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Call to cancel entry fees for Kuwaitis studying in Egypt – ‘Over 20,000 students affected’

KUWAIT CITY, March 23: The National Union of Kuwaiti Students (NUKS) in Egypt has called for the cancellation of entry visa fees for Kuwaitis studying in Egypt, which was recently approved by the Egyptian government at $25 (about KD8) for the citizens of Arab countries, reports Al-Qabas daily. NUKS-Egypt Chairman Ahmad Al-Shammari told the daily that most Kuwaiti students are now preparing to return to Egypt to resume their studies.

According to Kuwait’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Kuwaiti Embassy in Cairo, Egypt has imposed fees for obtaining an entry visa without clarifying whether the decision covers all Kuwaitis — those traveling to Egypt for tourism, investment or study; or if certain categories are excluded. The union is currently studying the situation, he explained. “In the event that visa fees are applied to Kuwaiti students, we will send an official letter to the Kuwaiti Cultural Attaché for submission to Kuwait’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which will then communicate with the relevant Egyptian government authorities,” Al-Shammari revealed.

He said more than 20,000 Kuwaitis are studying in Egypt, apart from a large number of postgraduate and research students in various public and private universities. He pointed out that imposing fees for these students to enter Egypt is unprecedented as such step has not been taken before. Meanwhile, several Kuwaiti students in Egypt expressed concern about the new visa fees.

They told the daily that Kuwaiti students used to travel to Egypt and return to Kuwait several times a year. “Sometimes we travel once or twice a month, during official holidays and anniversaries, and during official holidays in Egypt. If we calculate the visa fees that will be imposed on us, we will spend a significant amount every year,” they added. They went on to say that students should be excluded, because they are enrolled in Egyptian universities. “All kinds of taxes are imposed on us by some authorities in dollars not the local currency, so it is illogical to equate us with tourists or visitors. We have been residing in Egypt for several years as we study here. We hope the new visa fee decision excludes the students,” they concluded.

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