KUWAIT CITY, Oct 16: Residency Affairs Department Director General in the Interior Ministry Major General Talal Al-Marafe has announced increasing the salary cap for an expatriate who wants to bring his wife and children to Kuwait for family visit from KD 150 to KD 200, and KD 300 if he wants to bring a sibling or relative for the same purpose, reports Al-Rai daily.
In a press statement, 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.
On increasing the salary cap for family residence visa from KD 250 to KD 450, Al-Marafe explained the objective behind this step is to remedy the lopsided population structure.
He pointed out; “We currently have 2,670,000 expatriates and if we do not take such measure, the number will multiply and the problem will worsen.” He wonders “how someone getting a salary of KD 250 will be able to handle the high cost of living and provide for his family, in addition to meeting their basic needs like food, shelter, education and health.” He considers this illogical while warning that if this continues, the State will be burdened in serving the interest of the unproductive marginalized labor force, hence, the need to increase the salary cap to KD 450 to control the expatriate population.
Asked about the mechanism for implementing this measure, Al-Marafe clarified there are exemptions for those on family residency visa; citing those who got the visa prior to the issuance of the decision, those who wish to renew it, newborn babies of families that obtained the visa before the decision was issued, and some special cases related the wife and children.
He said these special cases will be reviewed based on humanitarian considerations or under certain circumstances. He continued saying that “the decision will not be implemented retroactively as it is applicable only to those who will obtain the visa after the issuance and publication of the decision.” He added the decision does not cover those working on commission basis, given that the concerned departments will accept only the salary certificate.
He pointed out it is not allowed to combine the salaries of the husband and the wife, since the husband is considered the main provider of the family. In case of the death of the husband who is the breadwinner of the family, the mother will be considered the breadwinner and the KD 450 salary cap will be applicable to her.
In case of a family dispute, the department will oblige the husband to renew the residence of the wife as there are cases of husbands refusing to renew the residency of their wives due to family dispute, and in this case, the department recognizes the husband as the sponsor of the wife. “We will not allow any expatriate to be the cause of another expatriate’s violation of the Residency Law because of personal issues.
In case the wife leaves the matrimonial house, the husband is supposed to file an absconding case and present evidence,” Al-Marafe narrated.
In the case of Palestinians, Al- Marafe confirmed the department has started remedying the residency situation of Palestinians who hold travel documents from Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon.
One of the steps being taken to address the issue is to require these Palestinians to use the passports issued by the Palestinian National Authority, instead of the travel documents, so they can enjoy various services like driving license, health and education.
This step will be taken starting with those whose residency permits in Kuwait have expired and the department is now working on about 8,000 such applications.
On the housemaids, Al-Marafe revealed some countries have refused to send their citizens to Kuwait including Indonesia, Malaysia, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. He hopes the ministry will open new labor market from other countries.