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Higher visa fees mulled for expatriates
September 19, 2015, 5:50 pm

The Interior Ministry’s assistant undersecretary for Nationality and Residency Affairs, Major General Sheikh Mazen Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, said a proposal to increase fees for expatriates has been sent to legal department for approval.

He added that once the law is approved and comes into force, expatriates in the country will have to pay more fees for various visas, including for tourist and visit visas, temporary residences, self-sponsorship and family dependency visas.

Sheikh Mazen told a media briefing that the one-month visit visa that was KD3 will now be raised to KD30; the three-month tourist visa will now cost KD90, up from the current KD30 and family reunion (Dependent) visas will cost KD150 instead of the previous KD100. Costs for visas for parents and siblings will also see an increase from the present KD200 to KD400.

Sheikh Mazen said that the proposed increases are in line with plans to review the fees charged to expatriates in other government departments, like the health ministry.

In an earlier interview, Sheikh Mazen had warned that there would no longer be any free services for expatriates and that fees charged in some cases could even be 100 percent higher than current rates.

On a related issue, he clarified that the General Department of Residency Affairs will begin implementing from 1 January, 2016, the law stipulating that the period of residency visa granted to expatriates will depend on the validity period of their passports.

He urged expatriates to follow up on their passports and work on its renewal before its expiration date and then go to the Residency Affairs Department to register the data of renewing their passports, as well as conveying the information of the old passports to the new ones. He also asked citizens to follow up the passport validity of their domestic labor so that they expatriates would not violate the new residency law.

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