IFL
Parliamentary Panel unanimously rejected the controversial proposal submitted by MP Safaa Al-Hashem targetting the expatriates in this country. Her proposal to impose a fee of KD 1,000 on any expatriate applying for driver’s license, annual renewal fee of KD 500 and extra KD 500 for the renewal of vehicle documents was rejected by the panel. The rejected proposal also called for the dismissal of applications for renewing the documents of vehicles 10 years old and above.
 
The committee also refused another proposal from the MP suggesting that family visa applications other than those submitted for parents should be rejected, and that visit visa fees should be increased by 100 percent. She had also recommended stipulation of 10 years maximum residence visa for expatriates, within which it should be renewed once, with the exemption of few extremely important professions.
 
The members of the Panel observed that the first proposal was very essential in reducing the rate of traffic congestion but the associated fees were outrageous. The panel opinied that the majority of expatriate workers receive meager salaries that are insufficient for such fees.
 
Regarding the second proposal, the panel said the idea of preventing expatriates from inviting members of their families other than parents and increasing visa fees by 100 percent amount to extra burden on the sponsors. They stressed that fixing a maximum period of ten years for residence visa could as well be detrimental to the labor market, because there will be shortage of the needed workers.
 
 
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