Stranded Indian workers Kuwait
Stranded Indian nationals check-in at Kuwait International Airport to travel back home as part of government's 'Vande Bharat' mission, amid ongoing coronavirus pandemic, in Kuwait on May 13. Image Credit: PTI

Abu Dhabi: A decision was issued by Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior to allow expatriates who have valid residency visa to stay outside the country for 12 months, instead of six, due to the exceptional circumstances arising out of the coronavirus pandemic, sources revealed.

Kuwaiti media also reported that all types of visit visas, and visas of domestic workers who had entered the country on work permits but were unable to get their residence visas processed and stamped in their passports, will have time until August 31 to complete the procedures.

Resident expatriates whose visas expired by the end of May will be given a three-month free extension, from June 1 until August 31.

The extension of grace periods for visa renewals will only apply to individuals whose visas will expire by end of May and who are still in Kuwait.

This is the second such extension, as the Interior Ministry had earlier granted a three-month grace periods between March and May.

Automatic renewal

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many ministries to shut down in order to prevent the spread of the disease, the Ministry of Interior said.

Sources further explained that the three-month extension for visa renewal will be done automatically through the computerised system and cover residents who are currently inside the country and all those who had entered the country on all types of visit or work visas.

Sponsors and businesses need not apply physically for these renewals as these will be processed automatically, sources added.

Foreign workers make up 3.3 million of Kuwait’s 4.6 million population.

Several Kuwaiti public figures have recently pushed for addressing the demographic imbalance in the country, accusing expatriates of being a strain on the country’s health-care facilities and heightening the threat of Covid-19 infections.