‘Syrians on visit visas are not entitled for renewals’ – 40 Syrians detained

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KUWAIT CITY, June 30: Acting Assistant Undersecretary for Citizenship and Passports Affairs in the Interior Ministry Major General Talal Mara’afi recently held a meeting with directors of immigration departments in the six governorates at the Mubarak Al-Kabeer Immigration Department building, reports Al-Anba daily quoting a reliable source.

According to the source, Mara’afi discussed with the directors a number of new instructions related to granting visit visas to Syrians, Lebanese and Afghans. Source said the acting assistant undersecretary stressed the need for the directors to carefully review the visit visa applications before granting such visas to the aforementioned nationalities.

Warning against violation of these instructions, the source revealed Mara’afipointed out there are no exemptions in the implementation of the directives except the letters received by the Citizenship Sector from the Office of Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid Al-Jarrah.

The source added Mara’afi called on the directors to review the visit visas issued recently to the four nationalities without official accreditation. Mara’afi also reiterated that it is not allowed to renew visit visas for Syrians, transfer visit visas to any type of residence permit and extend the stay period for those who received departure notifications. He clarified the country allows visit visas for these nationalities, not permanent residence as it happened in the past or taking advantage of the visit visa privilege to reach the country without intention to leave and then use ‘wasta’ (influence) to remain in the country through extension or transfer of visit visas to work or dependent visas.

The source went on to say Mara’afi told the directors that any transaction signed by the minister of interior, undersecretary or himself and was not completed within one week from the date of signing is deemed invalid so the concerned person must obtain new signature after one week.

Meanwhile, All refugees particularly Syrians and Yemenis will be arrested and deported from Kuwait if they are in violation of the residency law, reports Al-Rai daily.

According to an informed source from Ministry of Interior, the ministry has arrested a number of Syrian and Yemeni residency law violators and referred them for deportation for the sake of upholding public interest.

So far, a total of 40 Syrians and 45 Yemenis are detained in prison awaiting deportation. A committee headed by General Public Prosecutor Mohammad Rashed Al-Duaij which was formed to study the conditions of expatriates had recommended non-deportation of Syrians and Yemenis until the situation in their countries improves.

However, it seems the government has not taken these recommendations into consideration. There are about 146,000 Syrian residents in Kuwait, many of who have been living and working here prior to 2011. They and their family members, who had come to Kuwait seeking refuge after fleeing from their war torn country, could be affected by these new decisions.

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