KUWAIT: Citizens of six nations facing visa restrictions in Kuwait can now enjoy more flexibility as far as bringing their families to the Gulf state was concerned following new regulations released by the Interior Ministry and published by a local newspaper yesterday.
According to security sources quoted by Al- Rai, the citizens of Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan can bypass an embargo imposed on their access to Kuwait under three conditions.
The first condition pertains to residents working in the public sector “who can bring their wives and children without restrictions.”
The second condition covers those private sector employees “who can issue dependency visas to their male children up to the age of 15 and female children up to the age of 18” as long as both the employee and his wife have valid residencies in Kuwait.
The third condition allows citizens of the aforementioned nationalities to obtain a commercial visa to work in a company in Kuwait classified under “first-class companies” or in any of the state-owned shareholding companies.
All other categories still remain under the ban which was imposed by Kuwaiti authorities for security reasons, the sources explained. In other news, a senior Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor official announced “an increase of nearly 8000” in the number of work permits issued last year compared to 2011, according to early results of the ministry’s annual year-end inventory.
Speaking to reporters during a recent tour of the Hawally Labor Department, Undersecretary Assistant for Labor Affairs Jamaal Al-Dousary also revealed the ministry’s plans to “reconsider the option of announcing a new time band to allow domestic workers to transfer their visas to the private sector as long as the same sponsor is retained.” At least 16,000 domestic helpers shifted to local companies owned by their respective employers during a similar six months’ period last year.
Meanwhile, the National Assembly Committee for Human Rights Affairs and for the Illegal Residents met several rights groups and committees to discuss the Human Rights situation in the country.
NA committee Rapporteur MP Taher Al- Failikawi said, “agreement was reached on several points, including organizing visits to confinement centers accompanied by public groups, to verify complaints of inadequate ventilation and lighting in some buildings, particularly in the women’s holding cells.” He added the committee also discussed the dossier of Kuwaitis in Guantanamo and would be issuing a statement in this regard soon, and would also address the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry regarding Kuwaiti Adel Karam who is held in the Kingdom of Bahrain to ascertain the details regarding his situation.
The committee also received requests by public societies and committees on issues including civilian policing, centers offering refuge to victims of domestic violence, and procedures for release of patients from the psychiatric hospital.