Kuwait Extends Indefinite Visa Suspension for Filipino Community

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KUWAIT CITY, May 24: Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled, the First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior, and Acting Minister of Defense, emphasized the utmost importance of preserving the sovereignty of Kuwait and upholding the dignity of its people.

First Deputy Prime Minister and acting Minister of Interior and Defense Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled

In response to recent events surrounding the suspension of visas for Filipino workers, the Ministry of Interior, under the guidance of Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled, organized a bilateral meeting between the Kuwaiti and Philippine delegations. This meeting was arranged after the government of the Republic of the Philippines requested discussions to address these developments.

The suspension of visas for Filipino workers was a direct consequence of the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Kuwait acting in violation of the labor agreement between the two nations, reports Al Rai. Furthermore, some members of the Filipino community have committed crimes against Kuwaiti citizens, which have been legally documented and are currently under review in Kuwaiti courts.

Additionally, there have been other criminal activities unrelated to these incidents.

  1. Directing domestic labor recruitment agencies to intervene in the process of relocating domestic workers from the homes of citizens, claiming that the worker has fulfilled their contract.
  2. Exerting pressure on domestic labor recruitment agencies to provide accommodation for workers in private premises owned by the agencies, despite the fact that Kuwaiti laws prohibit such practices.
  3. Forcing the agencies to take on the responsibility of locating runaway domestic workers from employers’ homes, thus assuming a role that should be carried out by the appropriate government institutions.
  4. Imposing undue pressure on employers during the renewal of work contracts by including contractual terms that neither the employer nor the worker desires.
  5. Engaging in direct communication with citizens and labor recruitment agencies to address embassy-related matters, without involving the relevant authorities within the State of Kuwait.
  6. Exhibiting improper conduct towards citizens who visit the embassy upon its request.
  7. Failing to legally justify the embassy’s refusal to document contracts submitted by labor recruitment agencies.
  8. Imposing bans on employers while the embassy is aware of ongoing complaints filed with the relevant governmental bodies, which constitutes a clear violation of Kuwaiti laws.
  9. Providing accommodation for workers in private housing or shelter centers under embassy jurisdiction, disregarding the fact that some of these workers have violated residency laws or have absconding notices issued against them.

Following a request from the Government of the Republic of the Philippines to hold a meeting with the Kuwaiti authorities in order to address the violations and misconduct, and in accordance with the labor agreement between Kuwait and the Philippines, the Public Authority for Manpower, under the guidance of Sheikh Talal Khaled Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior, and Acting Minister of Defense, has outlined the conditions for the Kuwaiti side. These conditions will serve as the foundation for the negotiation meeting with the Philippine delegation during their visit to Kuwait.

The key requirements are as follows:

  1. The Philippine Embassy must acknowledge and admit to the violations it has committed, acknowledging that it has breached the laws, regulations, and decisions in effect in Kuwait. This acknowledgment should recognize the infringement of diplomatic norms observed between nations.
  2. The Philippine Embassy is required to submit an official commitment, guaranteeing that it will not repeat such acts in the future.
  3. The embassy should communicate this acknowledgment and commitment to its government, ensuring that it is conveyed and published through official media channels.
  4. Following this, the relevant authorities in Kuwait will issue an official statement cautioning against any violation of the applicable laws, decisions, and regulations, with the aim of safeguarding Kuwait’s sovereignty and legal framework.
  5. If these conditions are accepted by the Philippine side, the Ministry of Interior will evaluate the situation and monitor the embassy’s compliance with the security protocols and conditions established by the Ministry. This assessment period will extend for a minimum of three months, after which appropriate action will be determined by the Ministry.

Following the meeting, the Philippine delegation requested a 72-hour period to consult with the government of the Republic of the Philippines regarding the conditions presented by the Kuwaiti side. However, the Philippine side ultimately refused to comply with the conditions, which aimed to ensure that the violations would not be repeated in the future.

In light of these developments, the Ministry of the Interior maintains its stance of rejecting any encroachments upon the sovereignty of the state and the dignity of its citizens. Consequently, the decision to suspend all visa types for the Filipino community remains in effect until further notice. However, the ministry will continue to renew the residency permits of individuals who possess valid documentation and express their desire to continue working in Kuwait in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations.

Furthermore, the First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior, and Acting Minister of Defense have instructed the Public Authority for Manpower, in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to finalize labor agreements and facilitate the recruitment of trained workers from various countries to meet the labor demands of the Kuwaiti market.

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