Jilil, a teacher from Pakistan who has been living in Kuwait for 19 years said that he cannot spend the summer with his wife. An officer at the Immigration Department stamped ‘Denied’ on his wife’s visit visa application. The reason for denial was not improper documentation or the lack of salary cap but a recently introduced visa ban on few nationalities.
Kuwait has stopped issuing new visas to citizens from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Syria a fortnight ago. The officials quoted in the media attributed the visa ban to the ‘difficult security conditions’ in these five countries. Authorities said that the ban will be strictly implemented and no visa application will be considered from these five countries.
This ban has shattered Jilil’s summer plans. Jilil, who works in a Pakistani school in Kuwait, has been teaching for 19 years. Once in every two or three years, either he would go back home to Pakistan or invite his wife or members of his family to visit him in Kuwait. This time, however, the new legislation has derailed his family vacation plans.
It’s really upsetting for me to be denied a visit by a family member. I have been inviting my family to visit me once in a while in Kuwait, but it looks like I will spend the summer alone this year,” Jilil told the Kuwait Times.
The new decision has not been well-received by the Pakistani community in Kuwait. An event scheduled to inaugurate a new Pakistani television channel and a quiz show was postponed indefinitely when a visa for Tariq Aziz, a famous TV anchor from Pakistan was refused, even after the organizers sought approval from the State Security Department.
We invited him to grace a quiz show and to inaugurate an Urdu TV channel, but he was refused a visa,” said Abdul, a Kuwait-based community organizer. “It’s really disappointing turn of events because we have already prepared so much for that and we informed our community on the event, but unfortunately it didn’t happen,” he added.
I really hope that the current ban will be lifted as soon as possible.” According to him, the temporary ban has affected the regular affairs of the community. “We created a program for community entertainment but we had to untimely cancel everything because we couldn’t secure a visa for our invited guest from Pakistan. We already spent cash, purchased gifts and prizes for the winners,” he claimed.
In an interview earlier by the Kuwait Times, Iftekhar Aziz, Ambassador of Pakistan to Kuwait asserted that the current ban is only temporary, “As far as I know, it will be temporary, so I don’t think there is a reason for us to be alarmed,” he told this reporter. News reports claim the ban includes suspension of all tourist, visit and trade visas as well as visas sponsored by spouses. Immigration authorities here assured these five country’s nationals that all visa renewal(s) for their citizens who are al
ready residents of Kuwait will not be affected.