KuwaitOther News

MoI mulls online iqama renewal; reduction of health fees urged

KUWAIT: Residency Affairs Department Director General Maj Gen Talal Maarafi said the department is discussing a plan to renew residencies online, and is studying offers from various companies for this purpose, Al-Rai reported yesterday. He said another plan aims to allow issuance of work permits to those on family visas who reach 21 years of age, according to certain conditions.

Maarafi said expats’ residency permits will be renewed online through the interior ministry website, and a search for an alternative to the iqama sticker is underway. He said this will be the qualitative move the ministry is looking for. He added the residency renewal project will enhance performance and ease matters for companies and encourage economic movement, besides saving time and effort.

Maarafi also spoke about a plan that allows the Manpower Public Authority to issue work permits to those who reach 21 years of age and hold family visas. This is for both the wife and children, provided the marriage is still valid. As for a divorced woman, Maarafi said she will not be allowed to transfer her residency to a work permit and will be deported if her residency is not renewed.

Separately, the head of the parliamentary health committee MP Humoud Al-Khudayer said the committee will study proposals to reduce health fees for expats. He said some of those who submitted the proposals find the fees for some services too high, and may be disproportionate with their salaries. He said the committee discussed proposals related to health insurance for citizens and listened to comments of employers related to the issue, as well as the beneficiary groups, and the possibility of adding other groups. He said proposals of citizens’ interests will be a top priority and there will be special meetings to discuss them.

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