By Moustafa Daly
Kuwait, the small oil-rich nation of the Persian Gulf, is considering launching its variation of a residency-by-investment program.
As per the country’s Ministry of Interior, which oversees visa policies of the country, foreign investors, regardless of their original nationalities, will be given preferential, five-year visas.
The decision, which is currently undergoing research and feasibility studies, will initially give investors a six-month multiple-entry visa so they can legally establish their enterprise/investments inside Kuwait, and thereafter gives them a five-year renewable visa, and investors aren’t obliged to take up permanent residence in the country, as per the statement.
Kuwait’s ‘Golden Visa’ investors will be able to include their spouses and dependents on their investor visa, and the enterprises they set up will also be able to apply for eased visa processes should they seek to bring foreign talent to the country – albeit pending security and background checks.
The foreign talent that can be flown in by the enterprises will include nationalities that are currently banned from entering Kuwait, a list that includes Iranians, Afghans, Syrians, among others.
An end to Kuwait’s decried Kafala System?
Kuwait and other Persian Gulf monarchies are known to have what is called the Kafala System – which entails that every foreigner working in the country must be ‘sponsored’ by a Kuwaiti citizen who can then exercise great leverage over employment and immigration status of the immigrants they sponsor, and at any point can void their residence or disallow them from returning to the country or even withhold their passports.
The investor visa is intended to put an end to that, at least for investors who get it. In recent years, the Kafala system was scrapped in neighboring UAE, which in 2019 also launched its golden visa to attract talent and capital to the country – the program has been witnessing great success.
The news of the Kuwaiti investor visa comes shortly after the UAE announced doubling the duration of its golden visa and with many countries across Asia racing to launch their own residency and citizenship by investment program as they compete in attracting foreign capital and talent.
The date for launching Kuwait’s investor visa is yet to be announced.
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