Dubai issues 200k new work visas in Q1

DUBAI: The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) had issued 206,770 new work visas in the first quarter of 2015, according to media reports.

“Our department conducted investigations for a total of 496,721 medical fitness procedures of which 206,770 tests were for issuance of new visas, and the remaining 289,951 for renewal of visas,” Gulf News quoted DHA Director of Medical Fitness Maisa Al Bustani as saying while providing the figures for medical fitness tests for the first quarter.

In 2014, of the 1.7 million medical tests done, nearly 828,898 were for new work visas. Going by the first quarter figures it is apparent that for the entire 2015 the figures are likely to be the same if not more, the report said.

Medical fitness is a mandatory requirement for all expats in the UAE. It is required for a residency, employment or education visa. The DHA has 16 medical fitness centres in different parts of the emirate for issuance and renewal of medical fitness tests.

Maisa reportedly added that of the total 496,721 procedures, 27,875 people opted for the four-hour VIP service, 22,550 people opted for the 24-hour express result option and 93,549 opted for the 48-hour option.

Regarding the Tawajod (at your doorstep) service, Maisa was quoted as saying that 4,574 opted for it and 12 people opted for the Tawajod express service. This service is free of cost for people with special needs and Dh260 is charged for the visa.

DHA plans to further streamline this service. “In addition to providing such services, we are also expanding our centres. This year, we will establish two medical fitness centres — an occupational screening centre at Mirdif and a centre at Jumeirah Lakes Towers that will provide both occupational screening and medical fitness services. Occupational screening is needed for those people who wish to get a certification according to the requirement of their profession such as a pre-employment certificate for employees working in the private and government sector,” Maisa reportedly said.

“It is also required for heavy truck drivers, civil defence professionals, people working in the food industry, etc, due to the nature of the job,” she was quoted as saying by Gulf News.

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