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Saturday , October 23 2021

More ‘amnesty’ on cards for violators; Illegals on rise

KUWAIT CITY, March 18: The General Department for Residency Affairs has requested for the issuance of a ministerial decision for a new amnesty period of about six months to allow those in violation of the residency law to either amend their status by getting a new residency or exit the country without paying fines, reports Al-Anba daily. The department set its request in a manner that indicates the decision will be issued after the resumption of flights, and after schools and various educational institutions have completed their academic year.

The idea was presented by the Director General of the department Brigadier General Hamad Al-Tawala, who stressed the need to avoid subjecting the transfer of residency to paying fines, and opening the door to allow the transfer of family visit visas for all nationalities, especially the Syrians and Yemenis, and including family visas of wives, children, parents and relatives due to their special circumstances. He recommended empowering those under family visa and have reached the age to work and hold article 18 visa, to transfer their residency to the private sector.

Brigadier General Al-Tawala said the “Leave Safely” campaign did not achieve its desired goals due to the COVID-19 circumstances, the closure of the airports, and other reasons. It is worth noting that the idea was referred to the Assistant Undersecretary for Residency Affairs, who in turn submitted it to the undersecretary of the ministry, and then to the minister of Interior.

The idea is within the framework of the General Department of Residency Affairs’ work to combat the phenomenon of violation of the residency law and limit the increase in the number of violators, making it necessary to adopt an integrated strategy to address the defects in the horizon of eliminating this scourge that harms the country’s reputation and affects the prestige of the state and its official institutions. It should be recalled that several ministerial decisions have already been issued to allow people in violation of the residency law to leave the country within the periods specified by those decisions, and exempting them from paying the legally prescribed penalties and fines.

This occurred in the years of 1998, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2018 and 2020. It is worth noting that the relevant statistics reveal that the number of residency law violators has witnessed a remarkable increase in recent years, exceeding 100,000 violators. The number of violators of the residency law and visit visa reached a total of 158,259 as of end of 2017. This number reached 140,613 by the end of 2018, and then 160,425 by the end of 2019. At the end of 2020, this number reached 185,267, in light of the exceptional circumstances witnessed that year due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic since the beginning of March 2020.

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