As Kuwait transitions to going fully online when it comes to processing transactions, especially with matters managed by the government, the new iqama process has recently been implemented to benefit citizens, both expats and nationals.
However, this move does not come without a few fine tuning adjustments, as explained by government officials and as expected by the residents themselves.
Gov’t Implements New Iqama Process, Sends out Few Reminders to Expats
Maj Gen Talal Maarafi, the Interior Ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for Residency Affairs, officially announced the implementation of ministerial decision 135/2019, which calls for the discontinuation of use of residency (iqama) stickers in lieu of the Civil ID, as shared in a report by the Kuwait Times.
Maarafi also noted in the announcement that the first stage of the decision is now being implemented for visa 20 holders (domestic helpers), which comprises a large portion of Kuwait’s population to date.
Maarafi further explained that the initiative is in accordance with Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah’s instructions to integrate and utilize the latest technologies in the state, in order to improve the level of services and enable Kuwait’s citizens – both nationals and expats – to process transactions faster and more conveniently online.
The ministry undersecretary also pointed out a few reminders regarding the process concerning the new ministerial decision, pointing out that any expat with a regular residency permit will not be allowed to enter or exit the country unless they possess a valid Civil ID AND passport.
Meanwhile, those who have received a residency sticker in their passports issued prior to the implementation of the decision will be exempted from the requirement of presenting a Civil ID, provided that the residency permit is valid.
In relation to this, the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) has stopped the release of Civil ID to expats and mentioned that they now refer them to the Interior Ministry to present their original passport in order to update their Latin name for the renewal of application, and for their applications to be received and ID cards issued.
This is due to the fact that the Latin names of many expats in the ministry’s database do not match those reflected on their passports, as the names in the residency information were only in Arabic, and were based on the PACI’s translation.