Pakistan commends Kuwait for resumption of family, business visas for Pakistanis

Kuwait lifts visa ban for Pakistanis after decade-long suspension

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ISLAMABAD: After a decade-long suspension, Kuwait on Sunday announced an “immediate” resumption of different visas including in family and business categories for Pakistani citizens.

Kuwait had banned work visas for Pakistan in 2011 and despite attempts by previous governments the restrictions could not be lifted. In March 2017, the then government had also announced the lifting of the ban by Kuwait during the visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the oil-rich country. However, the decision was never implemented.

Today’s development came after a meeting between Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid and Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah. Kuwaiti Interior Minister Thamer Ali Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah and Pakistan’s Ambassador to Kuwait Syed Sajjad Haider were also present during the meeting.

Issues of mutual interest, including Pakistan-Kuwait bilateral relations, came under discussion during the meeting. The interior minister raised the visa issue with the Kuwaiti prime minister, suspended for Pakistani citizens since 2011.

The decision was taken to immediately restore family and business visas for Pakistan. It was also decided that Kuwaiti visas will now be issued to Pakistani workers as per the agreement.

Now there will be no restrictions on technical visas in medical and oil fields and Pakistanis living in Gulf countries will now be able to come to Kuwait with an online visa, according to the statement.

Speaking on the occasion, the Kuwaiti prime minister said that the relations between the two countries span over seven decades and there is a relationship of love and trust between the people of Pakistan and Kuwait.

Rashid said that the relations between both countries were based on mutual brotherhood and love. “All Pakistanis consider Kuwait as their second home,” he added.

The interior minister said that Pakistani families and the business community faced enormous problems with the ban on Kuwaiti visa, adding that Pakistani labour played a very important role in Kuwait’s early development.

He said that the restoration of work visa will create new employment opportunities for Pakistanis, adding that it would also boost trade between the two countries.

On the occasion, the interior minister also presented a special letter from Prime Minister Imran Khan to the Kuwaiti premier.

Pakistan on Monday lauded the cooperation of Kuwait in resumption of visas for Pakistani families and businessmen after a decade-long suspension.

“We greatly appreciate Kuwaiti cooperation in this regard,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said in response to media queries.

The FO Spokesperson said the relevant Pakistani and Kuwaiti authorities were also working together to chalk out a mechanism for export of manpower in various fields from Pakistan.

“Pakistan and Kuwait have fraternal ties, which are firmly rooted in shared faith and values. The bilateral relationship is marked by growing cooperation in diverse fields,” he said.

Zahid Chaudhri said Pakistani businessmen residing in other Gulf countries could now avail online visa facilitation for entry into Kuwait.

At present, he said, owing to the COVID-19 related travel restrictions, only Kuwaitis are allowed to enter Kuwait. However, there is exemption for medical professionals, he added.

The Kuwaiti government took the decision during a meeting between Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah and Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed in Kuwait City.

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