Six nations, including Pakistan, have been excluded from Kuwait’s new visa regime, Gulf News reported.
Kuwait interior ministry’s decision allow all Kuwaiti embassies and consulates to issue all types of visit visas will not apply on six nations that have been barred from entering the country.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Kuwait’s interior ministry had said that the embassies and consulates were given full authority to issue the visas based on procedures stipulated by the law and its regulations.
The interior minister, Shaikh Muhammad Al Khalid, had issued instructions to the Citizenship, Travel Documents and Immigration departments “to work in coordination with the Ministry of Interior and the hotels sector which can also engage in the process of issuing all kinds of visas to Kuwait — commercial, tourist or family.”
However, a local daily Al Rai was told by the security sources that the new rules do not apply to nationals from Pakistan, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Afghanistan who have been barred from entering Kuwait.
The ban, which was imposed in 2011, on nationals of these six countries was attributed to the “difficult security conditions in the six countries” and to “the remarkably increasing tendency of Kuwait-based nationals from these countries to apply for visas to bring into Kuwait relatives who faced or could face serious challenges in their home countries.” According to the sources, the decision to allow embassies to issue visas will now be followed by a series of meetings to agree on specific measures for the process and to ensure that applicants wanted in terrorism-related cases or suspected of plotting to undermine the country’s security and stability are not given the visa.
Kuwait is home to around 2.2 million expatriates, making up two thirds of the total population.