Stock Kuwait skyline
Kuwait skyline. Image Credit: Yasmena Al Mulla/Gulf News

Dubai: The Kuwaiti government is reportedly formulating a revised naturalisation law with significant modifications to current provisions.

After detailed assessments by relevant committees, the Ministry of Interior, and the Fatwa and Legislation Department, the revamped legislation will be tabled for endorsement in the upcoming National Assembly session.

A trusted security source disclosed some of the proposed changes in the new legislation. Notably, if a divorce ensues between a Kuwaiti man and an expat woman who was granted citizenship accordingly, the expat woman may face the revocation of her Kuwaiti nationality, compelling her to revert to her original citizenship. The amendments also suggest a halt to naturalisations, excluding specific segments designated by the Central Committee, provided that some conditions are met, including that a person will need to have resided in Kuwait for over 15 years to qualify for naturalisation.

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The security source emphasised several key amendments under consideration. One of the major amendments is to halt the naturalisation process for children born to Kuwaiti mothers married to expats. Another significant change is the potential restriction on non-Kuwaiti women married to Kuwaiti men; they might only be eligible for naturalisation if the marriage has lasted 18 years, they share children, and are still married.

Moreover, the revised law might allow for the withdrawal of nationality from foreign nationals who, after obtaining citizenship via marriage to a Kuwaiti, opt for divorce, live outside of Kuwait, enter into another marriage, and do not parent children with their former Kuwaiti partner.

The source also highlighted collaborations between the Ministry of Interior’s Public Authority for Manpower and the Ministry of Commerce. This partnership aims to pinpoint instances where individuals have leveraged their granted citizenship for commercial advantages post-divorce, making them candidates for potential nationality withdrawal.

Lastly, the legislation seeks to empower the Supreme Committee for the Investigation of Nationality. Constituted by members from the Ministry of Interior and Defence, along with the Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers, this committee will play a pivotal role in overseeing naturalisations and nationality withdrawals, especially focusing on fraudulent cases.

The law is particularly stringent for those who attain citizenship based on marital dependencies and then file for divorce without valid justification. In such instances, the onus of proof will fall on the husband.