Kuwait allows renewal of residencies for visa violators

Kuwait allows renewal of residencies for visa violators

Kuwait allows renewal of residencies for visa violators

The Ministry of Interior has begun reviewing the files of visa violators, whose residencies expired in 2019 only, and will allow some cases to amend their status based on the authorities’ decision, Al Qabas reported.

A source told Al Qabas that violators who filed their plea before January 2 2020 will be considered. The security forces will review all aspects of their file, as they have been pending for a while due to the closure and halt of work in ministers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The source added that the decision came at a time when the file of visa violators is growing and allowing them to renew residencies will solve the complex issue.

Many non-Kuwaitis are caught in the web of illegal permit trading, as they purchase a permit, usually around 1,500 Kuwaiti dinars, with the hopes of finding a job and making a living in Kuwait. Once their visa ends, the law stipulates that they have to leave Kuwait or renew their visa but many stay behind without a permit, otherwise known as visa violators.

It was estimated that in April 2020 there were around 100,000 visa violators residing in Kuwait. That same month, with the COVID-19 crisis intensifying, the Ministry of Interior initiated an amnesty programme that allowed non-permit holders to leave the country with no penalty. The government also paid for their tickets.

Between April and June, 26,000 non-permit holders left Kuwait as a result of the amnesty programme.