Kuwaiti government introduces a 3-month expat visa amnesty

Asma Ahmed - | Arab News

Kuwait has recently announced a three-month amnesty program aimed at individuals who have violated residency laws within the country.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, and Acting Minister of Interior, Sheikh Fahad Yousef Al-Sabah, disclosed that the relaxation of regulations for residency violators would be effective from March 17 to June 17.

The Ministry of Interior stated that expatriates residing in Kuwait who have breached residency laws would be allowed to remain in the country if they settled fines before June 17, 2024. These fines for residency visa violations will be charged at a rate of KD2 ($6.5), with a maximum fine set at KD600 ($1,952).

Moreover, individuals who are unable to pay the fines within the stipulated timeframe may freely exit the country through international ports without facing additional penalties. The Ministry added that individuals leaving Kuwait without settling their fines would still have the opportunity to return to the country at a later date, provided they adhered to the new procedures outlined by the authorities.

Under the terms of the amnesty, individuals found to be residing in Kuwait unlawfully who neither depart nor settle their fines to rectify residency violations will not be granted residency status. Instead, they will face deportation, fines, and a ban from reentering Kuwait. This amnesty initiative aims to provide an opportunity for those in violation of residency laws to rectify their status within the legal framework and avoid harsher penalties.

Reports from local media outlets suggest that as many as 120,000 expatriates residing in Kuwait could benefit from this amnesty program. This decision to offer a visa amnesty reflects Kuwait's commitment to addressing residency issues within its borders in a fair and humane manner. By providing a grace period for individuals to regularize their residency status, Kuwait aims to uphold the rule of law while also recognizing the diverse population contributing to the nation's economy and society.

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Asma Ahmed
Asma Ahmed
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