Kuwait to Cancel Iqama Extension for Traveling Foreign Nationals

Kuwait plans to revoke the special residency permits for foreigners staying abroad as part of its efforts to restore pre-coronavirus measures, a local newspaper reported on Sunday, February 13.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kuwait has suspended its rule that required foreigners to return to the country within six months, meanwhile allowing the renewal of residency permits online for foreign nationals stuck overseas.

Iqama Extension to be Scrapped by Kuwait Gov’t for Foreign National Stuck Abroad

Kuwait To Cancel Iqama Extension for Traveling Foreign Nationals

The exceptions to the rule will most likely be reversed in an official announcement, the Gulf News reported.

The ministry will grant an appropriate grace period running for months before applying the new measures,” the source said.

A related official statement will be issued, specifying the end of this absence permission and renewal of iqamas for expatriates while they are outside the country,” the source added.

Since the new measures took effect, all foreign residents of Kuwait who have been staying abroad for more than six months will have to return or have their iqamas automatically revoked.

Renewal of iqamas will not be allowed for those staying abroad, thus reinstating related procedures including the necessity of not overstaying abroad for more than six months as was the situation before the coronavirus,” said the source. “Medical and education exceptions will be taken into account.”

The source also noted that foreign students are expected to receive a grace period since this would coincide with their end-of-year holiday.

Such decisions are linked to health indicators and the Health Ministry’s assurance about possibility of full openness without negatively affecting the health situation inside the country,” the source explained.

Since foreigners make up such a huge portion of Kuwait’s population, it is estimated that they comprise about 3.6 million of the country’s roughly 4.6 million population.

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