Kuwait Unveils Stricter Residency Laws: Fines, Penalties for Visa Violations!

Facing stricter penalties, foreigners in Kuwait risk one year jail and KD2,000 fines for overstaying under a new law. The legislation targets residency illegals estimated at 150,000, with provisions like daily fines doubling for extended violations and visitor visa restrictions.
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Foreigners overstaying their residence in Kuwait could face harsh penalties, including imprisonment for up to one year and hefty fines of up to KD2,000, under a new law set for debate in parliament this Tuesday. This comes in a bid to address residency visa violations.

The proposed residency laws target the pressing concern of residency visa violations, which are estimated to involve approximately 150,000 individuals in Kuwait.

Key Provisions of the Draft Law

The new draft introduces a comprehensive set of stringent measures to address residency visa infractions. These measures include fines for overstaying, limitations on visit visas, substantial penalties for unauthorized employment, and more. Let’s delve into the potential changes to the Residency Visa laws.

1. Imprisonment and Fines for Overstaying

Under the impending law, foreigners found overstaying their residence in Kuwait may face imprisonment for up to one year, accompanied by fines reaching KD2,000. The legislation underscores the government’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of its residency system.

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2. Daily Fines and Escalating Penalties

Residency violators, according to the draft law, will be subject to a daily fine of KD2, with the penalty doubling after the initial month of the violation. This escalating structure is designed to deter individuals from prolonged illegal stays.

3. Strict Limits on Visit Visas

The draft law emphasizes that individuals entering Kuwait on a visit visa are allowed a maximum stay of three months. Those failing to obtain a residency permit from the Interior Ministry must leave the country upon the visa’s expiration.

Must Read: Kuwait Plans Family Visas for Expats in Specific Fields

4. Penalties for Unauthorized Employment

Another significant provision in the proposed legislation targets unauthorized employment, imposing a KD3,000 fine on foreigners caught working in violation of residency laws. This measure underscores Kuwait’s commitment to regulating its labour market and ensuring compliance with legal frameworks.

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5. Crackdown on Illegal Residency

In recent months, Kuwait has intensified efforts to curb illegal residency, with the Interior Ministry reporting the arrest of 209 foreigners in a security crackdown on residency and labour law violations. The government has issued stern warnings, emphasizing that expatriates harbouring unlawful residents will also face deportation.

6. Demographic Balancing Through “Kuwaitisation”

With an estimated 150,000 illegal residents in the country, Kuwait is pursuing measures to address its demographic imbalance. The government is actively promoting “Kuwaitisation,” a policy aimed at reducing reliance on foreign workers and prioritizing employment opportunities for its citizens.

Also Read: Indian Embassy Issues Advisory for Work Visa Holders in Kuwait

Strategic Shift Amid Economic Challenges

Amid economic challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, Kuwait faces increasing calls to reassess its reliance on foreign workers. Critics argue that migrant workers have strained the country’s infrastructure facilities, prompting a reevaluation of its employment policies.

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Conclusion

As Kuwait moves forward with these proposed legal amendments, the government seeks to strike a balance between its commitment to national security, demographic equilibrium, and economic resilience.

The parliamentary debate on Tuesday will determine the fate of these stringent measures, reflecting Kuwait’s determination to assert control over its residency landscape.


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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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