The General Department of Residence Affairs, upon instructions from Assistant Undersecretary of the Residence Affairs Department Major-General Talal Marafie said the Interior Ministry will stop putting residence stickers on passports of expatriates (domestic workers) who renew their residence permits online from March 10, 2019, reports Al-Rai daily.
However, the senior official said residence permits can be renewed online provided, the period of expiry of their stay is not more than two months, and with the start of canceling the sticker the Assistant Undersecretary of the Interior Ministry, Major General Mansour Al- Awadhi issued a circular on the new mechanism for renewing residency and canceling the sticker.
Ministerial Resolution No. 135/2019 dated 12/2/2019 on the amendment of some provisions of Ministerial Decree No. 640/1987 of the Executive Regulations of the Law on the Residence of Foreigners and its amendments.
The residence sticker has been canceled as of March 3, 2019 and replaced by the civil ID card for the residence permits which can be used for entry and exit that will match the passport data with the new Civil ID (passport number + Latin name + occupation).
No one will be allowed to enter or leave without the civil ID card and for this the names on the passport and civil ID must match.
The residence sticker placed prior to March 3, 2019 remains valid unless otherwise instructed.
In case of return to the country, the person who is issued a new passport and whose number differs from the number of the passport on the Civil ID will not be allowed to enter if the old passport corresponding to the number in the civil ID is not produced.
The general managers and directors of departments concerned with all ports (airport, land ports, seaports) must implement this circular with all its provisions as of March 3, 2019.
Meanwhile, a security source said the complaints of confusion surrounding the ministerial decision among the expatriate community is unjustified; pointing out that the issue is the cancellation of the sticker only for any newcomer and who renews his residence or gets a new residence.
The only difference is instead of the passports, the expatriates must produce their civil IDs. They will not be able to leave the country until after the issuance of the new civil ID.
Similarly a person will not be allowed to return if he/she does not carry the civil ID. He added all the countries have been notified in this regard. The source said: For any person who will come on visit visa, whether family, tourist or commercial, the original official paper issued by the General Department of Residence will be allowed entry and exit the country.
The source added, any expatriate whose residence was issued a month or more or less before Sunday, March 10, will be able to leave and return to the country without a civil ID card.
As for students who are studying abroad and who are outside Kuwait, the stickers in their passports allow them to enter the country without a civil ID card.
The General Department of Residence took 72 hours to complete the system so that it is fully operational.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior has begun to implement the first phase of the decision to do away with the residence permit stickers on the passports and transfer all the information onto the civil IDs for holders of Article 20 (domestic labor), reports Al-Rai daily.
In the meantime, the Public Authority for Civil Information has stopped issuing IDs to all expatriates, because the names on the passports are subject to review by the Ministry of Interior, (the names in Latin) to accept applications for renewal and issuance of the ID. A majority of the civil ID cards of more than 3 million expatriates carry Arabic names that do not match the Latin names in their passports and are written in the civil ID as translated by the Public Authority for Civil Information.