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Kuwait: Deportation of 15,000 residency violators canceled due to COVID-19

Indian nationals are pictured outside a school that was turned into a centre to receive residency violators wishing to avail an amnesty Kuwait announced for April, amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic crisis, in Kuwait City on April 16, 2020 [YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP via Getty Images]
Indian nationals are pictured outside a school that was turned into a centre to receive residency violators wishing to avail an amnesty Kuwait announced for April, amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic crisis, in Kuwait City on April 16, 2020 [YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP via Getty Images]

The Ministry of Interior decided to cancel the deportation for residents who overstayed from 2 Jan to 29 Feb due to the closure of government ministries as a result of precautions taken to stop the spread of coronavirus, Arab News reported.

A security source published a written statement saying: “For humanitarian reasons and to amend the status of approximately 15,000 people whose residence expired or were on a tourist or commercial visit in Kuwait the Ministry of Interior had previously decided to deport them later it was decided to amend their status and grant them temporary residence until August 31st.”

The Ministry of Interior however noted that residency violations committed before 1 January would not be covered, hence it was necessary for undocumented individuals to leave the country voluntarily or be deported.

Meanwhile, according to a report published on Tuesday by Arab News KuwaitKuwaiti police arrested five expatriates of different nationalities for fighting in a public area and assaulting each other using shoes and iron pipes.

Read: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia restart production at Khafji field

Last month, Kuwait’s prime minister said the country’s expatriate population should be more than halved to 30 per cent of the total, as the coronavirus pandemic and a slump in oil prices send shudders through Gulf economies, Bloomberg reported.

According to the World Bank, in Kuwait, at least 650,000 expatriates, mostly from the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, are employed as domestic workers alone.

The country has reported 813 new COVID-19 cases and one death, raising the tally of infections to 48,672 and the death toll to 360, the Health Ministry said in a statementreported by the Kuwaiti news agency KUNA.

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