Stock Kuwait airport passengers
Passengers arrive in Kuwait in a file photo. Image Credit: AP

Cairo: Kuwait will cancel residency permits or iqamas of expatriates who stay abroad for more than six months with retroactive effect from August 1, Kuwaiti media reported.

An administrative circular has been issued by the Interior Ministry to all iqama departments in Kuwait’s six governorates and the General Department of Information Systems to this effect, covering expatriates who are government employees, dependants, investors, students or self-sponsored, Al Jarida newspaper said.

Measures have been taken for the automatic implementation of this step starting from next February 1, Al Qabas said, citing government sources.

“The issue of the demographic make-up is subjected to thorough examination in response to supreme recommendations and to dry up the [illegal] trade in iqamas amid high-level coordination between the ministries of Interior and Social Affairs to arrest illegals,” the sources added.

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

Authorities have stepped up efforts to redress the demographic imbalance in the country.

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 COVID-19.