Gulf Labour Markets, Migration, and Population (GLMM) Programme

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Kuwait: Residence permits by nationality group of holder (2010-2013)

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2010 2011 2012 2013
Number % Number % Number % Number %
Arab countries 696,730 33.43 722,575 33.36 750,426 33.25 802,213 33.63
Non-Arab Asian countries 1,307,218 62.72 1,338,340 61.78 1,391,040 61.63 1,458,161 61.14
Non-Arab African countries 48,486 2.33 73,403 3.39 83,144 3.68 93,004 3.90
Europe 9,870 0.47 10,216 0.47 10,554 0.47 10,921 0.46
North America 19,296 0.93 19,191 0.89 19,311 0.86 18,244 0.76
Central and South America 1,082 0.05 1,121 0.05 1,131 0.05 1,109 0.05
Australia and Oceania 1,448 0.07 1,416 0.07 1,408 0.06 1,426 0.06
Other 14 0.00 13 0.00 13 0.00 11 0.00
Total 2,084,144 100.00 2,166,275 100.00 2,257,027 100.00 2,385,089 100.00

Source: Ministry of Interior

1. Definitions

Residency procedures do not apply to GCC nationals.
The bidoun, a stateless population, are not included in the residency documents holders.
Data presented in the table are stock data: all the non-national residents holding a residence permit on December 31st, the given year. The table excludes the Bedoon, the non-Kuwaiti GCC citizens and those in irregular situation.

Dependent permit: spouse, children or elderly dependent relatives can join visa holder (sponsor) in Kuwait, if the expatriate has obtained a residency and is earning a minimum of KD250 a month (private and governement sector alike).

A working wife cannot sponsor her husband as a dependent. Also, sons over the age of 21 years cannot be sponsored as dependants, though adult daughters and parents may be permitted. Dependent family members are not allowed to work on a Dependent Visa, unless they transfer it into a work visa under Kuwaiti sponsorship. This can be done only after 6 to 12 months of holding a dependent visa.
Every children including new born babies must hold a residency permit. The application for the infant’s residence must be made within 60 days of the birth
The Dependent Visa holder is permitted to stay as long as the sponsor holds a valid visa.
Self residence permit: Expatriates may sponsor themselves under article 24 of the regulations and obtain a residence for two to five years under several conditions
(among which: being aged 60 and more, having worked no less than 25 years in Kuwait, owning a capital of 10000 KD at least; being able to produce a certificate of good conduct, being effectively residing in Kuwait with his/her family, etc.).
This form of residence can be renewed upon expiry. Self-sponsored expatriates may sponsor their wives and children.
Permits 17, 18, 19 and 20 are only granted after Ministry of Labour issues a work permit.

The present figures do not include the holders of permit n°14 (temporary residents).
Totals for the year 2012 presented here differ slightly from totals in other tables published in the database.

2. Institution which provides data

Central Statistical Bureau (CSB), Ministry of Planning.

3. Period of data coverage

December 31st, given years.

4. Data availability

The present data is taken from the report “Migration Statistics 2013”, published by the CSB.
The report processes Ministry of Interior’s (Directorate of Migration’s) raw figures of permits granted to foreign residents by type/ purpose of permit, sex and regional origin of holder, for the years 2010 to 2013.
The report (in Arabic, PDF format with Excel tables) is available on CSB’s website (Population Statistics, then Migration Statistics)

Date of access: May 2015.

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