Kuwait has changed its residence law in order to allow visit visas to be converted into residency visas in certain cases, the kingdom's interior minister announced.
The bylaws were published in the official gazette Kuwait Al-Youm on Monday and are now in effect. Authorities believe the changes will bring a positive aspect, mostly helping families of expats to reunite.
Visit visas can be transferred to residence visas for following categories after the approval of the director of the Residence Affairs Department - dependents arriving on family or tourist visit visas; domestic helpers; holders of valid residence who stayed outside the country for more than six months and had to enter the country on visit visa, those who enter for work purposes and start procedure to get residence but have to leave the country for a maximum one month and visitors of ministries, public institutions and those who arrive on government visit visa.
A visit visa on arrival costs KD 3 for certain nationalities, the fee for renewal of residence permit for one year is KD 10 per person, dependent residence fees for spouses and children KD 10 per year per person; relatives other than the wife and children a dependent visa costs KD 200 charge for a year and this includes parents.
The regulations set a minimum of KD 500 in monthly salary for those who can bring their families from abroad on dependent visas, while they give the director of the department to exempt couples already living here from the salary condition.
Couples who are already living in Kuwait are exempted of the minimum monthly salary of KD 500 for sponsoring family from overseas counties on dependent visas. Expats working in certain occupations like judges, doctors, engineers, teachers, journalists and others are exempted from the minimum salary condition.
Any expats, whose residency visa is cancelled is allowed to stay in the country for three months on temporary residency before leaving. According the new bylaws tourists can now stay in Kuwait for three months. Multiple entry visa is now valid for one year at an additional cost of just one KD per month.