Citizenship means the status of being a legally recognized subject of a particular country. In every country, there are different procedures, requirements and types of citizenships. In some countries it comes in the form of a card or a smaller passport – in others, you do not get a physical document. In some countries, you need to have money and a business to become a citizen, while in others you can get it by working for a certain amount of years, and so on. Therefore, I am not surprised when I get confused questions from readers regarding Kuwaiti citizenship.
Kuwaiti citizenship has rightfully been a very sensitive matter to discuss, but I am here to explain the law behind the citizenship and not the political aspect of it. Being Kuwaiti means monetary benefits as well as political ones. Therefore, Kuwaiti citizenship is in high demand and unfortunately has been a subject of attempted fraud, a very serious crime! Today I hope I will answer questions by my readers about Kuwaiti citizenship.
Question: Is obtaining Kuwaiti citizenship difficult and if so, how difficult? We applied for citizenship but our application was not accepted and we were told we could not take the matter to court. Is this true?
Fajer: Difficult is all about perspective, but when I personally say it is difficult, I mean the procedure is a lot tougher than other countries in general, but I am sure that there are valid reasons by the Kuwaiti authorities for such procedures, Kuwait is in a very sensitive region and area and these decisions are made to protect Kuwait. As a very patriotic person, I trust that the officials are doing what is best for Kuwait. Citizenship in Kuwait (and many other countries) is seen as a matter of sovereignty and in Kuwait the law states that the matter cannot be taken to court.
Passing citizenship over
Question: I am a Kuwaiti woman married to a non-Kuwaiti man. Can I pass over the citizenship to my husband?
Fajer: Generally speaking, no. With that said, there is a law that allows a Kuwaiti woman to pass on her citizenship to her husband if he is Arab and Muslim.
Question: I was born to a Kuwaiti father, but I have never been to Kuwait and I do not see my father very often. My father does not want me coming to Kuwait. Can I get Kuwaiti citizenship?
Fajer: Yes you can, but if your father is not willing to cooperate with you, then you will have to go through a long procedure before you can obtain the citizenship. My advice would be to hire a lawyer in Kuwait. It will be a lot easier for the lawyers if you have any official Kuwaiti documents or if your dad registered you previously in Kuwait.
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By Attorney Fajer Ahmed