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Kuwait Approves Amendments to Expats Residency Law

  • Publish date: Thursday، 07 December 2023
Kuwait Approves Amendments to Expats Residency Law

The Parliamentary Interior and Defense Affairs Committee has greenlit a bill amending the Expats Residency Law, forwarding it to the National Assembly for inclusion in the upcoming session scheduled for December 19.

Comprehensive Changes in 37 Articles

Comprising 37 articles and organized into seven chapters, the bill addresses crucial aspects such as entry and deportation mechanisms for expats, notification processes for competent authorities, penalties, and visa trading. Additionally, it grants specific rights, such as sponsorship, to a Kuwaiti woman married to a foreigner who hasn't acquired citizenship under Article Eight.

Fee Specification and Prohibition on Visa Trading

With a focus on prompt implementation, the bill delineates residency-related fees, renewals, and entry visas, all regulated by ministerial decisions. Notably, it explicitly prohibits the trading of residence permits for financial gains, imposing severe criminal penalties, including imprisonment and fines ranging from KD5,000 to KD10,000 for violators.

Rights for Specific Groups

The bill introduces provisions allowing a Kuwaiti woman married to a foreigner to sponsor her husband and children, provided she hasn't acquired citizenship through marriage extension. It also grants residence permits for expat widows or divorcees of Kuwaitis with children, temporary residence for up to three months, and regular residence for periods up to ten or fifteen years for specific categories.

Investment Opportunities for Expats

Expanding economic opportunities, the bill permits expats to invest in Kuwait, subject to regulations defined by the Council of Ministers. It specifies conditions for residence permit approval for government and non-governmental entity employees, emphasizing the need for respective authorities' consent.

Deportation Criteria and Exemptions

The Minister of Interior retains the authority to deport expats, citing reasons related to public interest, security, or morals. Cases of deportation include individuals without a legitimate income source. The bill allows for the detention of deported individuals and may exempt them from fines upon leaving Kuwait.

Amendments Affecting Domestic Workers

Addressing the situation of domestic workers, the bill introduces provisions related to residency permits, transfer conditions, and limitations on remaining outside Kuwait without permission. Notably, the employer's consent is mandatory for the transfer of a domestic worker's residency.

Exclusions and Considerations

The bill outlines exclusions from its provisions, including heads of state and their families, diplomatic mission heads and employees, and individuals deemed excluded by the Minister of Interior for reasons related to courtesies.