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Kuwait announces new rule on expats’ stay abroad

15 August 2022

The Kuwaiti authorities has announced that Residency Permits of private sector expatriates residing abroad for more than six months will be automatically cancelled, said a Kuwaiti newspaper.

The Interior Ministry has said that the duration of stay outside Kuwait by such expats would be calculated based on 1st May until 31st October, and those found overstaying will have their iqamas cancelled, Al Rai said.

Expatriates known as the Article 18-compliant iqamat holders are not allowed to stay outside Kuwait for more than six months, the Ministry said.

Similarly, Al-Rai also said expats holding dependent Residency Permit will be no longer allowed to stay outside Kuwait for more than six months, thereby ending an open-ended stay system that was prevailing earlier.

The new rule will get effective by the year-end and will be also applicable to holders of the Article 2 Iqama expatriates (self-employed foreigners).

“Based on humanitarian considerations, since the outbreak of COVID-19 epidemic the Interior Ministry has allowed all foreign residents staying abroad to renew their iqamas online and stay outside the country [Kuwait] for an open-ended duration,” the sources said.

“But now that the health situation has improved in the country, there is no justification for keeping these exceptional measures,” they pointed out.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.