Kuwait-based Syrians seek interior minister’s help on family visas

June 14, 2011

Kuwait-based Syrian nationals have urged Shaikh Ahmad Al Humoud, the interior minister, to help them by providing solutions to the challenges their family members face over immigration laws.

Kuwaiti daily Al Watan said that the Syrians working in Kuwait were caught in a dilemma after they were unable to complete the visa paper work for their wives and children following a decision to bar five nationalities, including Syrians, from entering the country or processing their applications.

The family members had entered Kuwait on visit, dependency and commercial visas and the Syrian workers wanted to convert them into residency visas. The expiry of the initial visas before achieving a new status would mean breaking the rules by overstaying and wading into legal problems, they said.

According to the daily, the Syrian nationals said that their relatives could not return to Syria due to the tense situation and appealed to the interior minister to consider their situation within a humanitarian context.

The Kuwaiti authorities could approach their case the way they dealt with the Egyptians during the revolution, they said, insisting that they did not ask for allowing more Syrians into Kuwait, but rather wanted a quick solution for those whose visit visas expired.

Kuwait last month banned nationals from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan from entering the country.

The ban included suspending all tourism, visit and trade visas as well as visas sponsored by spouses.

The blanket visa ban was attributed to the “difficult security conditions in the five countries” and to “the remarkably increasing tendency of nationals from the five countries to apply for visas to bring in relatives who faced or could face arrest by the local authorities to Kuwait.”

Immigration sources said the authorities insisted that no exception in the visa application would be tolerated, but added that the ban was temporarily and would be lifted after the security situation stabilised.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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