Kuwait skyline
Kuwait has recently stepped up measures against illegal foreign residents. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Cairo: Foreigners overstaying their residence in Kuwait may face imprisonment for one year and fines of up to KD2,000, as per a new law scheduled for debate in parliament on Tuesday.

Under the draft law, residency illegals will be liable to a fine of KD2 per day that will double starting from the second month of the violation, Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai reported.

The draft stipulates that the foreigner, who enters Kuwait on a visit visa, is allowed to stay for a maximum of three months. Accordingly, the visitor must leave the country upon the expiry of the visa unless he/she obtains a residency permit from the Interior Ministry.

Another article in the draft incorporates slapping a fine of KD3,000 on the foreigner if caught working in violation of the residency law.

Kuwait has recently stepped up measures against illegal foreign residents and warned that any expatriate sheltering an unlawful resident will be deported too. Illegal residents are estimated at 150,000 in Kuwait.

Kuwaiti individuals or companies employing illegals will face charges of unlawfully sheltering and covering up illegals.

On Friday, the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry said 209 foreigners were arrested in a security crackdown for violating the country’s residency and labour laws.

Foreigners make up around 3.2 million of Kuwait’s overall population of 4.6 million.

The country is seeking to redress its demographic imbalance and replace foreign workers with its citizens as part of an employment policy dubbed “Kuwaitisation”.

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 COVID-19 pandemic.