Dubai: Security procedures during medical fitness checks for new residency visas or renewals have been stepped up in a bid to stamp out fraudulent applications.
Those who go for mandatory blood tests must now present their original passport to the nurse who administers the test.
The new security protocol, to verify those applying for medical fitness checks, started three months ago after four people were arrested for sending someone in their place to take the blood test instead.
According to officials from Dubai Health Authority, the four who were unfit, were arrested over the fraudulent attempt after they sent a healthy person along for the purpose of a residence visa renewal.
“Those people were caught when it was discovered that the photo on the passport copy or the original passport was not that of the same person who was taking the medical fitness check,” said the official.
Now, when taking the medical test, the nurse will compare the photo of the applicant with the photo on the passport and will check the expiry date and will ask the name of the applicant.
The nurse will then check if it is the same photo of the applicant on the passport.
Those taking a blood test instead of the person listed, and the original holder of the passport, face arrest, prosecution, being jailed and deported.
Previously, it was not required for those going for medical fitness checks for visa renewal to present their original passports.
Now, it is required for everyone taking a medical check, either for residency visa renewal or for a new visa.
The passport should be presented at the counter where they apply for the medical check and also to the nurse who is taking the blood test or X-ray, or for any other required medical check.
“Those who attempt to avoid the medical fitness check for residency visa purposes must be suffering from infectious diseases which do not allow them to obtain residency here,” the DHA official said.
According to the law, those coming to the UAE for the first time should be subject to medical tests for tuberculosis and leprosy before they are granted residence.
Those who are found suffering from any of these diseases would be denied a visa and deported, according to the 2010 cabinet decision number 28.
While tests for tuberculosis are required for issuing a residence visa for the first time, a leprosy examination is needed for new residence visas and renewals of visas.
A medical test is also required for Aids and hepatitis B, infected persons would not be allowed to enter or stay in the UAE if they suffer from either disease.
However, hepatitis tests are required for newcomers and for those working as babysitters, housemaids, nursery and kindergarten employees, workers at barber shops, health clubs or restaurants seeking a new visa or renewal.
“These groups must undergo hepatitis tests when they apply for new visa and on renewal of their visas, those found infected will be deported,” DHA officials said.
Domestic helpers, babysitters and female drivers must undergo pregnancy tests before they are allowed to have a medical examination for residence.
If found to be pregnant, the employer must present a statement about his knowledge of the pregnancy before a visa is granted.
In addition, syphilis tests are also required for domestic helpers, babysitters, and workers at nurseries, kindergartens, barbershops, health clubs, coffee shops, food supply centres, restaurants and other food outlets.