With the issue on the ever-widening gap between the local and expat communities in the country, it’s almost quite impossible to expect any decision from the government that would benefit expat communities in terms of residency in the country, at least not in the near future.
This supposition comes with the other recent major decisions by the government to curtail the entry of expats without requirements, such as health insurance or a Civil ID, among others.
Up to 4,000 Expats to be Granted Citizenship by Gov’t
In line with this, the National Assembly’s legal and legislative committee has drafted a bill calling on the government to grant Kuwaiti citizenship to up to 4,000 foreign nationals for the current year, as reported by the Kuwait Times.
The draft law will go through the interior and defense committees for review and approval, before it will be forwarded to the Assembly for voting.
The bill provides the government flexibility on the number of residents it wants to naturalize, as it is not obliged to grant citizenship to the figure floated at the Assembly.
The Assembly has been actively supporting the passing of such laws on a yearly basis for over a decade already as a means of assisting the government in resolving the long-standing problem of around 120,000 stateless people, also known as bedoons.
According to the committee report, a minority group in the panel has called against the creation of a new law, since those who meet the requirements, and are therefore ‘deserving’ of naturalization should be granted citizenship even without a special law for this purpose.
Meanwhile, MP Bader Al-Mulla has filed a proposal along with other MPs in support of this decision, to establish a special independent committee to discuss issues related to citizenship, to stop what is described as “fooling around with the Kuwaiti society’s social fabric” in an effort to garner support of the government when voting on various bills, by means of granting citizenship to these groups, who may or may not even deserve this privilege in the first place.
Moreover, a group of lawmakers want to set up some measures that will evaluate and restrict the government’s actions, through the prevention of nationalizing Kuwaiti citizens’ wives, which as they claim has apparently become a business for some male citizens through which they get paid in return for getting married to non-Kuwaiti women.
They also called for setting restrictions on granting citizenship to Kuwaiti women’s children; stating that they should be born, raised, and reside in Kuwait, and that their non-Kuwaiti fathers should have died. These restrictions, according to lawmakers, should apply to bedoons. They also called for ending the process of examining cases of those who got citizenship using fake documents, which usually take up to 10 years.