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MoI warns no new amnesty for iqama violators

Major General Talal Maarafi

KUWAIT: The director general of the residency affairs directorate said the interior ministry will not give another opportunity to iqama violators to correct their legal status with the possibility of being able to return without paying fines, especially since previous grace periods did not prove worthwhile. Maj Gen Talal Maarafi told Al-Anbaa daily the door is open for any expat residency violator to pay the fines due and correct their status, provided that there are no legal restrictions.

Maarafi also spoke about proposals concerning visit visas and new residency permits, as well as fees the interior ministry believes can be implemented, adding that the proposals will not be implemented without the approval of Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah and the National Assembly. He said the proposed fees are not exorbitant as some people believe. He said a fee of KD 30 was proposed for a month-long visit with the possibility of renewing it for more than a month.

Transfer of the visit visa to an article 14 residency (for temporary work) will be for a fee of KD 1 per day. He said as for permission to remain outside the country for more than six months, there is a proposal to allow it for a nominal fee. He added sponsoring dependents other than the wife and children can be done for an annual fee of KD 300 per person.

Maarafi said the proposals are at the fatwa and legislation department and in the final stages of approval. He said the department is working on amending the rules to allow foreign patients to come to Kuwait for treatment on medical visas, provided the health ministry approves them. He said visas will also be given to students who want to study in Kuwait’s private universities, and these students will be allowed to transfer their study visas to work in the country. Also, businessmen and traders will be given multiple-entry visas.

Maarafi said the government is preparing a foolproof plan to crack down on residency violators in order to deport them, adding that there are around 100,000 such violators in the country and warned people against harboring them. He said any violator who voluntarily comes forward to correct his status will be helped, but if he is caught, he will be deported and blacklisted.

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