Kuwait to crackdown on residency violators

The country could also start charging $100 for visit visas

Kuwait arrests 47,000 expats in three months as crackdown continues

Kuwait is warning residency visa violators that it will not offer another amnesty period as it prepares for a crackdown.

The director general of residency affairs directorate major general Talal Maarafi told Al-Anbaa that residency violators could pay their fines and correct their status but there was no possibility of a waiver period.

There are an estimated 100,000 illegal residents in the country where political debate this year has focussed heavily on the high expatriate population.

It is estimated that 70 per cent of Kuwait’s 4.4 million population is foreign.

Several MPs have called for limits and other measures to ‘rebalance’ the population and the government has introduced new measures in recent months including higher healthcare fees and a ban on recruitment from some countries

Higher fees and minimum salary requirements for sponsoring dependents are also being considered.

Read: Kuwait committee proposes new fines, limits to reduce foreign workforce

Maarafi said the country was preparing a plan to capture and deport visa violators. Those caught face being placed on a blacklist that will prevent them from returning.

Separately the government is also planning new visa fees to boost coffers and control migration.

Under the plans, a fee of KD30 ($100) has been proposed for a month-long visit visa with the possibility of renewing for another month, interior minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah said, according to Kuwait Times.

The Ministry of Interior is also considering a fee of KD1 ($3) per day for those looking to transfer a visit visa into one for temporary work and another fee allowing residents to remain outside of the country for more than six months.