Egypt’s Passports, Emigration and Nationality Administration approved a request by MP Ghada Agamy on Monday to extend the validity of passports held by expatriate Egyptians for a further six months.
The decision will help those renewing their residence status abroad, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In a letter to House of Representatives’ Secretary-General Mahmoud Fawzy, the ministry said that the administration has extended the validity of expired passports, as well as passports due to expire soon.
The six-month extension is intended to make up for the suspension of overseas passport services due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
About 1,643 Egyptians stranded in Kuwait are scheduled to return to Egypt onboard seven flights on Monday, Kuwait’s Civil Aviation Authority announced in an official statement.
In recent weeks, Egyptians in Kuwait and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have been pleading with Egyptian authorities for their repatriation.
Egypt has continued its special flights to repatriate Egyptians stranded in several countries. A total of 330 citizens in Kuwait arrived in Cairo on Sunday and were transferred to specially designated quarantine areas according to precautionary measures.
A further 310 citizens stranded in Riyadh and Jeddah were repatriated on two flights to Cairo, with another 167 arriving into Marsa Alam airport from Jeddah. All returnees were transferred to the designated quarantine areas under Ministry of Health guidelines.
The special flights have been coordinated through a ministerial committee formed by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and the Ministers of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriates Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Health and Aviation.
In a statement, the Ministry of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriates Affairs said that concerted and continuous efforts to return the remaining stranded Egyptians abroad are ongoing. The ministry is mainly repatriating Egyptians with expired residence visas or contracts, and those who have violated their residency conditions.
Egypt closed its airports to all inbound and outbound international flights in mid-March as part of preventive measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. It has mainly kept its airspace open to cargo and domestic flights during the flight suspension.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has said that 135 special flights operated by EgyptAir and Air Cairo have repatriated 24,750 citizens in two phases from 20 March to 21 May.