Kuwait: Visa violations reach a record 180,000

Kuwait: Visa violations reach a record 180,000

Kuwait: Visa violations reach a record 180,000

Visa violations in Kuwait have hit a new record, with around 180,000 expats in the country being without valid residency permits, Al Rai reported. A 38 per cent spike occurred since August where the total number of visa violators was around 130,000.

Although the Ministry of Interior allowed visa violators to amend their status for over nine months, only a few took advantage of the grace period. It is unclear why residents have not amended their status although they were given the opportunity.

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A source told Al Rai that the Ministry of Interior is facing a challenge with visa violators, especially due to the travel ban imposed on the 35 countries.

The Ministry of Interior initiated its first grace period at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March and was supposed to end in May. But, the Ministry extended the grace period, as governmental agencies remained shut, therefore announcing that expats were permitted to extend their residency permits and visits visas for another three months, until end of August.

A third grace period was announced, which was planned to end on November 30, but then a few days before the planned date the Ministry pushed the deadline to December 31.

The newly appointed Minister of Interior, Thamer Al Ali Al Sabah, announced at the end of December that the deadline has been pushed until January 31 and urged all residents to renew their status before the date.

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