Kuwait prepares to lift visa ban

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Kuwait is preparing to lift a visa ban on nationals from six countries from next month following new regulations, according to local news reports.

Citing a Migration General Department source, the Kuwait Times reported that it was working on new “controls and mechanisms” which would allow citizens in Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen to apply for an entrance or dependency visa.

The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, did not provide details about the new mechanisms, which are expected to be announced next month.

“This is a humanitarian step from Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al Khalid Al Sabah given the large number of residents hoping to bring relatives to Kuwait,” the official was quoted by the Times as saying.

The ban was imposed in 2011 for security reasons in response to Kuwait’s unstable political situation in some of those countries.

Meanwhile, the daily Arabic newspaper Al Rai reported that new measures dealing with dependency visas for housewives and children aged over 21 included that visas issued before September 3, 2011 would not be renewed unless the applicant was fingerprinted and underwent a new medical test.

“The measure is precautionary since it allows the state to determine the security and health status of housewives and young adults who can remain under their fathers’ dependency until they turn 24- years-old,” a source quoted by Al Rai said.

According to the source, the new mechanism allowed the Interior Ministry to identify suspects with criminal records or those who had infectious diseases.

“This move will come into effect after the Interior Ministry finishes connecting its database with the Health Ministry’s database to prevent manipulation,” the source was quoted as saying.

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