Four categories to benefit; ‘3-months’ grace for expat illegals

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 13: Interior Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Khalid Al-Sabah issued another decision Sunday granting a three-month grace period for expatriates under the sponsorship of bogus companies to correct their status or leave the country without facing any legal problem, instead of two months as stated in reports published earlier. The decision will take effect on Monday.
In his directive, Sheikh Jaber specified four categories of the beneficiaries of this decision. The first group includes those who are in prison and will be released immediately after finding new sponsors. He instructed a joint committee — consisting of members from the ministries of Interior, Social Affairs and Labor — to ensure that the new companies which will sponsor the expatriates are legal, have the ability to secure valid residence permits for them, and provide them with decent jobs.
The second group includes those who have been issued warrants of arrest but are not in jail yet. Sources said this condition was specified by the joint committee formed by Assistant Undersecretary for Citizenship and Passports Affairs Major General Abdul-Hamid Al-Awadhi.


Sources explained the second group has been divided into two subgroups — one consists of those with valid residence permits but warrants of arrest have been issued against them as they are under the sponsorship of bogus companies. Sources stated those who belong to this subgroup can come for investigation at the Immigration Department along with their new sponsors to facilitate transfer procedures.
The other subgroup includes those with expired residence permits and they will undergo the same procedures as their counterparts in the first subgroup but they have to pay the corresponding fines for overstaying in the country before the processing of their transfer applications.
The third group includes those who want to leave the country regardless of the validity of their residence permits. Those included in this group can leave the country without facing any legal problem as the warrants of arrest issued against them will be lifted and they can return to Kuwait anytime as the ministry will not put them on the blacklist.


The fourth group includes those who lack the financial means to return to their home countries or transfer their residence permits to legal companies. The ministry will give them one week to complete certain procedures and require the owners of bogus companies to pay for their tickets to go back to their home countries.
Sources disclosed the minister, along with Undersecretary Lieutenant General Ahmed Al-Rajeeb and Al-Awdhi, instructed the Immigration Investigation Department to work round the clock to facilitate procedures for these expatriates. The officials have also advised the security officers not to arrest any expatriate under the sponsorship of bogus companies.
 Meanwhile, parliamentary Human Rights Committee Chairman Dr Waleed Al-Tabtabaei confirmed the panel met representatives from the Interior Ministry Sunday.


Al-Tabtabaei revealed the panel had earlier requested a three-month grace period for expatriates under the sponsorship of bogus companies to correct their status, which was rejected by Al-Awadhi. He affirmed the ministry has now agreed to grant the three-month grace period and cancel the warrants of arrest issued to the concerned expatriates. He added 120 expatriates have been detained in the Deportation Cell for more than a year but this is illegal as nobody should be imprisoned without a court verdict, so these people should be released or deported to their home countries.

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim and Munaif Nayef

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