KUWAIT: The residency affairs department decided to continue renewing ‘Article 22’ family residency visas of more than 11,500 expats, who are parents and brothers of foreigners working in Kuwait and have been granted permits before a ban on issuing such visas was announced.
However, the visa is only renewed provided that the sponsor buys a private health insurance policy for the relative he wants to sponsor.
Meanwhile, the ban remains on issuing new family residencies for parents and brothers until further notice, the department announced.
The department made a ‘humanitarian decision’ to suspend the ban on renewing visas for those already living in Kuwait, the sources said.
They added that the visas are renewed provided that certain procedures are followed, most importantly getting medical insurance from private companies, in addition to paying the KD 50 per year for the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) health insurance, not to mention the KD 200 visa renewal fee.
These measures help reduce the pressure on public health services, the sources said, adding that “no new article 22 residencies will be issued for parents and siblings until the new fees’ proposal is approved by the National Assembly.” The sources said the interior ministry’s proposal, which the National Assembly received three years ago, stipulates that the sponsor’s salary must be a minimum of KD 1,000, must pay KD 200 – 300 as article 22 residency fees for parents and siblings, while the health insurance fee will be determined following coordination with the health ministry and could reach nearly KD 300 as the case in the private companies’ health insurance.
In case the proposal is approved, it will allow bringing in parents and siblings on article 22 visas, and there will not be no need exceptions, the sources said. —Al-Rai