Kuwait plans to extend grace period for illegal expats


Kuwait: Kuwait will issue a new grace period for illegal expatriates to modify their status in the country after a previous deadline expired last week, local media reported on Thursday, citing a statement from the country’s interior minister Thamer Al Ali.

Earlier in mid-April, Kuwait authorities extended the grace period by an additional month for illegal foreign residents in the country, the deadline of which was due to expire on May 15.

At the time, authorities urged illegal residents to apply to improve their status during the new extension period, saying those who fail to do so will face a denial of a residence permit, deportation and ban on re-entry.

The new grace period will be issued on humanitarian grounds, according to Al Ali.

“Due to the health crisis, based on a humanitarian motive and in view of the closure of most airports, a new grace period will be granted to violators of the residency law, allowing them to pay fines and settle their status officially in the country,” he told Al Rai newspaper without giving a specific timeframe.

No specific number of illegal residents has been given. Last year, they were estimated at 100,000 visa violators.

According to the Gulf News, “This comes due to the COVID-19 virus crisis and the closure of airports in many countries. It also provides an opportunity to amend the status so that foreigners can be vaccinated against the virus.”

The Gulf country has repeatedly extended the grace period for illegal residents in the country.

The first grace period began in March last year following the global COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and was supposed to end in May 2020.