April 26, 2020: Message for U.S. Citizens: Amnesty for U.S. Citizen Residency Violators Begins This Week

April 26, 2020

As a reminder, Ministerial Decision 288 gives foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, who do not have a residence permit or whose residency expired on or before March 1, 2020 the option to depart Kuwait before April 30, 2020 without paying overstay fines.  This amnesty offer for residency violators also includes a flight to their home country and allows foreign nationals to return to Kuwait if there is no other legal reason to ban their return.

Certain foreign nationals whose residence permits are expired may choose to stay in Kuwait, pay any fines, and renew their residency permits.  These categories include foreign nationals who are the spouse, parent, or child of a Kuwaiti citizen, the widowed or divorced spouse of a Kuwaiti citizen with children in his or her custody, and foreign nationals whose residence permits expired after March 1, 2020.

U.S. citizens interested in this amnesty offer may visit the designated processing centers in Farwaniya between 8:00am and 2:00pm starting today, April 26, until Thursday, April 30.  Males must report to Al-Muthanna Primary School for Boys (Block 1, Street 122) and females must report to Farwaniya Primary School for Girls (Block 1, Street 76) in Farwaniya.

Interested U.S. citizens must bring their valid passports along with up to two pieces of luggage with them.  Once applications for amnesty are processed, amnesty grantees will not be allowed to leave the processing centers.  They will be sent to the Ministry of Interior’s designated holding areas for an indefinite period until the government of Kuwait arranges for their deportation.  For U.S. citizens, you will need to wait until the government of Kuwait arranges your deportation to the United States.

U.S. citizens with overstay fines who wish to return to the United States but are not interested in the above amnesty offer may also elect to purchase a flight to the United States directly online.  The Embassy understands that those who depart before April 30 will have their overstay fines waived and be allowed to depart.

The Embassy cannot advise U.S. citizens on taking the amnesty offer.  Ministerial Decree 288 was intended for foreign nationals who did not have legal residency status in Kuwait before March 1, 2020.  You need to consider all of your options carefully and make a decision that is best for you.

Foreign nationals who are in violation of the residency law from April 1 to April 30 and do not leave the country will be subject to the maximum penalties under the law, deportation, and not be allowed to return to Kuwait.  This does not apply to foreign nationals whose tourist visas or residence permits expired or will expire between March 1 and May 30, 2020; the government of Kuwait automatically extended them until May 31, 2020.


Potential travelers should consult CDC guidance on travel, consider health conditions at their final destination, and remember that they will not be able to return to Kuwait until the airport re-opens and commercial service has been restored.

  • U.S. citizens should continue to check the Embassy website and follow our social media platforms for announcements about possible future flights to the United States.
  • The Embassy updates the information on its COVID-19 webpage daily so please check it for the latest information on COVID-19 in Kuwait.
  • If you have not done so already, enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and messages from the Embassy.