Stock Kuwait skyline
Kuwait. Image Credit: Yasmena Al Mulla/Gulf News

Cairo: Kuwaiti authorities said residency permits of private sector expatriates, staying abroad for more than six months, will be automatically cancelled, a Kuwaiti newspaper has said.

The Interior Ministry said the duration of those expatriates’ stay outside Kuwait would be calculated as of May 1 until October 31 and overstayers will have their iqamas cancelled, Al Rai added.

Such expatriates, known as the Article 18–compliant iqamat holders, are not allowed to stay outside Kuwait for more than six months, the ministry added.

Likewise, according to Al Rai, expatriates holding dependent residency permits are likely to be no longer allowed to stay outside Kuwait for more than six months, ending an earlier open-ended stay system.

The new rule will take effect before the end of this year and is likely also to apply to holders of the so-called Article 24 iqama expats, i.e. self-employed foreigners, the paper added, citing security sources.

“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 added.