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Half a million iqama holders stuck abroad

KUWAIT: The interior ministry’s assistant undersecretary for residency affairs Maj Gen Anwar Al-Barjas said residency law amendments are being currently prepared pending referral to relevant authorities for approval. In an interview with Al-Anbaa daily, Barjas said the total number of expats stranded abroad who still hold valid residency visas (as of Aug 23) is 426,871, adding residents with expired iqamas will not be allowed to enter Kuwait.

Responding to a question about resumption of visit and entry visas, Barjas stressed that the issuance of all types of visas has been suspended for all nationalities until further notice. “As soon as we get health ministry instructions to do so, we will immediately put them into practice,” he underlined.

Barjas explained that the state had earlier allowed residents with expired contracts and expired residency or entry visas effective Jan 1, 2020 to depart Kuwait without any legal accountability or fines. During the amnesty period, the state had paid the expenses of their departure and allowed them to return to Kuwait. “Those who failed to leave during this grace period will be held legally accountable, will not be granted residency visas, will be immediately deported and will not be allowed to return to Kuwait,” Barjas concluded. – Al-Anbaa

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