International

Unlocking Hearts: Kuwait Resumes Family Visa Issuance

Navigating Challenges and Celebrating Reunions in Expatriate Communities

Kuwait has again opened its doors to family visa issuance, bringing immense comfort and joy to the expatriate community. However, the recent introduction of a KD 800 minimum salary requirement has cast a shadow on this excitement, causing distress among individuals in lower-income groups. Despite certain employment categories being exempt from these income criteria, concerns persist regarding the inclusivity of these measures.

Key Points

  • Family Visa Resumption: Issuing family visas brings relief to the expatriate community.
  • Salary Requirement Concerns: The minimum salary requirement of KD 800 for family visas sparks distress among expats.
  • Positive Economic Impact: While concerns linger, there is optimism about the positive impact on Kuwait’s economy.

Family Visa Resumption

While the resumption of family visas in Kuwait offers relief to the expatriate community, introducing a minimum salary requirement of KD 800 for these visas has sparked significant distress among expats, particularly those in lower-income brackets.

Salary Requirement Concerns

These key points provide an overview, but the real impact of these visa changes is better understood through the experiences of individuals like Yousef Ibrahim. However, the KD 800 salary cap has created challenges for many, especially those earning less than this threshold. Dr Hameed Nawaz, a university professor, brings a humanitarian perspective to the forefront, emphasizing that over 70 per cent of expats earn below KD 800, underscoring their deep desire for family reunions.

Revised Article 29 of Emigration law outlines the criteria for applying for dependent or family visas, requiring a monthly salary of no less than KD 800, a university degree, and a matching profession. Notably, a salary below the specified amount does not hinder parents with children under five from residing in Kuwait.

Positive Economic Impact

Samar El-Mousa, a nurse, expressed her happiness at the prospect of applying for her husband’s and child’s visa. However, concerns about the salary cap remain prevalent. Exceptions to salary conditions exist for expatriates in specific job categories, as outlined in Article 30. Professionals such as judges, advisors, engineers, doctors, teachers, and medical staff are exempt.

Wilson D’Souza, who is employed in the travel sector, views this as a positive development for Kuwait’s economy. He envisions growth in the aviation, hospitality, and retail sectors with the resumption of family visas, anticipating increased consumer spending.

The government clarifies that these exemptions apply solely to the salary prerequisite, not the university degree requirements. The attestation process for university degrees adds an extra layer of verification. Additionally, those born in Kuwait or abroad (aged 0-5) with parents in Kuwait are exempt from the salary requirement, subject to the Director General’s approval.

While the resumption of family visas is lauded, the deliberation continues to strike a balance between economic considerations and the diverse financial circumstances of the expatriate population.

Alok Verma

Alok Verma is an accomplished International Reporter at IndiaFocus with a deep-seated passion for global affairs and cross-border stories. With an impressive track record in international journalism, Alok is dedicated… More »

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