Kuwait issues visa ban on five Muslim countries

Published:  3 Feb at 6 PM
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As part of a plan to tighten immigration restrictions, Kuwait has announced a ban on visas for five Muslim majority states.

A week after The Donald announced a travel ban on a number of Muslim majority countries, Kuwait has announced a similar crack-down on the issuing of visas to nationals of Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Described as a blanket ban, it advises citizens of the named countries not to apply for tourist, trade or work visas as they will be refused.

According to local media, Kuwaiti sources said the ban was put in place due to the instability of the five countries affected, and may be lifted should the security situation improve. The 2016 Expat Insider survey slated Kuwait as being one of the world’s worst places for expats, citing the Gulf State’s strict cultural laws as the reason.

It’s possible the ban may be seen as a reaction to last month’s call by an MP for a parliamentary ‘special session’ debate on the status of the massive number of expats in the emirate. However, the debate, scheduled for yesterday, was cancelled due to the deliberate absence of 21 lawmakers which affected the required quorum.

The MP’s call raised strong opposition amongst other members of the Kuwaiti parliament and the general public, with media reports condemning his stance. The no-show by almost half the Kuwaiti parliament’s MPs has been criticised as a lack of responsibility, especially as the absentees included several who had signed the move which allowed the special session to take place.

On the same subject, a current article in the Kuwait Times reported on a symposium held by the Women’s Cultural Society at which corruption rather than an excess of expats was blamed for the state’s present problems. According to speaker Dr Ghadeer Aseri, hateful speeches against expats do not reflect reality as Kuwait has been a multiracial society for the past 200 years.
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