What is the change? The Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA) has begun requiring health insurance before it will process residence visas.

What does the change mean? Residence visa applicants should be prepared to provide proof of medical insurance to have visa applications processed by DCCA. The requirement may add to the time it takes for employees to begin working once they enter the UAE. The change was among a number of rule changes that DCCA announced last week.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: All residence visas processed by DCCA authorities.
  • Who is affected: DCCA companies and employees seeking residence visas.
  • Impact on processing time: Health insurance can normally be obtained in three to five days, but times will vary depending on the provider. Insurance applications require a stamped employment entry permit and an Emirates ID registration form, both of which are available once the foreign national has entered the UAE and has submitted biometrics.
  • Business impact: Businesses may need to adjust timelines and start dates because of the new requirement.

Background: Health insurance from a Dubai Health Authority-approved provider is mandatory in Dubai, including for foreign workers. The requirement has immigration consequences, as authorities have moved to require proof of health insurance before they will process visa applications. Other free-zone authorities began requiring proof of insurance in the visa application process earlier this year, and DCCA has now followed suit.

BAL Analysis: DCCA companies should make sure all employees have proof of health insurance when submitting visa applications. Applicants who fail to do so risk having their applications rejected.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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