Your guide to work visa medicals
As technology evolves, more businesses are able to work beyond the confines of the country that they are based in.
While video conferencing and instant messaging allows people to connect from opposite sides of the world, many businesses still require their staff to travel. When they do, it’s vital that you can ensure they will be fit and healthy.
We’ll take a look at the questions you should be asking before your staff take their next business trip and hopefully tell you everything you need to know about work visa medicals.
Which countries should you be aware of?
As an employer, you are responsible for the safety of your employees when they work abroad, especially in countries where there are higher rates of tropical or infectious diseases such as Malaria, TB, and Hepatitis.
A number of countries require medical visas for work purposes, including the Cayman Islands, South Africa, UAE, and China.
Some countries also dictate their own policies for business travellers and those entering the country on working visas, so it’s best to ensure that the appropriate process is followed.
Do you know what’s needed?
With different requirements for different destinations, it’s essential for employers to know the appropriate checks and inoculations before travelling, as well as the medicines that might need to be taken during an employee’s stay.
This can be assessed by a GP and will not only ensure that the employee is fit, well and free of illness but also give you a better understanding of the health risks they may face there.
Don’t forget that an employer travel insurance policy is vital to ensuring that they will be fully supported in the event of an accident or illness while abroad.
What is the work visa process?
Applying for a work visa will usually involve obtaining the medical form from the relevant embassy or embassy website.
Make sure that you check beforehand if a specialist embassy registered doctor is required. This will be the case for all US visas.
The employee who is travelling will need to attend their medical assessment with all the necessary forms so that they can be completed by the examining doctor.
Since immunisations may need to be given before travel, contact the GP to ensure that the appropriate injections can be given within the required timeframe.
Business travel can be complicated, so make the process as stress-free as possible by keeping employees informed of what’s required and when.
Which health checks should take place?
This will differ depending on the country that they will be travelling to, but generally speaking, health checks will include a full physical examination and a blood test may be required to assess their general health and determine their blood type.
Chest x-rays and specific tests for infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, are common. In some cases, stool and urine samples may be needed, as well as drug screening tests.
When should you organise a work visa medical?
Business travel can often be required at short notice. Luckily, most work visa medicals can be completed within 48 to 72 hours, and could sometimes be organised on the same day.
However, it’s worth noting that this will be dependent on the number and nature of tests required. More complicated work visa medicals may take several days.
It is also essential to factor in the possibility of receiving abnormal test results, which may require further investigation.
If your employees regularly travel abroad, find out how our occupational health services can support your staff during a work visa medical, contact the team at Fusion now.