Kuwait doubles minimum wage for family visa eligibility

Fee has risen from $825 to $1,500 in a move expected to lower expat families in the country

Kuwaiti Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah. (AFP/Getty Images)

Kuwaiti Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah. (AFP/Getty Images)

In a series of measures to lower the number of expats in Kuwait, the interior ministry yesterday increased the minimum salary for family visas from $825 (KD250) to $1,500 (KD450).

The salary requirement for dependent visas has also been raised to $1,500 (KD450) by interior minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah despite the salaries of male expats in Kuwait’s private sector averaging $815 (KD247), reported Kuwait Times.

The move is expected to prevent thousands of low-paid expats from bringing their families to Kuwait on a permanent basis.

The family visa fee was officially lowered from $1,320 (KD400) to $825 (KD250) in 2004 to make it easier for expats to sponsor their families and bring them to Kuwait. The measure was taken to encourage a family society in Kuwait after complaints it mainly consisted of single males.

However, officials said expats who are paid lower than $1,500 (KD450) but were born in Kuwait or have already been living there might be exempted from the salary requirement. A total of 14 expat groups will also be exempt from the new condition.

Since 2015, the number of expats in Kuwait has increased to a record-high 3mn, making up 70 percent of the country’s total population.

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