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No health insurance for yearly visa yet

posted on 13/05/2002: 1493 views

Expatriates who wish to bring their parents or dependants to Dubai on a one-year residency visa for humanitarian reasons, may not be required to obtain a health insurance policy from a local insurer, said a top immigration official yesterday. Colonel Saeed Matar bin Bleilah, Director General of the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) said, "We are reviewing the decision of the requirement of a health insurance coverage for expatriates' dependants who come on one year's residence visas."

The department had not yet enforced the health insurance requirement at all, and officials are reviewing the pros and cons of it. He also stressed that the Dh5,000 bond deposited with the DNRD will be refunded when the dependant leaves or dies. "The new visa category, introduced on April 1, allows expatriate workers to sponsor their parents on residence visa on humanitarian grounds, with the aim of bringing families together," he explained. "Parents can be sponsored on residence visas for one year renewable, as long as the sponsor deposits a Dh5,000 bond for each parent or dependant.

"Normally, insurance companies do not offer health insurance coverage for people who are over 65," he said. Col Bin Bleilah said the department has not finalised the decision on the health insurance requirement. No age limit will be imposed, and the only requirement for the parent is that they should be fit enough to travel, as revealed by a medical certificate from a competent medical practitioner. According to him most of the expatriates who bring in their elderly parents, end up taking them to government hospitals here.

"Initially, the department required the applicant to also get a health insurance policy from a private company for the visiting parents. But the department is now thinking of revoking this health insurance rule," he said. "The DNRD has started receiving applications for sponsoring parents since April 1. Applicants should spell out the grounds on which they want to bring their parents in the UAE.

"Under the humanitarian visa rule, an expatriate should earn a salary that meets the criteria laid down by the Cabinet and has worked in the country for a certain period of time "The applicant should also be a sole supporter of his parents, shown by a certificate from his embassy or the consulate proving that he is a sole supporter," he said.

The parent's one-year residence visa will be granted if the DNRD deems the grounds given by the applicant to be sufficient. "The plan to reconsider the health insurance requirement stems from the fact that some insurance companies in Dubai ask as much as Dh8,000 for a one-year health insurance coverage for the elderly. "Under the humanitarian visa category, expatriates living in Dubai will also be able to sponsor their dependents including their sisters and handicapped brothers or those below the age of 18, provided the sponsor meets the salary requirement. "Other humanitarian cases will be taken into consideration by the DNRD in accordance with Article 9 of the Cabinet's decision for the year 1995," he said. (The Gulf News)


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