Kuwait: 75,000 expats stranded abroad lose residency permit

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The number of expatriates working in Kuwait, who have failed to renew their residency permits for being abroad due to coronavirus-related air travel suspension has risen to 75,000 people, a security official was quoted as saying Tuesday.

“Responsibility for this falls on them or their sponsors who have not renewed their residency permits via the website of the Interior Ministry that gave them the chance and heeded all legal and humanitarian aspects,” the unnamed official told Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai.

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“We are waiting for a decision on issuing visas and return of air travel to find solutions and study each case,” the official said.

Earlier this month, Kuwait suspended entry of travellers from 31 countries, mostly home states of expatriates, citing coronavirus concerns.

According to the same official, fees of renewing residency permits and entry visas will be set in an anticipated law amid reports that Kuwait plans to increase those fees.

Foreigners account for nearly 3.4 million of Kuwait’s 4.8 million population.

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There have been increasing calls in Kuwait to redress the demographic imbalance, prompting several government bodies to disclose plans to minimise numbers of their foreign employees.

The Kuwaiti parliament has reportedly started looking into proposals to scale back the numbers of expatriates in the country.

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