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Residency Permit denied to 5000 expats staying abroad for over six months

03 April 2023

The Interior Ministry in Kuwait has denied Residency Permit renewal applications for 5000 expats who have stayed abroad for over six monts.

The expats are said to have submitted their renewal applications online citing illness, family situations and financial incapacity as the reasons for staying abroad for more than six months.

Speaking to the media, a source at the Interior Ministry said “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.”

Back in October 2022, the ministry announced that 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 cancelled if they have been outside the country for six months or more.

The ministry calculates the period of absence of expatriates from Qatar effective 1st August 2022 to 31st January 2023, after which residency will be automatically cancelled.

As per Kuwaiti law, the maximum duration of stay for an expat outside the country is six months. Although this was implemented earlier, based on humanitarian considerations, eversince the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The cabinet had given special permission to non-resident Indians to stay outside the country for more than six months, and to renew their residence documents online.

Expats constitute about 3.4 million of total 4.6 million population in Kuwait.

Robin Vinod

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