Expatriates arrested for violating Kuwait's residency law. Image Credit: The Kuwaiti Interior Ministry

Cairo: Kuwaiti police have launched a security clampdown on illegal residents who have violated country’s residency and labour laws, local media reported.

Eighty violators belonging to different nationalities were arrested during the raids in Jleeb Al Shuyouk in Farwaniya governorate, Salmiya in Hawalli governorate and Salhiyah in the Kuwait City, Al Rai newspaper said.

The arrests included 48 persons reported as absentees, 13 others with expired residency permits and two more foreigners whose visas have expired, the Interior Ministry’s Media department said.

During the crackdown mounted by the residency affairs police, five expatriates were also arrested for not working for their sponsors and 12 others having no identification documents. They all have been referred to the competent agency for necessary legal and administrative procedures, it added without further details.

Kuwait has repeatedly extended the grace period for illegal foreign residents to readjust their status.

Last month, Kuwaiti newspaper Al Anba reported that authorities are likely to impose penalties on sponsors of foreigners who came to the country on visit visas and have not left in violation of rules.

The penalties could include a two-year ban on those sponsors for obtaining any sponsorship visas, according to the report.

The measures are being considered by the Interior Ministry after reports have shown that some 14,650 foreigners have entered Kuwait on visit visas in the past three years and have not left for their home countries, swelling illegal expatriates in Kuwait, the paper quoted an unidentified source as saying.

The Gulf country seeks to redress its demographic imbalance amid fallout from the COVID-19.

Foreigners make up nearly 3.4 million of Kuwait’s overall population of 4.6 million.

In recent months, there have been increasing calls in Kuwait for curbing foreigners’ employment along accusations that migrant workers have strained the country’s infrastructure facilities amid economic repercussions from the pandemic.