Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Kuwait travel ban for expats with unpaid loans

From Arabian Business, 10 March '09

Kuwaiti ministers are drawing up plans to stop expatriates leaving without paying off their loans.
Expatriates living in Kuwait could be banned from travelling out of the country unless they can prove they have paid all their debts, it was reported on Tuesday.The new rule is part of plans being drawn up between the Ministry of Communications (MoC) and the Ministry of Interior, according to a senior official at the MoC in an interview with Kuwait daily Kuwait Times. The move comes in the wake of an Audit Bureau report that accused the MoC of negligence in collecting debts owed by a number of corporate companies and domestic customers.

Zakariya Mohammed Al Ansari, the head of the MoC’s accounting and commercial services department confirmed to the newspaper that the two ministries were working closely on plans that wold ensure expatriates did not leave the country without repaying their loans. But he rejected the bureau’s report findings that estimated debts exceeded KD120m ($408m), saying the sum was nearer to KD9m.The department had collected KD117m in unpaid debts in 2008 alone, as well as 98 percent of the amount owed to the ministry by local embassies, Al Ansari added.

[No doubt the UAE is looking at something similar thereby formalising what is already happening here ie companies informing the banks when a person is made redundant. The banks in turn are informing the immigration department who are then refusing exit visas. I've heard of a 22 year old who, when he arrived in Dubai a year or so ago, bought a car but has now been made redundant. He's done the right thing, tried to get another job, tried to sell the car both non-starters in the current economy. When he attempted to fly out of Dubai he was told at the airport that he couldn't leave the country until he "sorted it out". How he'll "sort it out" with no job and no income I have no idea.]


  1. I am in this nightmare. I was married to a Kuwaiti who left me. I fell behind on our car payment, lost my job and now I can't find a job, can't leave. I, too, tried to sell my car, but the finance company won't allow it. I don't know how they can expect to do this to people.

  2. Yes you are not the only one it would seem! This is an abuse of power and of no regard to human rights! Where is your Governments support in ths situation???

  3. I am an American and I was living and working in Kuwait. I was run off the road by an Egyptian man who was wanted by the police. My insurance on my vehicle was said to be only liability although I paid for full coverage. I no longer live in Kuwait and still they threaten to garnish my wages and to freeze my bank accounts.