Kuwait Enforces Strict Health Measures for Work Visas

In a bid to bolster public health protection and update regulatory frameworks, Kuwait has recently enacted more stringent preventive health measures for expatriates, as reported by Gulf News. Under the updated regulations, individuals applying for a residency permit or iqama will be considered medically unfit if a hepatitis C test returns an “indeterminate” result. Consequently, such individuals are not eligible to undergo a PCR test.

However, if a resident expatriate undergoes two hepatitis C tests with a minimum interval of four weeks between them, and both tests yield “indeterminate” results, the individual is permitted to undergo a PCR test. Should the PCR test yield a positive result, the individual will then be classified as medically unfit.

In the event of a negative PCR result, the applicant will be granted a one-year renewal of their residency permit, following which a new PCR test will be conducted. A negative result from this subsequent test will indicate that the applicant is medically fit.

The Health Minister, Ahmed Al Awady approved these rules to make sure everyone in Kuwait is safe from diseases. The specific date for the implementation of these new regulations has not been announced yet.

Expatriates constitute a significant portion of Kuwait’s population, with foreigners numbering around 3.2 million out of a total population of 4.8 million. These regulations will directly affect expatriates seeking residency permits or renewals in Kuwait.

In addition to health regulations, Kuwait has also intensified measures against illegal foreign residents. Illegal residents, estimated at 150,000, face deportation, and those sheltering them, including Kuwaiti individuals or companies, are subject to legal consequences. Kuwait’s employment policy, dubbed “Kuwaitisation,” aims to address demographic imbalances by prioritizing employment opportunities for its citizens.

While these measures may present challenges for expatriates seeking residency in Kuwait, they ultimately serve to promote the health and safety of all residents. As Kuwait continues to prioritize public health initiatives, these measures reaffirm its commitment to maintaining high standards of health and well-being for its population.

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