02 March 2011, KUWAIT: A senior Ministry of Interior (MoI) official announced yesterday that all the necessary measures have been taken to help expatriates whose visas expired before February 24 this year to leave the country, under the terms of the amnesty granted His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. The measures have been taken in accordance with the instructions given by HH the Amir, as well as HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah and the interior minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Sabah.
Major General Kamel Al-Awadhi, the director of the interior ministry’s immigration department, explained in a press release issued to announce the start of the Amiri amnesty on Tuesday March 1 that all expatriates currently in the country illegally after their visas expired or they experienced similar problems would be able to leave freely by whichever means they choose without incurring any penalties during this period. The amnesty will run up until June 30, he explained.
During the entire period of the amnesty, all those in these categories will be able to leave without facing any penalties or fines at land, air or sea borders. Maj. Gen. Al-Awadhi said that all expatriates holding passports with expired residency visas, as well as those who entered the country on valid visas but had failed to change these to residency visas after choosing to remain would be able to leave by any means of their choice.
The senior interior ministry official further explained that those expatriates who were previously banned from traveling after fleeing their sponsors or jobs would also be allowed to leave without any penalties, unless they were wanted in connection with specific legal charges, in which case they would need to resolve their legal status before being allowed to leave.
Maj. Gen. Al-Awadhi said that those previously issued with a travel ban over debts would need to check with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), adding that they would not be able to exploit the amnesty.
The minister also said that “Parents of newborn babies who don’t yet have residency will have to apply for residency within the amnesty period to avoid [the babies] being deported,” sad the British minister.
The senior MoI official stressed that those claiming to have lost their passports would have to obtain new ones and either leave or try to legalize their status in Kuwait during the amnesty period in order to avoid being deported.
Al-Awadhi said that those expatriates who argue tthey cannot leave due to being owed backdated salaries and other funds, which he said would either have to be settled within the amnesty period.
Posted by: Jay Ale Source: Kuwait Times, dated 02.03.11