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KUWAIT CITY, March 22: The Parliamentary Interior and Defense Committee will discuss on Wednesday the draft law regarding the residence of foreigners, and the draft law amending Article (8) of Amiri Decree No. 15 of 1959 regarding the Kuwaiti Nationality Law related to the naturalization of Kuwaiti wives, reports Al-Rai daily. The Ministry of Interior has submitted a memorandum containing several amendments to the residency of foreigners, including the managers of hotels and furnished residences intended for rent should inform the competent authority in the Ministry of Interior about the foreigners who stay in their facilities or leave forty-eight-hours before they leave and keep records related to their stay.
The employees who are authorized by a decision issued by the Minister of Interior shall have the right to inspect the records, and if necessary issue violations and refer the violator to the competent authorities. A decision shall be issued by the Minister of Interior defining the procedures related to this matter.
According to the text of the amendments the ministry maintains its right to permit a foreigner to obtain normal residence for a period not exceeding five years, but allows a maximum of ten years residence for children of Kuwaiti women married to foreigners and real estate owners, and the amendments raised the duration of residence to a maximum of fifteen years for investors that will be determined by the Council of Ministers depending on the scope and categories of their investments and the amounts to be invested.
Conditions The Ministry kept the same conditions in granting visitor visas for a maximum period of three months, with the obligation to leave after that unless the visitor obtains a residence permit from the Ministry of Interior.
On the other hand, the Ministry of the Interior canceled the condition that was imposed on Kuwaiti woman in order to obtain a residence permit for her foreign husband and children, provided none of them seek work in the governmental or non-governmental entity.
In the same context, the amendments kept the severe penalties for trafficking in residence permits by exploiting the recruitment or facilitation of foreign recruitment under an entry visa or residence permit or renewing it in exchange for sums of money or benefit or a promise to do so for oneself or for others. The amendments authorize the Minister of Interior to allow any time limit for and if he has a residence permit, if he deems that the visa traffickers expulsion is required in public interest, public security or public morals, provided that there is no legitimate source of earning, and the decision to deport the foreigner includes the members of his family “unless it is proven that they can support themselves.”
The amendments also allow the court to be exempted from the punishment for trafficking in residences with the abolition of the paragraph that states: “If the notification is after the completion of the crime and before the investigation begins and submitting what supports the responsibility of the perpetrators, and he is given a period determined by the Ministry of Interior to transfer his residence to another employer, otherwise he will be deported at the expense of his sponsor or whoever works for him.”
The amendments abolish the exception from the application of the provisions of the law, which was granted to the captains and crews of ships and planes coming to Kuwait and carrying sea or air tickets from their competent authorities. The memorandum says a foreigner who entered the State of Kuwait for the purpose of a visit may stay for no more than three months and upon expiry of the visa must leave unless he obtains a residence permit from the Ministry of Interior.
A foreigner may be licensed to reside temporarily in the State of Kuwait for a period not exceeding three months, and he must leave the country upon its expiry unless he obtains an authorization for temporary residence permit from the Ministry of Interior.
The Minister of Interior determines the conditions in which temporary residence is granted. A residence permit may be granted for a period not exceeding fifteen years for investors based on a decision issued by the Council of Ministers specifying the scope and categories of their investments and the amounts to be invested. With the exception of children of Kuwaiti women, owners of real estate and whoever obtained the residency in his capacity as an investor, a foreigner residing in it is not permitted to stay outside the State of Kuwait for a period of more than six months, unless the Ministry of the Interior decides otherwise. The memorandum contains amendments related to domestic labor: The domestic worker and the like may be granted a normal residence permit in accordance with the Article (13) of this law, within the duration of his recruitment contract.
If the worker has the residency canceled from the date he/she left work, he must leave the State of Kuwait within the period specified for him by the competent authority in the Ministry of Interior unless he is authorized to establish a get new residence before the expiry of this period. The employer must notify the competent authority at the Ministry of Interior that the domestic worker or the like has left his/her job within two weeks of leaving.
In all cases, it is not permissible to transfer the residence of a domestic worker or a similar person without the approval of the employer.
The domestic worker may not stay outside the State of Kuwait for a period of more than four months unless, before the expiry of this period, he obtains permission to do so from the Ministry of Interior.
An employee in a governmental entity or a worker in a non-governmental entity shall obtain a normal residence permit upon the request of the entity in which he will work, provided that he holds a valid passport. If the employee or worker’s residency period has expired, and he did not obtain approval to renew it or obtain another residence permit from another entity, he must leave the State of Kuwait within the period specified by the Ministry of the Interior within six months from the expiry date of his service.
An employee in a government entity may not be granted a residence permit at another entity without the approval of the authority in which he was working, and a worker in a non-governmental entity may not be granted a residence permit except with the approval of the competent authority. The governmental or non-governmental entity, as the case may be, shall notify the competent authorities when the service of the employee or worker ends or leaves him to work, within two weeks of the termination or quitting.
The memo added foreign applicants must notify the competent authority at the Ministry of Interior of the expiry of the foreigner’s entry visa or his temporary or regular residence if he does not leave the State of Kuwait.
All fees related to residency and its renewal and all types of entry visas are determined and modified by a decision of the Minister of Interior, and children of Kuwaiti women who have obtained residency permits are exempted from these fees in accordance with the provisions of Article (10 paragraph 1) of this law, and any other provisions of this law.
A foreigner is prohibited from working for others in violation of the requirements of his residence in the State of Kuwait. It is prohibited for the employer or the foreign recruiter to employ him for a purpose other than his recruitment, or to enable him or facilitate his work for others without a license from the competent authority.
It is prohibited for a third party to harbor or use a foreigner, whether his residence is valid or has expired, and it is also prohibited for him to accommodate him if he does not have a valid residence in the country. The chapter on the rules of deportation and expulsion of foreigners states: The Minister of Interior may issue a decision to deport any foreigner within a certain period, even if he has a residence permit in the following cases: He has a legitimate source of earning, and the decision to deport the foreigner may include members of his family, the foreigners who are charged with their support, and the foreigner who is issued a decision to deport him may be detained for a period not exceeding thirty days, renewable at the end of the granted period if such detention is necessary to implement the deportation decision.
A foreigner shall be expelled from the State of Kuwait by a decision of the Minister of Interior if he does not have a residence permit or if the permit period has expired, and he may return to the State of Kuwait if he fulfills the conditions for entry in accordance with the terms of entry into force.
The Minister of Interior may exempt a foreigner who has been expelled from the State of Kuwait from all fines resulting from violating the provisions of this law, provided he leaves the State of Kuwait.
A foreigner who has previously been expelled from the State of Kuwait may not return to it without the permission of the Minister of Interior. In the chapter on penalties, it was stated in the memorandum: Whoever the law shall be punished with a fine of not less than six hundred dinars and not exceeding two thousand dinars, and he shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months and a fine of not more than four hundred dinars or more than four hundred dinars.
Whoever violates any of the provisions of Article 9 (paragraph 2) (11) shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year and a fine of not less than six hundred dinars and not more than one thousand and two hundred dinars or one of these two penalties.
Whoever obtains an entry visa or a residence permit in return for money or a benefit or a promise to do so shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year and a fine not exceeding one thousand dinars, or by one of these two penalties.
Anyone who among the perpetrators who initiates to inform the competent authorities of the existence of an agreement to commit the crime of trafficking in residence stipulated in Article (18) of this law before the crime was completed by the court, shall be exempted from punishment