KUWAIT: Bill targets visa peddlers - ‘Family visit visa for 3 months, nonrenewable’
Chairman of the parliament’s Committee of Interior and Defense Affairs MP Sa’adoun Hammad says the bill for amending the law of expatriates’ residency is aimed at confronting residency traffickers. He revealed that the bill aims at toughening the penalties against residency traffickers by a jail term of maximum five years and a fine of maximum KD 10,000.
MP Hammad cited articles 18 and 28 of the bill which imposes the aforementioned penalties and doubles them in case the convicted is a public sector official and in case the same crime is committed more than once.
Regarding family visit visa, MP Hammad explained that its maximum term is only three months and is nonrenewable. Extending the visit to one year is only available to companies that bring workers to Kuwait on commercial visit visas, and then have to extend the term and transfer the residency later.
Regarding the five-year residency, the lawmaker said expatriates’ residencies can be renewed at the end of the five-year term, adding that the ten-year residency for the children of Kuwaiti women and the 15-year residency for the owners of real estate in Kuwait and the foreign investors can also be renewed. He explained that, according to the bill, the transfer of domestic workers and those in similar positions is not allowed without the approval of their employers.
Domestic workers are also not allowed to stay outside Kuwait for more than four months unless they obtain a permit from the Ministry of Interior before the end of the four month period; otherwise, their residency will get canceled. In another development , MP Osama Al-Shaheen has forwarded queries to Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Oil and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Muhammad Al-Fares about the overcrowding in fuel stations over the weekend.
He wants to know the regulations for preventing conflict of interests between private fuel stations and local marketing companies under Kuwait National Petroleum Corporation (KNPC), if penalties were imposed on fuel stations found to have committed violations since the implementation of the privatization strategy, if the meters in these stations are inspected regularly to prevent manipulation, if the Ministry of Oil and KNPC followed up the investigations conducted by the Ministry of Interior on the seizure of two ships in the territorial waters of Kuwait for smuggling fuel, if the confiscated fuel is subsidized, and if any of the private fuel stations are involved in the issue.