UAE: Indian-origin British doctor gets 10-year Golden Visa

Abu Dhabi - Dr Rajesh Sharma, consultant neonatologist at the Corniche Hospital, received the visa under the specialised talents category.

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Ashwani Kumar

Published: Thu 17 Jun 2021, 10:40 AM

Last updated: Thu 17 Jun 2021, 11:25 AM

An Indian-origin British doctor based in Abu Dhabi has received the UAE’s 10-year golden visa under the specialised talents category.

After spending nine years in the Capital, Dr Rajesh Sharma, consultant neonatologist at the Corniche Hospital, is convinced that there is no place better to live, work and settle down in the world than the UAE.

“I am from Jaipur in Rajasthan. In 2001, I went to the UK on a Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP). I was there for about 12 years. I did my training in paediatrics and neonatology. In 2012, I came to the UAE. I worked at NMC Healthcare for two years. Since 2015, I have been working at the Corniche Hospital.”

The British passport holder rates the UAE’s quality of life, and the services offered a few notches above the UK. “The quality of life is better here than the UK, especially the healthcare sector and social circle. In a lot of things, the UAE’s health services are better than the NHS (the UK’s National Health Service). Also, the ease of availability of health services is much better, especially the acute services. Another reason was that the UAE is closer to India and travelling is easier.”

The 50-year-old doctor is the first to receive the golden visa at the Corniche Hospital. It was about the life after retirement that made him dearly want the golden visa.

“When you think of your retirement days, one of the options was to stay put but there was always an apprehension because of the visa issues and other things, and if you can stay here for long or not. So, when this scheme came up. I wrote to the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi and got the recommendation letter."

"I was a bit sceptical since I was the first from the hospital to go for such a visa and didn’t know the finer details. But the Emirati officials at the Immigration Department and the Department of Economic Development were very helpful to complete my paperwork. And the Immigration Department gave the approval. I applied on June 2 and received my golden visa on June 6.”

Dr Sharma noted that doctors with academic achievements, qualifications, can apply for the golden visa.

“I have FRCPCH, i.e., Fellowship of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the UK, a Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training in Neonatology. I am the president-elect of the UAE branch of India’s National Neonatology Forum.”

Counting the benefits of the visa, he said: “The visa will be renewed automatically after 10 years. This has helped me decide my future to settle here in the UAE or not. You can also start your own business without the need of a local sponsor.”

“My wife is a PhD holder, and she can also apply for the golden visa as well. My daughter is studying medicine in the UK and my son is studying at Brighton College, Abu Dhabi.”

Expressing his gratitude to the UAE government, Dr Sharma added: “I thank the UAE leadership, who have taken this significant step, which encourages highly skilled talent to stay here and help in the development of the nation.”

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