hepatitis B infection

hi guys,
I have been offered a managerial position in Dubai and the offer is really good. My only concern is that I am a passive Hepatitis B carrier. I have it since way back 1993. My wife does not have it and so are my kids.
The company wants me to come in thru a visit visa and then converts it into a working visa. I'm not really sure if my having a Hepatitis B infection would jeopardize my employment.
Please, anyone who's knowledgeable about visa procedure or have similar experience enlighten me on this one.
Thanks a lot.

jan

Hi there!

As per new law HBSAg (Hepatitis B) test is mandatory for all categories. So I wont advise you to come here. But it may change later. Try in OMAN, Egypt. I think its not there among middle east.

Thanks a lot meetag,i know that they do medical test for anyone coming to the uae for work. All I want to know is if anyone amongst you in this site who have similar situation as with me or have direct knowledge about this.
I really need to be clarified.
You might have friends who knows something about this and might want to share his experience with me, would be much appreciated.
By the way, how do they conduct the test? I mean, assuming I enter dubai using visit visa, after how many days would I be required to have a medical test? and how long do I have to wait for the result? Would I be informed of the result or just my
sponsor?
Your reply is much awaited.

Thanks again.....

Jan

Once you enter you will get 60 days to complete the test. However they are testing HBsAg and if found positive they will deport you.no more further test. may put immigration ban also.

Please note that I am talking about 3 years Employment/work permit. You can try in free zone coz this test is not done in a free zone visa. Other possibility is a six month mission visa in which also this test may not be done (please reconfirm).

However if you are not able to find above which are difficult options dont take the risk. I know this directly.

Also normally you will enter on an employment permit valid for 60 days, to do medical and get stamp in ypur passport. Some ppl come on visit visa to work which is illegal.finally u need employment visa.

medical is done by govt hospitals only and they give the result next day. If any prob they will tell you, sponser, immigration and police and you will be tracked till you leave.

Thanks for the additional info, i have informed my sponsor about my medical situation  and he said that in his personal experience it is usually a case to case basis with the authorities. Im not really sure what he meant by that, and still he wants me to come to Dubai and work with them.

jajuchi,i got the same problem as u do.HBsAg, Anti-HBe and Anti-HBc positive.HBV-DNA negative.If u have any updates regarding this matter,plz share ASAP.Thanks very much.

PS:I'm chinese and due to be arrived at dubai next month

hi myst,
I have been in constant communication with my employer in Dubai and they will inquire directly with the Ministry of Health next week to clarify things out, i.e, situation of Hep B carrier..
may I ask what your's job gonna be in Dubai?

A new employee was hired locally by my company last month. She resigned from her previous employer and moved in with the hope of a better package. When she undergone medical exam for her employment visa, she was found to be HepaB positive. She was immediately deported within 24 hours and banned from re-entry to the UAE.

How true is it that one is not required to have to take any medical test if you will not be staying in the UAE for more than 6 months?
Another issue is about the so called "mission visa"? How many time can it be renewed?

hi meetag,
please could u explain to me what is a 'free zone visa' and why hepatitis B test is not done there?

Here's an article on Hepatitis rules that came in Xpress news:

xpress4me.com/articles/08/07/03/20008423

does anyone know of any new developments ??

I came to Dubai last three years ago. I do not have any problem with my medical until recently when I need to renew my visa since I joined another company.
I was very surprised when I knew I had to undergo blood extraction again. I asked the nurse what could be the reason that I need to do it twice. He said to double check since they found something on the results. I was really afraid as Hepa B is a deportable disease.
The doctor confirmed that I have Hepa B. But he marked medically fit on my clearance. He advised me to go to a specialist and seek for advise.
Maybe it's case to case basis. If your work is related to Food, hospital or children then they can be really strict.
The doctor told me that If I am on a visit visa then he might have send me back to my country. But I am already in Dubai for more than 3 years and just renewing my visa.
I seek for medical advise from gastroentorologist. I undergo certain test like sonography, CBC, AlkP,ALT,AST and Alpha Feto Protein and it's all normal. HBsAG is reactive because I have the virus but HBeAg is Negative. HBeAg is often used as a marker of ability to spread the virus to other people (infectivity). Therefore I am a healthy carrier. There are no medications and as per the doctor there's no limit on what should I eat. I should continue to have a normal life. The chances of passing it to other people is very very low. I can even make love with my husband without any protection and still not passing the virus to him or to my baby in case I am having. But to be on the safest side, my husband went for Hepa B vaccination already.
I need to go back and undergo testing again after 6 months to check if there is any changes.
Now, I have my visa stamped on my passport. After 3 years, I will undergo medical fitness test again. I hope by that time, the virus is totally gone on my system. I think that's possible.

Hepatitis B test is required for everyone now. It doesn't matter if your visa is for free zone or not. Government has their fitness centre for medical.
Free zone has different contract. Usually after six months with the employer, you can resign or transfer to different company without being banned.Whereas the other, you have to finish usually a 3 year contract.

avicennax :

hi meetag,
please could u explain to me what is a 'free zone visa' and why hepatitis B test is not done there?

Here's an article on Hepatitis rules that came in Xpress news:

http://www.xpress4me.com/articles/08/07 … 08423.html

does anyone know of any new developments ??

Hi Midge,

I understand that you are lucky, if your case were handled by an other doctor, you might have been deported. The new decree dose not state specific criteria for the deportation.

Do they deport the virus carrier person whatever the viral load level or it is from case to cas and it is up to Doctor to judge?

Hi Midge and every body,

Does deportation apply also to housewives? I have my friend there with his wife who is HBV cronic carrier and she is scared to be deported wenver she goes for test for visa renewal due next year.

Doctors are telling that her case is infectious only via blood or sexual intercourse. She aready delivered a baby 6 months ago and the baby was healthy and not infected.

Is there naybody who can tell what would happen to her?

I think but no confirmation that it depends on the kind of work your are into. I heard previously that if your work is related to hospital, food and children then you will be deported however if your work is merely in the office then there is consideration maybe. I have Hepa B but it's inactive. The chance of passing it to someone is very very low. I really don't know their basis if it is doctor's judgement or what. I told my story to give hope to those with Hepa B. We don't want to have this virus and we just want to work and save for the future. As long as we're responsible individuals, we shouln't be disciminated or refrained us from working aborad.
THBT:Are you having this virus as well?

THBT :

Hi Midge and every body,

Does deportation apply also to housewives? I have my friend there with his wife who is HBV cronic carrier and she is scared to be deported wenver she goes for test for visa renewal due next year.

Doctors are telling that her case is infectious only via blood or sexual intercourse. She aready delivered a baby 6 months ago and the baby was healthy and not infected.

Is there naybody who can tell what would happen to her?

I am not sure. Me and my husband is under company's sponsorship. As soon as i found out that i have Hepa B, my husband did hepa b test as well and he's negative. He just finished the 2nd shot of vaccination last week. After 6 months, the 3rd  shot will be given.

Hi Midge,

ur posts in the blog are really reassuring. this is the first time i have come across this new aspect of the issue -- that they test for infectivity (HBeAg) & then decide about visa status. 

i have a friend who is a dentist & is contemplating starting a career in Dubai. problem is his wife is HBsAg positive. till i read midge's post i was under the impression that his idea of working in Dubai (& keeping his family with him) was out of the question. but may be there is some hope.

how can we find out if what happened in Midge's case is not some special consideration for her company or nationality or something. how can we know the exact government protocols for the matter -- i mean isn't there some way we can contact the immigration office or something & find out -- sort of straight from the horse's mouth. may be there are some lawyers in the forum who have studied this issue.

avicennax :

Hi Midge,

ur posts in the blog are really reassuring. this is the first time i have come across this new aspect of the issue -- that they test for infectivity (HBeAg) & then decide about visa status. 

i have a friend who is a dentist & is contemplating starting a career in Dubai. problem is his wife is HBsAg positive. till i read midge's post i was under the impression that his idea of working in Dubai (& keeping his family with him) was out of the question. but may be there is some hope.

how can we find out if what happened in Midge's case is not some special consideration for her company or nationality or something. how can we know the exact government protocols for the matter -- i mean isn't there some way we can contact the immigration office or something & find out -- sort of straight from the horse's mouth. may be there are some lawyers in the forum who have studied this issue.

Hi Avicennax,
The HBeAg test came after the my medical test. They have already stamped my medical clearance. I looked for specialist as per the doctor's advise in the medical center who have given me the clearance. The specialist asked me to do several test including this HBeAg. I am not sure if the medical center has test me for the same as they didn't show me any test results.

I've been checking the net every now and then regarding Hepa B in Dubai but no updates yet. I don't know if there have been changes or what. I'm still afraid that on my next renewal I will not be able to pass. I hope someone can read  our post and can clarify the issue in terms of government perspective.

Hi Midge,

thanks for clarifying midge. i guess we are back to square one. they have given a clear message in the newspapers that patients with Hepatitis B may be deported -- but at the same time they have given u a clearance. like u said it is quite probable that they had done a complete test for u from the first blood sample. i understand how u feel midge -- but rest assured, insecurity is an universal problem for an 'expatriate' :)  again our only hope lies in knowing the exact government rules. i think we should try to contact some lawyers who deal with labor issues, may be they will know how to clarify matters (i mean they may know the right people to contact)

avicennax :

Hi Midge,

thanks for clarifying midge. i guess we are back to square one. they have given a clear message in the newspapers that patients with Hepatitis B may be deported -- but at the same time they have given u a clearance. like u said it is quite probable that they had done a complete test for u from the first blood sample. i understand how u feel midge -- but rest assured, insecurity is an universal problem for an 'expatriate' :)  again our only hope lies in knowing the exact government rules. i think we should try to contact some lawyers who deal with labor issues, may be they will know how to clarify matters (i mean they may know the right people to contact)

I was hoping that they have changed whatever they have released in the papers. I remember I read that it might change afterwards but I haven't seen any confirmation in the papers. I hope instead of deportation they will allow people to stay ang get treated. If there is any article or any news regarding this, I will definetly post it. Thanks!

Hi Avicennax,

It would be highly risky for your friend if he shifts to UAE. There is a poor probability for his wife to get health clearance. I would consider Midge's case as exceptional and she is very lucky and it was thanks to the doctor that she got here health clearance for visa. In fact she is still scared about deportation in next visa renewal.

My question is "is there a similar law in Oman?"

Hello!
I found this link and check what it says. This was still last year but might help.

http://www.dubaichronicle.com/life/heal … 5#more-245

Foreigners who came to the UAE to live, study or work, for a period not less than six months, will now have to undergo medical check-up for some contagious diseases like HIV AIDS, Hepatitis B and leprosy. Minister of Health, Humaid Mohammed Al Qattami, has issued a new ministerial decree making it compulsory for all expatriates coming to the UAE to live, study or work to undergo those medical tests.

In the case of Hepatitis B test, the decree states that a foreigner who enters the UAE to live, study or work shall undergo the test in two phases, the first test will be conducted during the first entry into the country, but during the renewal of residence permit only six categories of expatriates will undergo the test. They include babysitters, maid servants, private drivers, kindergarten and nursery supervisors, workers in barbering, beauty, health and fitness clubs and in all food outlets including cooks and butchers.
The procedure for the second phase will be determined based on the evaluation result of the first phase, the decree says.

**My medical on the first phase is ok.My 2nd medical for renewal of my visa showed that I have Hepa B. However the 2nd phase will be determined based on the first and since I don't fall under the categories mentioned above then I think this is the reason why I was given a 3 year residence visa.
If I am correct, please let me know. I hope there is someone who can read this working from Ministry of Health of UAE.

Midge,

I understand from this dcree that for visa renewal examination, if not falling under the six categories, the test for HBV is not supposed to be carried out. So, why did they carry the HBV for you? Unless that in the 2nd phase every body will carry the examination of HBV and the deportation is applicable only on the six categories.

It is bit confusing.

THBT :

Hi Avicennax,

It would be highly risky for your friend if he shifts to UAE. There is a poor probability for his wife to get health clearance. I would consider Midge's case as exceptional and she is very lucky and it was thanks to the doctor that she got here health clearance for visa. In fact she is still scared about deportation in next visa renewal.

My question is "is there a similar law in Oman?"

hi THBT,

i'm not very clear about the rules in Oman. I'm working in the ministry of health. i had a 'medical' before coming to Oman, but since then my visa has been renewed without any blood tests. but from what i know, people working in the private sector have to undergo 'medical' probably every year. I will find out more about it and let u know. u see like in Dubai they have separate centers for 'medical' in Oman as well.

about the rules in Dubai, i was thinking, if we could even contact some doctor involved in the 'medical check up' business he would have given us a clear cut idea about the whole thing. hope someone reading this knows somebody who knows somebody who knows such a doc..  :)

THBT :

Midge,

I understand from this dcree that for visa renewal examination, if not falling under the six categories, the test for HBV is not supposed to be carried out. So, why did they carry the HBV for you? Unless that in the 2nd phase every body will carry the examination of HBV and the deportation is applicable only on the six categories.

It is bit confusing.

It is mandatory to have the test even for visa renewal. But it seems they have granted me a residence visa basing from my first medical test. I remember, the person who picked up my test in the medical center was asked if I am on a visit visa or just renewing.He doesn't have my passport then only the claim form. He went back there to medical center and showed that I am just renewing my visa and have stayed in Dubai for more than 3 years already. Only after this the doctor stamped my medical clearance.
I remember he said that if I could have been in visit visa then it could have been a problem.

My husband is positive for hepatitis B but negative for hbeag ,he recently found he is positive he is positive and shifted back to pakistan.He has his own business in uae , i want to know will he be given resisdential  visa in any case .
Any response will be appertiated.

I will apperciate if some one could tell the names of hospitals & clinics where blood tests for hepatitis are done.

Saher,
Could I know if your husband has been deported to Pakistan or has he shifted back for some business reasons?
I do not see the use of looking for hispitals and clinics. In fact every where you could get this test done. But tests for visa health clearance are now carried out only in government health centers, and from there only you can get that clearance. I can tell you about the center in Abu Dhabi which is "The Preventive Medecine Center" in the "Defence road", officially known as "Hazzaa Bin Zayed Road".

Hi Midge,

In my case I need to undergo the HbsAg test if I go back to Dxb because I'll be coming in a visit visa.  However I have been a resident since 2004. But had to come home to the Philippines for personal reasons.

I'm wondering if they will consider my case because I have given birth in American hospital twice and my babies were healthy and uninfected which only proved that I cannot spread it to anyone. I am HbEg positive thus non-infectious.

Honestly, this has been a concern and I'm losing sleep on whether to go back to Dubai or not. I'm in the finance profession.

Any advise and suggestions, anyone?

KK

Hi!
Well to tell you honestly, the doctor told me that it could have been a problem if my visa is cancelled and went back to Dubai. Good thing for me it's renewal only.I hope this will not cause you to lose hope.
It is now a matter of risk to take and hopefully when you need to get a residence visa they will consider your previous stay in Dubai. It might help if you bring all the medical papers you have before as a proof. Your stamp visa in the passport might help as well.
I hope what you have said below is HbEAg negative.

I had my test again last 2 weeks ago and Im still positive and HBeAg is negative.

kk :

Hi Midge,

In my case I need to undergo the HbsAg test if I go back to Dxb because I'll be coming in a visit visa.  However I have been a resident since 2004. But had to come home to the Philippines for personal reasons.

I'm wondering if they will consider my case because I have given birth in American hospital twice and my babies were healthy and uninfected which only proved that I cannot spread it to anyone. I am HbEg positive thus non-infectious.

Honestly, this has been a concern and I'm losing sleep on whether to go back to Dubai or not. I'm in the finance profession.

Any advise and suggestions, anyone?

KK

Thanks Midge. Right, it's HbeAg negative. I have done annual hepa profile and the results were improving. Getting into active sports considerably improved my ALT levels. I should say I have a healthier liver than ever compared to most non-hepa individuals with the lifestyle I'm leading, diet and supplements. It has been a battle and I think I'm winning it - I'm aiming for seroconversion in three to five years time just like my mom. I got this from her.

To those who are in this forum and in the same state that I am, I want you to know that I have done a thorough research on this disease for years though I'm not in the medical field. Fortunately, dying with liver cancer is already an option. We can choose not to be beaten by this disease.  Continuing medical research indicates that seroconversion is very, very possible with the combination of drugs in the market, lifestyle and herbal supplements.

Trust me, at some point I had been as paranoid as you all are until I decided to learn everthing there is to learn about this thing. I am going to beat this.

Dear all,

i am also on the same boat with you guys, my Hepa Profile was acute chronic inactive which i could say same to case of Midge, i was here in Dubai more tha 4 years move from one company to another, but recently i moved to abu dhabi for the new job, i took the medical last 26 of july and sad to say may hepa b was detected, the pinay technician took again a blood test and is due to monday for the result, now as per her, no one can get a visa once you have a hepa b, but some exemptions are being made, one it depends who your sponsor is, two if you company knows somebody in the immigration department which ash the power to give you permits.

i am nervous at this time, i have informed my new boss and he said they will do the best they can. i cant tell much for it all depends on sunday for the verdict but i do pray and please include me that if its his will it will be done.

ill keep you all updated on the situation we are facing i thought i was the only one i never new we are so many already.

one of my prayers is that the goverment review its policy and give some exemptions to those who are capbale og doing the job and not infecting others, we came here to work not to be stupid, we are still human beings not animals.

lets all pray for each other and will see what happens, i just want to give this hope assurance to everybody, he is not sleeping he knows whats happening and i do believe in miracles.

Thanks and God bless us all

Dear Bobot,

I totally feel for you and I am praying for a favorable outcome on your medical screening result. I strongly suggest to make an appeal to the health committee and prove that you are noncontagious.

In my case, I have rejected three job offers because I can't make up my mind about returning to Dxb.  I know how rigid some of the rules can be, without regard for other factors.  It's true that sometimes the Immigration Dept can make exceptions and not only with health issues.  However, what's important is that this issue should be resolved within the Health Screening Dept as they are the ones capable to determine whether the individual is physically fit to work or not.

It is frustrating I know, and I'm also hoping that the rules will be modified somehow, to come up with a workable compromise. 

Again, my prayers are with you.  Do let us know. God bless.

KK

Hello Bobot!
I know how it feels to be in your situation. I am really fortunate that i have passed one of the biggest iceberg in my life. However I can't be sure also that on my next renewal that they will still grant me visa.
I am praying for you!Please let us know about the result.
God Bless and keep the faith!

Midge, KK

thank you very much for your kind deeds, it is very uplifting to know that some one is praying for you. actually to give you guys update, my boss talked to the SVP and as a normal response the SVP said they need to escort me out of the bldg. until i got my medical clearance, my immediate manager said that there is no need for that kind of action, and they just approach me quietly and informed me about the situation, they said lets just pray for the best, my boss said he will do the best he can to help me on this.

its just so sad to know that as if we were very contagious people that they need an escort to make sure you leave the premises.

thank you all for your prayers and concern, i wish everybody the best of luck, may we all find the place where people treat us like normal humans and wait for the verdict this Monday,i have a strong faith on him for he always keeps his promises no matter how, when or where and i do believe in it.

Bot, Midge and everybody who are subscribing to this forum:

An idea has been playing in my mind for quite sometime and I think it wouldn't hurt if we push for a petition direct to His Highness Sheik Mohammad through his facebook account.  He is a very compassionate man. I have lived for six years in Dxb and I have never seen a just individual and as generous as he is.  I think, for what it's worth, he will listen to us at the very least and maybe work out a compromise situation. We may or may not benefit from this immediately but at least this would pave the way for this issue to be back on the discussion table as far as policies and rules formation and implementation in Dxb are concerned.

I too am very hopeful that the UAE govt will come up with a compromise like how it is done in other western countries such as the UK.

We need everybody's support on this.


KK

Hi KK,

i think its a very good idea, since his having a facebook account maybe we can create a account which is named for the people like us who are more than qualified and can do the work and not being a harm to anybody, he might re consider. telling him as well that it is our human rights to work and live a normal life

This is a good idea, but how can we protect our identity? I think this is important especially for us who's already here in UAE.

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