KUWAIT CITY, Nov 16: In this week’s Arab Times online poll, readers responded to the restrictions on visa for parents of expatriates above 50 years. The majority of respondents felt that this move would put expatriates with single, elderly parents in a desperate situation.
Last month, Residency Affairs Department Director General in the Interior Ministry Major General Talal Al-Marafe revealed the visit of an expatriate’s parents to Kuwait will be based on their age which should not be above 50 years old, and in case the parent is above 50, the situation of the applicant and his salary will be reviewed thoroughly.
28 percent of voters felt that this would put strain on families that had single elderly parent in home countries. “It is very hard to care for aging parents from a distance. If expatriates have the financial resources and can afford to have their parents live with them, they should be allowed to do so”, a respondent pointed out.
25 percent understood this measure as a means to limit expatriate family visits altogether. “50 years is too low a cut off. It is very obvious what the government is doing. Which expatriate working here has parents under 50 years of age? It’s ridiculous”, a young professional shared. “The 50 years of age stipulation effectively makes every parent ineligible. A cut off of 60-65 would be more reasonable”, another voter shared.
12 percent of respondents commended the action as a good move as people exploited Kuwaiti medical facilities which is a huge loss to the government. “There are people who have brought their parents to Kuwait solely to avail of the public health system. That causes a huge drain on resources that should be spent on people actually living and contributing to the development of this country”, another voter pointed out.
17 percent of voters noted that implementation of Health Insurance on visit visa would be better suited to tackle concerns. “Why does the government just not mandate private insurance as a visa requirement? This would eliminate any strain on the public health system. There are lots of countries that have visitor’s insurance available that are based on the age and length of stay”, a poll respondent shared.
Another 13 percent believed that this was a setback for the country’s tourism industry. “Kuwait should be trying to diversify its tourism sector and attract more people by easing visa regulations and increasing incentives for people to bring their families here on holiday and spend money within the country. The medical exploitation aspect can be tackled in other ways.”
5 percent of respondents shared that they prefer to go visit their parents than bring them to Kuwait. “There is not much to see or do here, what will they do? How many times can I take them to the malls? I’d rather go visit my parents or plan a trip with them elsewhere where there are interesting activities and less unreasonable rules”, a reader shared.
By Cinatra Fernandes Arab Times Staff