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Embassies get ready to help amnesty applicants, need more details

February 24th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Kuwait: Officials from the embassies of different countries have expressed gratitude for the upcoming amnesty period. But they have expressed concern over the dearth in information on the nature of the amnesty involved, especially if absconding cases are included.

According to embassy officials, there are two ways to interpret the amnesty program this year – it being partial or complete.

The ministry should clarify the amnesty because we are afraid that people with absconding cases will not be able to avail of the amnesty period,” said an embassy official. He spoke with this reporter on condition of anonymity, “That is very unfortunate if it happens because many of our compatriots in the country have pending cases in police stations… most of these are absconding cases. Based on our interpretation, this year’s amnesty is quite different. Cases of absconding expats will not be considered
for amnesty,” an official from one Asian embassy said.

The Kuwait Times made a series of attempts to contact a ministry official to elicit the details about the recently announced amnesty. However, no response was received by the production deadline of the newspaper.

Embassies are gearing up for the amnesty program announced by the Kuwaiti government, which will take effect starting March 1 to June 30, 2011. Many of them, however, like embassy personnel at the Philippines, Bangladesh and Nepal embassies would start amnesty arrangement only after the scheduled holidays in Kuwait.

Press reports state that the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor had formally announced amnesty program on Tuesday after a supreme committee and HH the Amir finally approved the proposal, “The Philippine embassy is glad to hear about the amnesty program and we’ll definitely assist our people in taking advantage of the amnesty,” Rea Oreta, Philippine Embassy, Vice Consul told the Kuwait Times yesterday.

She further noted that the embassy hasn’t received any formal notification regarding the amnesty, “We are still awaiting the official memo from the Ministry. But we understand what situation they are facing right now. They are in the last days of preparation for their country’s celebration, so we cannot demand them to provide us guidelines right away; we shall wait until its ready,” she added.

Bangladesh First Secretary to Kuwait M. Hilal to Kuwait echoed the same concern as they also have to welcome their country’s president in Kuwait, “We are ready for it and looking forward to assisting our national in that regards. But, we’ll start talking about it right after the national day since we are also expecting our president anytime this week,” he said.

Nepal’s Second Secretary Pushpa Raj Bhattarai also expressed enthusiasm on giving assistance to people, come amnesty time. “If formal guidelines come, then, we are going to hold a meeting to properly implement the amnesty program among our people. In fact, we are considering a campaign as far as Jahra and Wafra for our people to avail of the amnesty,” Bhattarai mentioned.

The amnesty, which is reportedly going to take effect next month, will allow illegal expats to correct their residency status or go back to their home country without paying penalties during a four-month period. Accordingly, when the amnesty program is availed of, expats will not be blacklisted from re-entering Kuwait and fingerprint records will not be taken if they decide to leave Kuwait during the given grace period.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor is committed to abolish sponsorship system as soon as the labor authority is established. This was recently asserted by Undersecretary Mohammad Al-Kandari. She said that setting up the body will soon be organized by April this year. Al-Kandari was speaking to reporters during the inauguration of Al-Qurain Ceremonial Hall. He also mentioned that the Amiri amnesty for residency violators will be enforced as planned.
Ben Garcia, Staff Writer

  1. gerico
    February 24th, 2011 at 23:04 | #1

    Having this amnesty is a great opportunity to the expat, but as i read this article, yes, if this is a amnesty why their should be restriction? on whether who can avail and who’s not? I hope the media will have the true story about this, as their is a lot of article saying that and i quote ” A decision granting amnesty to residence law violators will be issued soon and all kinds of illegal residents will be able to avail the offer “. How about the expat who facing new cases? How about expat that is not illegal resident but being harass not to be transfer by the old company? DO they need to wait until they visa expire so they could be considered as illegal resident or resident violator? How about the expat who is willing also to correct their status or to leave the country? As some of the expat is really having a false absconding case as of me, i seek a lot of advice even to my government embassy but all they can do is just advice and some of this advice is so unbelievable, advising me to surrender myself to the authority and get deported??? as the embassy employee didn’t know what she is saying. I hope this amnesty will give all the right to the expat to leave or to correct our status as some of us is having ready transfer visa and some of us is found the right company, and i hope the ministry and the people behind this amnesty already know that this amnesty should not just for the people that haven’t valid residency, WE the EXPAT Pray that this amnesty cover all the situation specially those who have been set up by bogus cases as we cant comply to this case without being jailed before the shoon decision? what if WASTA will come along so the expat wont have the fair justice? Some absconder is just being harass by the employer and we hope the media could use their resources to express this point of view of other that who’s in actual situation about the amnesty. if a employee that have a recent absconding case with still valid visa until JUNE and have ready transfer visa request, can we get the chance to avail this amnesty because if not, I’m sure that some of the expat having this situation will still hide just for the sake of having work to support the family that we left but if the amnesty will cover most of this cases i think the expat will have no reason not to avail to this amnesty, so we really hope the media will help this to support the expat and not just concentrate only to resident violator and illegal resident as their is other expat need this amnesty. THANKS & GOD BLESS FOR THE NATIONAL AND LIBERATION DAY OF KUWAIT….

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