KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior announced a partial amnesty yesterday for all illegal residents in Kuwait. Residency violators will be allowed to pay their fines and either legalize their status or leave the country without being blacklisted. This will mean they can return on a new visa in the future. Unlike in previous years, however, fines of residency violators will not be forgiven and must still be cleared.
But this will only apply if they participate in the amnesty and voluntarily come forward, the ministry announced yesterday. The ministry’s Director of Public Relations and Security Media Brig Adel Al-Hashash told the press that all residency affairs departments across the country are ready to receive violators in order to rectify their legal status, pay fines and leave the country.
However, those who are caught by security personnel will be deported and banned from returning after fully paying their fines, he warned. Therefore, he encouraged violators and those who face legal cases to hasten in rectifying their legal status. Under normal circumstances, the fine for overstaying is KD 2 per day and is capped at a maximum of KD 600.
Domestic helpers and their sponsors will also be held legally accountable, as well as those who hide or do not report an offender, Hashash pointed out. He advised that residents should carry their legal documents with them at all times. In addition, he urged sponsors to renew their employees’ visas before they expire.
Meanwhile, Hashash announced that crackdowns will continue on fake domestic helpers’ offices, saying that authorities busted a number of offices recently and arrested people on charges of using maids for illegal practices and encouraging them to escape from their sponsors’ houses to work for others.
The ministry recently conducted a series of crackdowns on areas known to be inhabited by large numbers of low-income workers and illegal residents and several thousand were arrested. Hashash mentioned recent raids in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, Ardiya, Bneid Al-Gar and the vegetable market in Sulabiya, saying that the crackdowns achieved positive results as ‘large numbers’ of residency and labor law violators as well as other lawbreakers were arrested.
“The ministry will now allow the presence of residency law violators in Kuwait,” he said, reasserting that there are no plans to spare violators who do not rectify their status or leave after paying their fines. He explained that concerned authorities are tracking violators and fugitives “as they are dealing with them based on an accurate and comprehensive database”. – KUNA