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New salary cap of KD 500 on family visa will increase bachelors in Kuwait

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KUWAIT CITY, Aug 26: Following the decision by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Lt-Gen Sheikh Khaled Al- Jarrah, to raise the minimum salary for a foreigner in the country from 450 to 500 dinars, as a condition for obtaining a family visa will make most expatriates live like bachelors because many will not be able to bring in their families to live with them, reports Al-Rai daily.

Most of the expatriates say their salary is not sufficient enough to live in Kuwait and they spend money on themselves and also are forced to send money back home, but if they are allowed to bring in their families they will not have to make the double expenditure and will be able to manage with one expenditure, especially the low income people.

Khalid Abu Walid, a Kuwait- born expatriate who has been living in Kuwait for more than 50 years, said the decision to raise the minimum salary to 500 dinars as a condition for obtaining a family visa will boost the transfer of expatriates to ‘bachelorhood’.

However, most residents are starting to send their families home because of the high cost of living in Kuwait.” He explained that the average salaries of expatriates, range between 350 and 700 dinars and house rents are not less than 270 dinars, and the rest of the salary will not be enough to live in the event of any emergency, pointing out that when the expatriate has a wife and children, he will certainly work to find another job but with this new law, the difficulties will double.

Each country has its own laws that it deems appropriate and no expatriate can object to them, but “in my view that further restriction on expatriates will lead to the accumulation of celibacy in Kuwait because of the great social and economic disadvantages.” He pointed out any expatriate living with his family here in Kuwait will have to spend every penny even if it means living below the poverty but the person does not have his family with him will transfer most of his salary to his children and his wife abroad.

Najeh Abu Ali, another expatriate says, even if the salary is 500 dinars it is not good enough given the rent of a house, education of children and a decent life. “I would not advise anyone to bring his family if his salary is less than 700 dinars.”

He added, “The decision may serve Kuwait in the aspects of traffic congestion or population organization, but it is important to consider the issue from the humanitarian aspects of expatriate workers who receive a small amount compared to the fees imposed on them.

In the meantime, the Public Authority for Manpower said it is determined to combat fake work permits, and the possibility of fictitious raise in salaries when renewing permits. Moreover, the salary increase should not exceed 50 dinars upon renewal and pointed to the cooperation with all concerned ministries and government institutions to regulate the labour market.

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