Kuwait City: Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior announced a three-phase plan for expatriates looking to return to Kuwait, Al Qabas reported.
A 3-phase plan was drawn to ensure that those that are a priority return first and that there is no overcrowding in the airport.
A source told Al Qabas that the first phase will include medical professionals, judges, members of the public prosecution and teachers. The second stage will include those that have families residing in the country and those with a valid family residency permit (Article 22). Then the third and final stage will allow the remaining expats who want to return to the country.
The plan has been submitted by the Minister of Interior to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their final approval.
Expats stuck abroad
Two weeks ago, the Ministry of Interior announced that it will be reviewing 70,000 expired residencies held by residents who are stuck abroad since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.
According to a report by Al Rai, the residency permits of 1,000 expats are expiring daily as their sponsors fail to renew their permits while they are stuck abroad.
Residents have been stuck abroad since March 12, after Kuwait halted all commercial flights amidst growing fear of the spread of COVID-19. While the airport was closed for arrivals, a limited number of flights were operating since March 16, for those looking to leave Kuwait. Since March 16, over 158,000 expats have left Kuwait on a total of 993 flights.
Around 26,000 of those travelers were expats that were enrolled in the amnesty programme, initiated by the Ministry of Interior, which allowed residency violators to leave the country with no penalty.
Although Kuwait International Airport resumed service on August 1, the government announced that travellers arriving from 31 countries are banned from entering Kuwait. Amongst the 31 banned countries are India, Philippines, Bangladesh, Egypt and Pakistan, who have large communities of expats in Kuwait.
Out of the 3 million expats living in Kuwait, 1.45 million are Indian nationals, 350,000 are Bangladeshi and around 500,000 are Egyptians.