

However, the scheme will only apply initially to those affected by phases one (firms with more than 1,000 staff) and two (firms with 100 to 999 employees) of the mandatory health insurance scheme. The deadline for phase two is July 31, 2015.

Those in phase three (less than 100 staff) will have until June 2016. All spouses, dependents and domestic workers will also have to be covered by June 2016.

Humaid Mohammed Obaid Al Qatami, chairman of the board of the DHA, said: “We are pleased to see that a lot of companies have already complied ahead of the timeline and we encourage all those who have not to do before the deadline. We anticipate that in phase two 600,000 people will be insured.

“At the time that the law was introduced in November 2013, the insured population in Dubai was 1.1 million. Since the phased introduction, until now, an additional 1.2 million people are insured, bringing the total insured population in Dubai to 2.3 million. This shows that employers are responding very well to the scheme”.


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