The Ministry of Interior (MoI) outlined a plan for the return of expats in three stages, to organize arrivals of those with valid residencies to avoid crowding at the airport, reports Al Qabas daily.

In the first stage, priority is given to professionals in jobs crucial to the country, such as doctors, nurses, judges, prosecutors and teachers. Details are being gathered from various ministries to prepare a list for their return.

The second stage comprises of those families residing in the country, and those with residency permits of Article 22 (Dependent Visa) or heads of families who hold residency permits in accordance with Article 18 with wives and children in the country.

The third and last stage will allow the remaining expats desiring to return to the country.

The Interior Ministry submitted its recommendations to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but these recommendations will be under review and amendments according to developments.

The daily, quoting sources, said that the Ministry of Interior made the statement after the MOFA requested the specific categories of expats allowed to enter the country with valid residency.

MOFA also requested MOI to set up a procedure for those expats who were issued new visas and who are on new work contracts. In addition to introducing a new mechanism for renewing expired residencies for those sponsors interested to renew them for their expat employees and bring them to Kuwait.

Around 40,000 expatriates are presently stranded outside of Kuwait. As they are unable to renew their residency permits, they will not be allowed to return to the country without a valid visa. Majority are stranded abroad due to the restrictive measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Foreigners account for nearly 3.4 million of Kuwait’s 4.8 million population.