Kuwaiti authorities have set a one-month time limit, beginning in December, for expatriate workers, including Egyptians, who violate residency regulations to legalise their status before they are referred to authorities for legal action, the Egyptian Ministry of Manpower said in a statement Thursday.
The Kuwaiti decision stipulates that those whose residency or entry visas expired 1 January 2020 or earlier, as well as those who wish to either obtain residency visas or depart from the Gulf country with willingness to pay the determined fines, can head to the country's General Administration of Residency Affairs to adjust their status through December, the ministry statement added.
The ministry warned that Egyptians who fail to take the necessary steps during the set period will face legal penalties in Kuwait, and will be deported, and will never be allowed to return to the county, as per Kuwaiti law.
The numbers of Egyptians in Kuwait reached around 445,000 in August 2018, according to Egypt’s Ministry of Manpower.
In the wake of the suspension of air traffic amid the coronavirus pandemic in March, Kuwait allowed expatriates violating its residency laws to leave the country without paying fines or flight tickets.
Around 28,000 foreigners out of an estimated 160,000 who have no legal residence have registered for repatriation, according to local Kuwaiti media. That number included approximately 6,500 Egyptians. Hundreds of Egyptian expatriates stranded in the country were repatriated.
In June, the country granted temporary residence, ending in August, for those whose visas expired at the beginning of June. The three-month residency was renewed once more, ending at the close of November.
Kuwait announced a partial resumption of international flights at the beginning of August after a five-month hiatus due to the pandemic while prohibiting travellers arriving from several countries — including Egypt — from entering its territory unless they stayed in a third country beforehand for a minimum of 14 days.
Egypt advised nationals who plan on returning to their work abroad, especially in Kuwait, to make sure they meet all the necessary travel requirements, including obtaining a flight ticket, carrying a valid visa, and reviewing the position of the transit country through which they can travel to Kuwait.
The ministry's call came after groups of Egyptian citizens were held at Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport in late October for entering the country with tourist visas but with an actual purpose of staying for 14 days before going on to Kuwait.