Kuwait denies residency permit renewal of 5000 expats

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Kuwait: Kuwait’s Interior Ministry has denied residency permit renewal applications for 5,000 expatriates who have stayed abroad for more than six months.

The expatriates reportedly submitted their renewal applications online, citing “illness, family situations, and financial incapacitation, among other reasons”, as their reasons for staying abroad for more than six months.

“Other expatriates will also lose their iqamas this month for the same reason. The ministry, through the department of residency affairs, automatically and immediately cancels the residency of any expatriate who has been outside Kuwait for six months,” a source at the interior ministry told Kuwait Times.

In October 2022, the Interior Ministry announced it would electronically cancel residence permits for government sector workers.

The ministry also included private sector partners and their dependents, students and self-sponsored residents whose visas will be canceled if they have been outside the country for six months or more.

As per media reports, the ministry calculates the period of absence of expatriates from the country from August 1, 2022 to January 31, 2023. After six months, their residency will be automatically revoked.

According to Kuwaiti law, the maximum length of stay for expatriates outside the country is six months. Although this was in effect earlier, based on humanitarian considerations, since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the cabinet had given special permission to non-residents to stay outside the country for more than six months and to renew their residence documents online.

Expatriates make up approximately 3.4 million of Kuwait’s total population of 4.6 million.

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( With inputs from )

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