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UAE To Grant Doctors, Students, AI Specialists, Others 10-Year Residence Visa

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United Arab Emirates has on Sunday announced that it will grant all doctors and infectious disease experts living in the country, who are helping to combat the coronavirus pandemic a 10-year visa.

Foreigners in the UAE, like most Gulf countries, are generally only given limited residence visas tied to their current employment, and long-term residency is difficult to obtain.

However, to attract wealthy business people and highly skilled workers, the UAE last year launched the “Golden” 10-year visa programme, which is now being expanded.

The “Golden Visa” was is first of such a scheme in the Gulf, which keeps tight control on residency.

Similar programmes have been launched in other countries that seek to diversify their economies such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum announcing the new move via series of tweets on Sunday stated that those eligible include holders of doctorate degrees, medical doctors, and computer, electronics, programming, electrical and biotechnology engineers.

He wrote;

On his part, Sheikh Mohammed, who is also the ruler of Dubai, which has the most diversified economy in the Gulf expressed;

We are keen to embrace the talent that drives future development and this is only the beginning.

Students from accredited universities who are getting top grades could also qualify, he said, along with those holding specialised degrees in artificial intelligence, big data and epidemiology.

The scheme last year drew in some 6,800 investors, in a windfall worth $27 billion for the economy.

Foreigners account for 90 per cent of the population of some 10 million in the oil-rich UAE, the Arab world’s second-largest economy.

UAE’s latest announcement is the latest in a string of new programs aimed at attracting people to the Emirates, as well as improving living standards for expatriates in the country.

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Dubai in October began offering individuals and families a new “Dubai Virtual Working Program” that allows individuals and families to live in the UAE for a year while working abroad.

Over 200 doctors treating COVID-19 patients were also granted permanent Golden Residency visas for their efforts in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

In September, Dubai announced the launch of the “Retire in Dubai” program that offers resident expatriates and foreigners above the age of 55 to apply for a retirement visa.

In 2018, UAE announced that it would be granting residency visas of up to 10 years for investors and professionals and their families in addition to grade ‘A’ students.

The country has so far recorded more than 150,000 cases of the coronavirus, including 530 deaths.

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