As the government began cracking down on illegal permit holders, companies also started laying off employees and the financial burden increased, all of which were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic with many expats deciding to leave Kuwait.
Prior to the pandemic, it was estimated that there were around 3.3 million expats residing in Kuwait. That number has gone down in recent months, according to official figures reported by Al Rai, to around 2.65 million.
There are around 365,000 expats stranded abroad due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, of which 147,000 residency permits have expired.
An informed source told Al Rai that there are currently 132,000 residency violators in Kuwait, of whom 40,000 will likely take advantage of the grace period granted by the Ministry of Interior and amend their residency status before the end of the month.