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The high school toppers, who also received kudos from the highest quarters on Sunday, have been granted the coveted 10-year residence visas.
For the UAE’s bright high school students, graduating with flying colours also meant striking gold – the golden visa.
The high school toppers, who also received kudos from the highest quarters on Sunday, have been granted the coveted 10-year residence visas, the government announced on Monday.
“I have been studying hard and prioritised all subjects. I am so happy that my hard work has paid off,” said Raghad Muaiyad Asseid Danawi, a 17-year-old student who topped the Advanced Stream at Qatr Al Nada School with a score of 99.8 per cent.
The visa was also extended to Raghad’s family. “Receiving the golden visa is something I have never thought of. This is a great opportunity for me, my parents and siblings and it will guarantee our stay in this beautiful nation,” she told Khaleej Times on Monday.
Raghad, a Jordanian national, aspires to study medicine at a university in the UAE.
Granting the 10-year visas to high school toppers is part of the UAE’s efforts to create a supportive environment for exceptional talents and encourage them to be part of the UAE’s development.
The visa will be issued to outstanding students who have obtained an excellent grade or an average of at least 95 per cent in the general secondary certificate or its equivalent in public or private schools. Applications must be submitted through the Emirates Schools Establishment.
For Raghad’s mother Lubna Abdulla, it was the “best prize” they have received as a family.
“My daughter emerged as the best in high school and, now, the family was granted the golden visa. It’s really amazing. We are so proud that we live in the UAE, a country that appreciates outstanding students and their families,” Lubna said.
She added: “This will be the first step for a great future for me and my family in a country that supports the gifted and talented people and provides them with unlimited opportunities.”
Another top student, Rahaf Mushtaq Jabbar Al Dulaimi from Vision Private School in Abu Dhabi, said she was grateful.
“I’m planning to carry on my university studies here in the UAE, as it is a great place to study and live in,” said 17-year-old Rahaf.
The Iraqi national, who scored 98.9 percent in her last exams, has been consistently acing her classwork, particularly in her final years in high school.
The last school year had been challenging, she said, as everyone had to shift to remote classes because of the pandemic. “But we thank the government for providing us with everything that we needed for online education. I also thank everyone who supported me mentally, like my family and my teachers plus the school I attended,” Rahaf said.
University students within or outside the UAE who have a cumulative average of no less than 3.75 or the equivalent, in certain scientific disciplines, will also be eligible for the golden visa.
The Emirates Schools Establishment recently announced the final exam results of Grade 12 students at Ministry of Education schools, recording an impressive pass rate of 91 per cent.