MPs proposes amendments to residency law for expats; can stay over 6 month outside Kuwait

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Kuwait : Five MPs yesterday proposed amendments to the residency law that call to allow foreign residents to stay outside Kuwait as long as their residence permit is valid and also call to make it easier to grant certain categories of expats with residencies. The five MPs – Nabeel Al-Fadhl, Abdulhameed Dashti, Hani Shams, Faisal Al- Kandari and Abdullah Al-Mayouf – also proposed in the amendments to make it mandatory for the immigration department to grant residence permits and renew them in a number of cases, especially when the foreigners are relatives of Kuwaitis.

According to local daily report, these cases include foreigners married to Kuwaiti women and that their permits cannot be cancelled if the relationship is severed if they have children. These also include foreign wives of Kuwaitis and their residence permits cannot be cancelled if she has children from the Kuwaiti husband. Other beneficiaries of the amendments include foreign men or women whose
children hold legal residence permits and foreign children whose parents or one of them is a holder of a legal residence permit. The amendment makes it compulsory and not optional as is the case now for the immigration department to grant these cases with residence permits.

Under the current law, immigration authorities can reject a request for residence permits without explaining the reasons even if the applicants fulfill all the conditions.

The other amendment allows expatriate residents to stay outside Kuwait during the whole period of the residence permit which effectively scraps a rule in the immigration law stating that the residence permit becomes null and void if a foreigner stays outside Kuwait for more than six months unless he/she provides a legitimate or compelling reason.

The amendments must first be reviewed by the legal and legislative committee,
passed by the National Assembly and then accepted by the government which is expected to oppose it, according to Kuwait Times daily, because it loosens its grip on immigration matters.

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