Indian-origin engineer gets UAE Golden Visa

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai Filed on June 2, 2021

He has been living in the UAE for nine years.

An Abu Dhabi-based Indian-origin British expat is the latest recipient of UAE's 10-year golden visa, Khaleej Times has learnt.

Shyam Kotthuri, a 45-year-old senior IT management professional, received the visa from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) on May 3 under special talents - engineering category for his contributions in the field of computer engineering. Shortly after, his wife Aruna Peri and 15-year-old son Shreevishnu received the visa in the second week of May, an ecstatic Kotthuri told Khaleej Times.

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A UAE resident for nine years, Kotthuri currently works as a senior IT technical programme manager for IBM. “I moved to the UAE on a three-month temporary basis to work on a project with Etihad Airways. Today, I am now the proud holder of a golden visa,” he said. The UAE government in 2019 implemented a new system for long-term residence visas, enabling foreigners to live, work and study in the UAE without the need of a national sponsor.

Originally from Bangalore in Karnataka, Kotthuri applied for the visa on ICA's online portal November last year. “I submitted all my paperwork on the ICA website as soon as I’d learned that the residency scheme has been extended to specialists and professionals. I assume the background checks took that long. In April this year, I heard back from them and officially submitted my documents for visa processing,” he said.

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At 21, Kotthuri left India for the UK to complete his Masters. “I studied in the UK, and I was recognised as a Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) immigrant by the UK government after which I got the British citizenship,” he explained.

Ever since then, he has been working for various domains like healthcare, airlines, and financial accumulating over 19 years of concrete international IT experience. He moved to the UAE with his family in 2012 and has embraced the UAE as his home. “Having lived and worked in the UAE for over nine years, this place now feels like my home,” said Kotthuri. After receiving the visa, his employee re-instated his employment contract as a self-sponsorship.

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Kotthuri said he was encouraged to apply for the visa as opportunities are booming in the IT health sector. “The visa takes away my dependency on an employer and the good part is that my son, if he chooses to study in UAE, he can as there some excellent universities here. He can pursue his career here as well without any problems. It provides my family with a lot of flexibility and stability,” he added.

“I have always been an ambitious person. I truly appreciate the rulers’ vision of retaining talent, skills and experience in this country. This is not a small achievement at a personal level for me, it’s a phenomenal reward. However I do realise that it comes with greater responsibility,” said Kotthuri. “I am very grateful to the UAE rulers and the federal government of UAE for this amazing recognition and also wish to thank my employer for their support on visa transition process. I hope to serve this place with the best of my abilities, I want to contribute more for the development and prosperity of this nation,” he stated.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88

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