KUWAIT: Two thousand Americans are stuck in Kuwait since March after arriving on tourist visas to work for a trial period at US military bases, Al-Qabas Arabic daily reported. They were to be transferred to work contracts after a 90-day probation period. Informed sources said the coronavirus pandemic made them unable to leave Kuwait and return on business or work visas because all types of visas in Kuwait remain suspended.

Sources said the mechanism of the arrival of such workers was through tourist visas, which is easier for them to work under probation, and if they are approved, they leave for Bahrain or Dubai to return with transferable visas to work.

They said companies responsible for employing them wrote to the US Embassy in Kuwait and the US State Department in Washington to explain the problem, because this group of people must leave by November and will not be able to return under the health procedures related to fighting the spread of COVID-19.

The correspondence sent to the American side called for negotiations with officials in Kuwait to obtain an exemption with regards to transferring them to the workforce instead of letting them go while they are needed for current projects. As for those who had commercial visas, they were being processed last week to get approvals to transfer to work visas and start working at the bases.