Kuwait to issue one-year residency permits for expats
Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior announced it will start issuing one-year only residency permits for expats, instead of two years or more, Al Rai reported. Those also affected by the decision are foreign wives of Kuwaiti citizens; children of Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis; non-Kuwaiti mothers whose children are citizens, and expats’ family members.
A source told Al Rai the reason expats will require yearly renewal for residency permits is due to the repercussions COVID-19 has had on many businesses. In addition, the source pointed out that granting residency permits to expats for more than a year requires medical examinations, review of security restrictions, amongst other technical details.
Expats working in the private sector who hold a work permit of two years or more are exempt from the decision. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior pointed out that since the beginning of December, there were around 400 residency violators who amended their status, the majority of whom reside in the Farwaniya governorate.
In an effort to streamline the process, Kuwait Ministry has set up a website where expats can make an appointment, in their respective governorate, prior to their visit.
It was estimated that in April 2020 there were around 100,000 visa violators residing in Kuwait. Earlier this month, the Ministry announced that the grace period has been extended to December 31, shortly after it stated the extension period was supposed to end on November 30.
The first grace period began at the start of the pandemic in March and was supposed to end in May. Then the Ministry extended the grace period, as governmental agencies remained shut, therefore announcing that expats were permitted to extend their residency permits and visit visas for another three months, until end of August.
Another extension period was granted between September 1 and November 30.