Dubai: The UAE ranked first in the Middle East for medical tourism in 2021, according to US-based Medical Tourism Association. In the same year, Dubai received over 600,000 international patients, as per a report released by Dubai Health Authority.
To assist patients who wish to receive medical treatment in the UAE, immigration authorities have made it easier for foreign patients and their family members to apply for visas. According to u.ae, the official website of the UAE government, foreign patients can enter the UAE for treatment under the sponsorship of a government or private hospital. It is the responsibility of the medical establishment to apply for the medical treatment entry permit upon the patient’s request.
• A letter from a licenced hospital, explaining the reasons for the visit
• Recent bank statement to prove financial security
For patients seeking medical treatment in Dubai
If a patient is seeking medical treatment in Dubai, they will need to apply for a ‘Medical Entry Permit’ from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs Dubai (GDRFA).
There are two types of entry permits:
Medical Treatment Entry Permit - Single Entry: The holder of this visa must enter the UAE within 60 days from the date of issue and stay for 90 days from the date of entry.
Medical Treatment Entry Permit - Multiple Entry: This visa also has a validity of 60 days, with a permitted stay of 90 days from the date of entry. However, the stay can be extended under this visa, if a medical report is submitted, stating that the patient needs to continue treatment.
In Abu Dhabi and the Northern Emirates
For Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, foreign patients will need to apply for a medical treatment visa through the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP).
There are two types of permits:
• Single entry medical treatment visa
• Multiple entry medical treatment visa
• Companion’s health insurance
The cost of the visa ranges from Dh85 to Dh100, depending on which type of visa you apply for.