Thousands to receive Kuwaiti citizenship before end of year

The list of non-Kuwaitis to be granted Kuwaiti citizenship this year has reportedly been drawn up by the Ministry of Interior. According to informed sources the list, which will be announced before year end, will include the names of nearly 4,000 non-Kuwaitis.

The naturalization process will be made according to a law passed in parliament and Clause Three of Article Five of Amiri Decree No. 15/1959, which states the number should not exceed 4,000. This clause was later updated by parliament to stipulate granting citizenship to not less than 2,000 and not more than 4,000 people.

However, the law does not mandate the government to naturalize 4,000 people each year, or to grant it exclusively to bedouin (stateless) people living in the country. The list may also include Arabs holding other nationalities, including children of Kuwaiti widows or women divorced by Kuwaiti men and Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis, provided they meet the conditions required for naturalization, such as that the child must be born, raised and educated in Kuwait.

The list could also include those who served the nation in an exemplary manner. Accordingly, the list drawn up for naturalization this year is said to include the names of five expatriate doctors “who have spent their lives serving Kuwait,”, as well as the names of bedouins who have worked for Kuwait Oil Company for years and bedouin military personnel who took part in the 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israeli wars, as well as in the Kuwait Liberation war.