Golden visas for expat doctors and grace period for expired visas amid COVID-19 in UAE

The Dubai Health Authority announced yesterday that ten-year golden visas will be granted to 212 expat doctors in the UAE.

The move comes as an implementation of a directive issued by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. 

The Government of Dubai Media Office said in its release that it is an expression of gratitude to Dubai's first line of defence against COVID-19.

Long-term golden visas of five and ten years, a scheme started in 2019, are typically granted to outstanding students, investors, entrepreneurs, professional talents and researchers in various fields of science and knowledge.

UAE's healthcare workers who come from across the world, have been hailed for their sacrifices in the line of duty and have been publicly acknowledged by Sheikh Mohammed himself. 

This gesture of appreciation is to thank those who secured the well being of the UAE society and doctors at DHA who attended directly to COVID-19 patients. 

Visas extended

In response to the COVID-19 lockdown and travel restrictions, all those whose visas have expired, have been given a three-month grace period to depart the UAE starting May 18. 

As per the directives of UAE President, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, holders of both residency and visit visas that expired in early March are exempted from fines. 

Repatriation flights to India

Meanwhile repatriation flights continue both to and from the UAE with the flagship airlines Emirates and Etihad continuing their missions as per rules and regulations by respective ministries. 

India’s ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ continued with two more flights taking off from Dubai on Wednesday. The first flight to Delhi took off with 245 passengers while the flight to Amritsar in Punjab had 177 passengers.

As part of the ongoing first phase of the repatriation effort, Air India (42 flights) and Air India Express (24 flights) are operating 64 flights from May 7-14. 

They will bring home approximately 15,000 Indians from 12 countries including the USA, the UK, Bangladesh, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Philippines, the UAE and Malaysia. 

The second phase of the mission will be launched from May 16 to 22 and aims to bring back Indians from 31 countries via a total of 149 flights including feeder flights.