(MENAFN - Arab Times) Maj Gen Marafie
KUWAIT CITY, March 22: Director General of Residency Affairs Department Major General Talal Marafie says the bill to increase residency fees for expatriates is in its final stage and is currently with the Fatwa and Legislation Department for review prior to preparing an integrated bill which will be referred to the Parliament before it is referred to the Cabinet for approval, reports Aljarida daily.
Major General Marafie clarified that the department has recommended increasing by 50 to 100 percent the charges of all services offered by the department such as residence permits, family visits, family visas, extension of residency validity for non-residing expatriates, commercial visas, transit visas and other services. He stressed that the procedures are correctional ones and are not targeting expatriates.
Major General Marafie explained that the decision to suspend issuance of family visas for parents and siblings is still valid. No expatriates are excluded from the decision. Family visas will currently be issued only for wives and children, as per the ministerial decision. He denied any intention to allow issuance of family visas for parents and siblings, affirming that all departments in all six governorates of Kuwait have been notified about this decision.
Major General Marafie disclosed that directives have been issued to help Syrian violators of residency law by renewing their residencies immediately. He explained that the Syrians, who entered Kuwait on family visas and then ended up violating the residency laws, will be given temporary residency for three months which can be renewed until the situation in Syria stabilizes or until the issuance of sovereign directives in this regard.
The department will continue to issue family visas for Syrian residents but based on sovereign directives. He insisted that the department does not exercise veto against any specific nationalities, stressing that visit visas of all kinds are available for all residents based on the relevant organizing regulations and with the approval of the supreme leadership.
Meanwhile, Major General Marafie affirmed that the amnesty period for residency law violators will end on April 22, and there are no plans to extend it. He indicated that around 45,000 expatriates benefited from the amnesty by either rectifying their legal status or leaving Kuwait, adding that those who chose to leave can return to Kuwait on new visas.
Major General Marafie said the amnesty also allowed holders of Articles 18 and 20 residencies, who have been reported by their sponsors as absconding, to rectify their situation but with the consent of their sponsors. If they are unable to obtain the consent of their sponsors, they can leave the country and return on new visa.