Dubai: ‘No health insurance, no visa’ rule has now been implemented as Dubai residents are unable to renew their residence visas without the mandatory health insurance coverage, Gulf News has learnt.

An information office at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs confirmed that since the beginning of December, they were advising every person who came to them with such a query to first secure health insurance if they were looking for a seamless visa renewal. However, no fines are being imposed until further notice.

Typing centres authorised to renew residence visas of Dubai residents are turning away candidates who have no health insurance. Many residents who failed to secure health insurance coverage are getting it issued online at the typing centres and paying at least Dh200 premium on a Dh650 Essential Basic Package (EBP).

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This was confirmed by at least half a dozen typing centres in Dubai. A representative at one of the typing centres explained: “Although health insurance is not mandatory to upload the documents for residence visa renewal, we are compelled to demand that be the case as many residents are turned back without it and asked to furnish it. We cannot take a chance. There are some insurance companies that are online and for an extra fee, we are able to process this,” he added.

Insurance brokers, however, are reporting major confusion regarding this. Jonaki Bhattacharya, one of the insurance brokers, told Gulf News: “We wish there was more clarity and awareness among all stakeholders which include typing centres, HR departments of companies, underwriters at insurance companies, immigration authorities and individuals.”