KUWAIT CITY, May 22: Kuwait is in the process of issuing a new ‘humanitarian’ grace period for illegal residents to modify their status in the country or leave the country after a previous deadline expired this week, Kuwaiti Interior Minister Thamer Al Ali was quoted as saying, reports Al-Rai daily. Earlier in mid-April, the Interior Minister had extended the grace period for the illegal residents by one more month. At the time, authorities urged illegal residents to apply for readjusting their status during the new extension period expiring which expired in mid-May, saying that those failing to do so will be liable to penalties, including denial of residence permission, deporting from the country and a ban on re-entry.
“Due to the health crisis, based on a humanitarian motive and in view of the closure of most airports, a new grace period will be granted to violators of the residency law, allowing them to pay fines and settle their status officially in the country,” he told the daily without giving a specific time frame. The minister urged the illegal residents to make use of the new grace period after a previous one ended on Saturday.
No specific number of illegal residents in Kuwait has been given. Last year, they were estimated at about 100,000 visa violators. Kuwait has repeatedly extended the grace period for illegal residents in the past months. The first grace period began in March last year following the global corona virus outbreak and was supposed to end in May 2020. Kuwait has in recent months sought to redress its demographic imbalance amid fallout from the pandemic.