Authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced that they will expand their Golden Visa program, by permitting internationals engaged in more certain professions, to obtain 10-year residency.

The decision was announced on Sunday, by UAE Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum. It includes holders of doctorate degrees, medical doctors, as well as computer, programming, electronics, electrical and biotechnology engineers, VisaGuide.World reports.

UAE’s Vice President said that the move will also include all persons who have special degrees in artificial intelligence, significant data epidemiology and students of high schools who live in the UAE and rank top in the country, as well as students from universities with a GPA of 3.8 at least.

“We want such minds and talents to remain to continue with us in the process of development and achievements of the country,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum has stated on his Twitter account.

During the past few years, the UAE’s government has made the visa policy more flexible by offering more extended residencies for some types of investors, as well as other professionals.

The United Arab Emirates introduced its plan for the long-term visa, in 2018, while it started to grant 5- to 10-year renewable visas in 2019. The permits were granted to international entrepreneurs, chief executives, students and scientists.

Back in September, Dubai announced that it would start to grant visas – renewable for five years – to wealthy international retirees.

Golden Visa Scheme is a long-term residency scheme, introduced by Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, in May, last year. Soon after being launched, the Citizenship-by-Investment scheme grabbed the attention of business people, investors.

A total of 400 internationals have received their visas after the implementation of the program, while the number is increasing, since then. Through the recent changes, the number of internationals wishing to apply for a Golden Visa program is expected to keep increasing.

The “Golden Visa Scheme” is also implemented in several European countries. However, the scheme has been often criticized by the European Union for granting residence permits to internationals which are included in frauds, money laundering and other illegal affairs.

Some European countries continue to run their Golden Visa Schemes even amid the Coronavirus pandemic. But, the European Union Commission has reacted several times regarding the situation. Back in April, the European Union Commission called on governments of Bulgaria, Malta and Cyprus to put an end to this program.

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