e-Residence renewal eyed – Fees raised to mitigate deficit

Major-General Talal Ma’arafi

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 24: The Director- General of the General Department for Residence Affairs, Major-General Talal Marafie said the most important reason why the Ministry of Interior increased fees for services is the deficit in the state budget, reports Al-Qabas daily.

Marafie added the real cost of services provided by the department over more than 40 years are not commensurate with current charges most of which are regulatory, such as visits and temporary residence permits. He went on to say we are not against expatriates.

They are brothers and residents of Kuwait and earn their living from their work “money for work”, and have played a big role nation building ‘old and modern’ in terms of education, health and infrastructure.

He added, the increase in fees applies to both Kuwaitis and expatriates. He spoke of the new project to renew the residence permit of expatriates automatically via the Ministry of Interior website.

He pointed out, several offers have been submitted by various companies to create the website and the ministry will choose the best. This is part of the directives of the State to develop work mechanism within the egovernment project.

He added, the e-government project will encourage economic movement, reduce congestion in the streets and overcrowding at ministry’s departments. This is in addition to saving time and effort. He pointed out the new fees for visits and residence permits will be introduced only after getting a nod from the Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Khalid Al-Jarrah and approval of the National Assembly.

Marafie revealed the new penalty for harboring a residence law violator or absconder is KD 1,000. This has been set by the four-member committee comprising personnel from the ministries of Interior, Social Affairs and Labor, Commerce and Industry and the Kuwait Municipality. He explained the purpose of punishment is to control the violators of the residence law and force them to pay fines and adjust their status. However, if they are caught they will be administratively deported and not allowed to return.

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