KuwaitOther News

Family-to-work visa transfers eyed; 1-yr limit on residencies

KUWAIT: The Public Authority for Manpower is contemplating allowing transfers of dependent visa to work permits after they were suspended for two months, Al-Qabas Arabic daily reported. Sources said the decision was made for humanitarian reasons, as a large number of expats, particularly women, are in need of article 18 residencies with which they entered the country for the first time.

They said that the transfer requires the approval of the labor affairs secretary at the manpower authority and a fee of KD 300 the applicant must pay in case the period of transfer from work to family visa is less than six months, in addition to submitting a residency sequence history from the interior ministry.

Meanwhile, informed sources said the interior ministry has stopped issuing residencies of two or more years and decided to limit them to one year for wives of citizens, children of female citizens, expat mothers of citizens, and wives and children of expats, reported Al-Rai Arabic daily. The sources said the reason behind granting one-year residency is due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hindered work.

They said granting expats of the abovementioned categories more than one year of residency requires medical examinations, review of security restrictions and other technical matters. The sources added the suspension of granting more than one year of residency applies to all expats except those working in the private sector who are in Kuwait and have work permits of two or more years.

Meanwhile, only 400 out of 130,000 expats in violation of residency laws have come forward since the start of a one-month grace period to correct their legal status or leave the country. Sources said nearly 2,300 violators applied for appointments, but those who actually went to residency departments is very low, either because they changed their minds or changed the dates.

The sources said the reasons behind violators’ reluctance can be inability to pay fines and expensive tickets, but they advised expats to take advantage of the amnesty because the interior ministry will launch round-the-clock security campaigns to arrest and deport violators, who cannot return to Kuwait or any other GCC country for five years.

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