Kuwait to Scrap Iqama Stickers on Expats’ Passports

With the proposal to eradicate the kafala system, which has been a hotly criticized topic in the Middle East by rights groups, the government is now exploring ways on how to progressively prepare authorities as well as its citizens regarding this important development.

For many years, the sponsorship (kafala) system has been a hot topic not only among international rights groups, but also within the expat community because it opens up many opportunities for abuse, especially for the foreign workers involved.

Gov’t to Scrap Iqama Stickers on Expats’ Passports
Image Credit: by susi.bsu/Flickr

Gov’t to Stop the Use of Iqama Stickers on Expats’ Passports

In line with this, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah released a ministerial resolution which calls for the cancellation of the use of residency stickers on expats’ passports including all the required data on their civil IDs instead according to assistant undersecretary for residency affairs Maj Gen Talal Maarafi, as shared in a report by Kuwait Times.

The resolution will complement the government’s on-going efforts to improve and modernize various interior ministry departments.

Sharing a statement on the sidelines of the graduation ceremony of police cadets, Maarafi explained that the change will be put into effect soon after special arrangements have been made with various foreign airlines and consulates in Kuwait.

According to Maarafi, the new measure which will include residency visas and departure notifications, will help regulate sponsors and their access to expats’ passports and help put an end to this problem for good. Moreover, the initiative is also a practical one, as this will consume fewer passport pages on the holders’ documents.

Slowly but surely, we are seeing little changes with the way the government is addressing issues that have long been lurking in the shadows such as the motion to impose the value added tax and now, the sponsorship system.

We hope this would progressively change the face and landscape of the workforce in Kuwait for good, based on the vision of the Kuwaiti leadership.

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