New iqama process begins; names on passport and civil ID should match

KUWAIT: The Interior Ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for Residency Affairs Maj Gen Talal Maarafi yesterday announced the start of the implementation of ministerial decision 135/2019, which calls for stopping the use of the residency sticker and substituting it with the civil ID. He said the first stage of the decision is being implemented for article 20 visa holders (domestic helpers).

Maarafi said this move is based on the instructions of Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah to employ the latest technologies, improve the level of services and enable citizens and expats to process transactions online. The undersecretary said any expat with a regular residency permit will not be allowed to enter or exit Kuwait unless they have a valid passport and civil ID. He said those who have a residency sticker in their passports issued before the implementation of this decision will be exempted from presenting the civil ID, provided their residency permit is valid.

Meanwhile, the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) has stopped issuing civil IDs to all expats and stipulated that they refer to the interior ministry and present their original passport to update their Latin name for the renewal application to be accepted and ID card issued. The names in Latin of many expats in the ministry’s database do not match those on their passports, as earlier the names were only in Arabic in the residency information, and were based on PACI’s translation.

By Hanan Al-Saadoun