24 July, 2014 / Ramazan 25, 1435

Kuwait’s strict visa policy

Published Jul 30, 2012 12:03am

WHILE our Foreign Office is trying to mend its relations with the US and Nato countries, relations have continued to deteriorate with the Middle East. No clear policy has been framed on how to address the woes of expats in these countries, especially Kuwait.

Over the past four years remittances have continued to grow by 28 per cent with the Middle East contributing 55 per cent in the total $13 billion foreign exchange.

From this a sizable portion of 4.4 per cent of total remittances is contributed by expats living in Kuwait.

However, the Kuwait government has adopted strict visa policies without any forewarning or prior notice. There has been a blanket visa ban for Pakistanis for the last two years now.

Owing to this there have been problems as family members cannot visit their relatives in Kuwait, newlyweds are being forced to live apart and even children are not allowed to visit their fathers.

The Pakistani community has large stakes in Kuwait as they have set up businesses over the past 30 years but the space is being continually tightened with opportunities getting scarcer.

President Zardari and former Prime Minister Gilani made visits to Kuwait last year but no breakthrough came forth. I request the Foreign Office to  look into the matter as soon as possible and raise the visa policy issue with the Kuwaiti government. We hope the latter would also ease its family-visa policy so that members are able to visit each other in Kuwait.

AISHA KARAMAT Lahore

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Comments (10) (Closed)


Sick of Limbo.
Jul 30, 2012 07:51am
So true, I can relate to this article. I have not been able to visit my family who live there while I work and study in Europe. Being a Pakistani, I hear this is all about a piece of land which was not given to the Royal Family in Kuwait, supposedly this real estate is a piece of heaven on earth and it was the golden goose for one of the royals. It's sad. So many of us want to return using a visit visa for just a few months. Kuwait was a great place to grow up. It has its advantages and disadvantages like every other city, country in the world. A piece of land should not be the reason for such a long ban on visas.
Sam
Jul 30, 2012 10:40am
Most of the Pakistanis inside Pakistan are very already busy shopping in big malls,employing cheap labor maids, drivers and providing world class best education for their children in big ranked schools and universities inside Pakistan.Who cares for such visa policies are the people who already left Pakistan for good are considered loosers inside Pakistan.Pakistan and Pakistanis (inside Pakistan) dont need such remittances as according to them they already have plenty of satisfation and success inside Pakistan.
Fahad
Aug 01, 2012 11:13am
Kuwait will never lift ban, they clearly said Visas are ban because of the current situation of Pakistan. I born In Kuwait i know more then any other I am also In waiting list of Visas i wanna call my wife here.
Falcon
Jul 30, 2012 04:06am
Aisha Sahiba - This is a growing trend in Middle East. Even Saudia has increased the restrictions on visas of foreigners. However, unfortunately the reality is this beggars can't be choosers and so is our state as a country. Indonesia was able to straighten up Saudia last year because it has at least some economic and political clout to do so. Soon India will be able to demand better treatment of its citizens as well. Unless we put our own house in order, nobody in the world will take us seriously. However, in the meanwhile, as you suggested FO as well as Pakistani business community in Kuwait should put the pressure on the local govt to get better treatment for its fellow country men.
M Junaid Khan
Jul 30, 2012 05:38am
I think Aisha has a very logical point here. 4.4% of the total remintances means approximately 600 million USD. This is a sizable amount of money and i think our foreign office and our government should take active steps to address this issue on urgent basis.
nadeemansari
Jul 30, 2012 06:28am
Indonesia sends its women to slog in Arab homes - a pious toil . But it is a different case with Pakistan. Pakistanis are involved rampant violations of immigration rules in UAE. They are repeatedly caught crossing the borders from Oman. High crime rate is one of the reasons for cutting down visas. Unfortunately Pakistanis stand next to Yemenis in this regard. I see feverish attempts by Pakistani labourers to bring every one from Pakistan over here . Incidentally I was witness to whisking away of a Pakistani young man with a long beard in Dubai airport . Need say more ?
iqbal
Jul 30, 2012 09:40pm
Aisha.. i really appreciate that you have raised a voice on this issue... besides all the revenue analysis, i know so many pakistani families are suffering due to this situation including mine. however, we found that our embassy is showing careless attitude on this issue. we are desperately living in Kuwait with no respect and due on going economical crisis in Pakistan everyone living in Kuwait is affraid to take extreem decisions. I hope this kind of the voice on social media will build up some presure on our officials to do some efforts in order to fix this problem on priority basis. my regards
Tam
Jul 30, 2012 10:13pm
I am married and my husband is living in Kuwait. I had been to Kuwait for some time. Since one year we are living apart due to this visa ban. I am missing my husband on all my special occasions and ceremonies. I am appreciate this effort by Aisha Karamat being the voice of my heart.
Ali
Jul 30, 2012 11:11pm
Arabs have always taken Pakistan for granted and there are a lot of reasons to believe our politicians made it easy. The image of pakistan is down to earth compared to what it used to be 10-20 years ago, pakistanis were recruited in skilled categories and are now being replaced with Indian and even bengalis. The only blame I see is illetaracy, unless we take this serious nothing is going to change.
Mali
Jul 31, 2012 02:14am
Aisha has raised a very valid question. What Q8 seems to have adopted is a policy of basic human rights violation. Pakistani community is the victim and our FO shall take immediate measures to resolve this long standing issue. Foreign remittance is indeed a significant part of our economy and efforts from all stake holders shall be made to ensure that our expat community can live with dignity abroad.