KUWAIT: Around 40,000 residency permits held by expatriates who are abroad are considered void as they were not renewed, Residency Affairs Director General Brig Hamad Rashed Al-Tawala told Al-Rai daily, adding they can only return on new visas. He said that during the coronavirus crisis, the interior ministry took the humanitarian aspects of expats abroad who had valid residency permits into consideration by automatically renewing the absence permit as long as the residency permit remains valid.

Tawala said instructions of the higher ministry leadership facilitated procedures for expats whose passports expired in Kuwait by allowing them to extend their passports at their embassies and get an official letter authenticated by the foreign ministry to renew their residency permits, adding the number of such expats is nearly 70,000. He said 7,000 expats asked for the cancellation of their residencies and left the country during the coronavirus crises, most of them “bachelors”.

Tawala said a draft law is being prepared to amend the fees for residency and various types of visas, adding that Kuwait is considered the cheapest country in the world with regards to foreigners’ residency permit fees.

Meanwhile, Director of the Public Authority for Manpower Ahmed Al-Moussa announced banning visa transfers from the government to the private sector. Moussa explained that the authority has set new conditions for transfers from one employer to another as per resolution number 842/2015, amended by resolution number 367/2020, which bans transfers from the government to the private sector, with the exemption of citizens’ spouses and children, holders of Palestinian passport documents and specialized medical staff members. – Agencies