Gulf nationals’ wives exempted from Kuwait visa ban

February 27, 2012

An entry ban imposed by Kuwait on six nationalities does not include women married to Gulf nationals.

Kuwait last year suspended all tourism, visit and trade visas for nationals from Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, barring them from entering the country.

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

Kuwait last May 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.

However, local Arabic daily Al Anba on Monday reported that Kamel Al Awadhi, the head of immigration, said that women from any of the six countries married with nationals from any of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries were exempted from the ban, in line with decisions taken by GCC interior ministers on free movement. The GCC is made up of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The daily, quoting well-placed security sources, said that the clarification was issued after several women married with Gulf nationals complained about not being allowed into Kuwait with their husbands.



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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