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Kuwait lifts family entry ban on nationals from six countries

Kuwait, last week, announced lifting of ban on nationals from six countries, thereby, partially easing restriction on their entry to Kuwait.

As per the latest regulation, nationals from Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan, working in the public sector, can now invite their spouses and children to join them.

Those working in the private sector are allowed to bring in their sons into the country if they are less than 15 years of age, and daughters less than 18 years of age. However, the law stipulates that expat wives, living in Kuwait, should have valid residence permits.

A third breakthrough announced is that under the temporary ban, business people from six nations, can enter Kuwait, provided, their companies are categorized under Grade A, or as government establishments. An application has been submitted to the Undersecretary at Interior Ministry to approve the visit.

The partial lifting which is effective from this week, saw many public and private sector workers of above said nationalities, visiting the immigration department to apply for visas for their families. A total of 97 applications have already been received. However, the ban on issuing family visas to Bangladeshis still remains effective.

In the year 2011, Kuwait suspended all tourism, visit and trade visas for nationals from six nations, barring them from entering the nation. Authorities attributed the blanket visa ban to difficult security conditions in the six nations and to the remarkably increasing tendency of nationals from the six nations to apply for visas to bring in their relatives, who are likely to face arrest, into Kuwait.

Kuwait said that no exception in the visa application would be tolerated, and that the ban was temporary and would be lifted after security situation stabilized.

The authorities said that women from any of the nations, married to nationals from any of the GCC nations were exempt from the ban, in-line with the Interior Ministerís decision on free movement.

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