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450 expats leave without fine, thousands to avail of amnesty

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KUWAIT CITY, Jan 31: Due to the amnesty period that came into effect two days ago, thousands of expatriates who are in violation of the residency law have been thronging the embassies of their countries for receiving a temporary travel document “Laissez-passer”, which will allow them to travel without their passports.

According to security sources, about 450 expatriates have so far benefited from the amnesty by exiting the country. The amnesty, which was declared by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah, targets 154,000 individuals who are in violation of the residency law as per the records of the Immigration Department of Ministry of Interior.

The amnesty is an opportunity for residency law violators to either exit the country without paying the relevant fines or rectify their residency status. Those who exit the country during the amnesty period from Jan 29 to Feb 22 will be able to return to the country.

The sources revealed that Kuwait International Airport, on the first day of the amnesty period, witnessed the exit of 200 expatriates who were in violation of the residency law, adding that 250 others left on the second day.

However, the sources indicated that majority of those who travelled were unaware of the amnesty, stressing that the issuance of temporary travel document for those without their passports, which are usually in the possession of their sponsors, takes time.

They explained that the amnesty also allows the residency law violators to exit from any port or border. The immigration departments at the airport and land border checkpoints have the authority to carry out all necessary procedures for issuing exit clearance to residency law violators. However, those involved in pending criminal cases are not included in the amnesty, and can only exit the country after their cases have been settled.

By Munaif Nayef and Jaber Al-Hmoud Al-Seyassah Staff

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