Reopening visas is a source of happiness, relief, and hope.The recent decision by Kuwait to reopen visit visas for foreign nationals has been met with relief and excitement from locals, who see this as a step in the right direction towards family reunions. In order to obtain insight into the application process, Kuwait Times spoke with residents who were applying for visas at the residency affairs department.
Muhammad Adel emphasized the additional documentation now required and the imposition of new requirements in the visa application process. He clarified, “We now have to submit a birth certificate that we got from the embassy, which takes a lot of time to finish the application.” He also mentioned that one of the requirements is documentation of the family connection, particularly the embassy’s confirmation of the mother’s ancestry.
Adel expressed her satisfaction with the application process’s effectiveness and mentioned the building’s outstanding application organization. He conveyed gratitude for the smooth operation, which made it easier for applicants. “I’m going to visit my mother. Although my mother was born in Kuwait, she lost her residency three years ago as a result of certain events. I’m glad that visitation visas are now available, especially since it’s before Ramadan and we can spend time together as a family. The timing of this decision, in my opinion, benefits both the expat community and the nation as a whole because more visitors will boost the economy because everyone will be spending money on their family and friends who will be visiting, he continued.
Samira Hussein expressed her worries about the difficulties involved in applying for a visit visa, pointing out that the three-month visitation period has recently been cut down to one month. She emphasized the difficulty in completing the application procedures, which is made more difficult by the need to authenticate the birth certificate through both the foreign ministry and the embassy. Hussein, however, was happy to hear that visitation visas are now available again. She said that since the COVID-19 pandemic, her children, who are studying in Egypt, had not traveled to Kuwait.
Iman Hamoudi expressed her happiness at the reopening of family visitation visas, citing her mother’s seventy-year separation from her as a major factor. She related her personal experience of applying for her mother’s visa, when a resident affairs department employee told her that reservations for flights would only be accepted if they were made with Jazeera Airways or Kuwait Airways.
Gender restrictions caused her some initial difficulties when she tried to apply last Thursday, but she persevered and went back to the department, where staff members verified that her request had been approved after making sure it complied with the most recent laws and requirements. Alia Khail, meanwhile, advocated for women to have the same rights as men to sponsor their children. We were all pleased with the decision to reopen visas, she said, but she was shocked to learn that a working woman in Kuwait who satisfies all requirements—including salary—is prevented from bringing her children into the country on a family visa because her husband does not have a valid residency permit.
“My hope was on visit visas after the family visa reunion was denied, but we were shocked to learn today that women are not permitted to apply for visit visas for their children under the age of four. I hope that the injustice against Kuwaiti women living alone is lifted by His Excellency the Minister. We are worthy of our kids’ company. We call for parity,” she emphasized.
Khaled Sabry commented on the process, saying, “It was easy to apply for a visit visa.” The foreign ministry of the applicant’s nation, Kuwait’s, and finally the embassy must all authenticate the visitor’s birth certificate or marriage license. Every visa is only valid for one month. According to one of the staff members, we have to attach a copy of a round-trip ticket on Kuwait Airways or Jazeera Airways, and it has to be for after 10 days of applying. Finally, a pledge must be signed by you.
Sabry commented on the well-planned submission schedule, which reduces the number of people crammed into the space—typists, however, might experience some backlog. He concluded by saying that the pledge applicants sign asks them to abide by a number of terms and conditions, such as providing round-trip tickets, committing to the visit period, and not turning the visit into a residency. It also stipulates that the visitor’s medical care must only be received at private hospitals and clinics.