Doctors in Abu Dhabi will find it easier to apply for golden visas owing to a new streamlined process launched by the Department of Health and Abu Dhabi Residents Office.
The packages will enable nominated medics to choose from three efficient services offered by the Yas Centre Tasheel for healthcare professionals, which is dedicated to processing long-term visas.
The centre will then collect all relevant and required endorsement letters from the Department of Health on behalf of the doctors, a process that should only take two weeks.
Dr Rashed Al Suwaidi, executive director of healthcare workforce planning at the department, said the initiative showed the emirate's commitment to excellence in healthcare.
"As always, the safety and well-being of the people and communities of the emirate remain our number one priority," he said.
"Through this collaboration, we look forward to further advancing our health sector, by attracting more doctors to Abu Dhabi, inspiring them to make the emirate their home and providing these dedicated professionals with the support they need to further contribute to the sector, ensuring the safety, happiness and well-being of our community.”
The benefits of a golden visa
Golden visa holders can live, work and study in Abu Dhabi for 10 years without the need for a national sponsor.
The initiative was launched to recognise experts in various fields who play a pivotal role in supporting the nation’s progress. It also attracts skilled workers to the UAE.
Last month, doctors on the front line of the pandemic were encouraged to apply for golden visas in recognition of their contribution towards health care in the country.
All medics licensed by the country’s health regulatory bodies can apply for the 10-year permit from now until September at smartservices.ica.gov.ae.
Doctors licensed to practise in Dubai can apply at smart.gdrfad.gov.ae.
“We are pleased to have come to this understanding with the DoH in organising an effective process that aims to enable doctors to lead a solid and successful career in the emirate," said Sameh Al Qubaisi, executive director of the executive affairs office at the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.
“We aim to collaborate with more partners in providing world-class services that enable global talent in acquiring the golden visa.
"Through this aligned and collaborative approach, we hope to help as many people as we can, and encourage all nominated doctors to take full advantage of this opportunity."
Under the new process, nominated medics can choose between a VIP service that costs Dh4,000 ($1,089), or two non-VIP packages. The first costs Dh3,470 if paid through wire transfer and the second, which requires an online payment, costs Dh3,547.
The non-VIP packages include fees for application, change of status, visa stamping and Tas-heel processing.
The VIP service covers additional services such as Emirates ID, passport pick-up and drop-off, and visa hold services for dependents.
Visa cancellation and medical assessment fees cost extra, no matter which package is chosen.
Doctors' family members can also use the services when they apply for golden visas.
This week, Abu Dhabi Residents Office also set up a new web tool to help parents of pupils who performed well in exams to check whether their children are eligible for golden visas.
Pupils are required to achieve total scores of at least 95 per cent in high school exams.
Parents can verify their status by visiting www.adro.gov.ae and entering the Emirates ID details of their children.