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Visa merchants continue to violate the law

Residency brokers in Egypt … for the influential in Kuwait!

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 27: With their insatiable appetite and unlimited greed, “residency merchants” continue to violate laws by bringing in laborers from all places and disregarding the issue of marginal employment, which contributes to the country’s imbalance demographic composition. The merchants are not concerned about the implications of their actions, as long as it pumps dinars into their coffers, reports Al-Qabas daily.

Officials from concerned authorities describe many of the residency dealers as “infl uential” as they have made fortunes from this trade, which distorts the country’s image and increases its problems. It constitutes a burden not only on roads but the state facilities and service destinations. More importantly, they harm the expatriates who are committed and highly qualified to work after entering the country on official work contracts.

The brokerage operations had to be monitored “from the source”, so Al-Qabas toured Cairo’s offices of brokers and middlemen that specialize in selling visa to those who want to travel to Kuwait. They work for the benefit of residency dealers in Kuwait in return for a commission that is deducted from sums paid by those who stick to the dream of traveling to Kuwait, which in the eyes of many, is “an opportunity to get rich quickly” or achieve financial gains in a short time.

This view has prevailed and benefited the residency dealers and their agents in Egypt for many years. In spite of the successive announcements by relevant government agencies concerning the issue of imbalance demographics showing Kuwaitis constitute only 30 percent of the country’s population- according to statistics of the Civil Information Authority in 2018, traffickers continue to play with the fate of the country and its people without being monitored by the eyes of law.

Within a period of two weeks, Al-Qabas met Egyptian workers inside the Kuwaiti embassy premises in Dokki and Giza, the central laboratories and quarantine, during the completion of their travel procedures to Kuwait and discovered that many of them bought residences called “free visa” in large sums, while others obtained governmental and civil contracts with private companies. “Free visa” is a common method used for many years in the employment offices abroad where a person who wants to travel pays the owner of a private company in Kuwait in exchange for a work contract and easy entry to Kuwait provided that the person agrees to search for a job upon reaching the country. He’s then required by the company owner to convert his residence within a specified deadline, while the recruitment offices act as a mediator against commission per person.

The price is 100 thousand
Amid the long lines in front of the embassy, Al-Qabas correspondent met a person named M. Mamdouh, 30, waiting for his turn to document his treatment. He confirmed buying “Free Visa” from an employment office in Maadi District where he paid 40,000 Egyptian pounds. He stated that upon his arrival in Kuwait he would pay 60,000 Egyptian pounds in installments, which is equivalent to KD 2000. Asked about the place to live and the job to do, Mamdouh said, “I do not know what is available in the labor market but I will search for work in any field upon my arrival”.

The case is no different for H. Abdel Samad, a native of Sohag Governorate, who took the train from his hometown to Cairo for 8 hours in order to finish his travel procedures. He said, “I bought free visa at 110,000 pounds for two years, and I intend to work in the contracting and construction field due to my professionalism in this field.” As for Nahid (an English language teacher) who bought free visa through a mediator. She said: “I presented my credentials several times in periodic announcements to the Egyptian Ministry of Manpower to no avail, so I had to buy a free residence, and I will stay with my friend until I find work in a private school”. Unlike others before him, F. Muhammad indicated he agreed with an office in Kuwait to pay 120,000 pounds in exchange for the provision of a job opportunity and driver’s license in a taxi company, indicating driver’s visa is more expensive than normal visa.

Formality residencies
In one of the employment offices in Ahmed Orabi Street in the Mohandessin area, Al-Qabas correspondent stated his desire to purchase “free visa” and he learnt about the mechanism of sale and prices. The owner of the office said: “All granted residencies are for formality sake, despite the existence of an employment contract and entry visa, but this matter does not mean provision of job opportunity. They are just paper despite their validity, because they only guarantee legal access to Kuwait, and the office is not responsible for anything afterwards”.

Job title according to the money
The manager of another office in Agouza Region told Al-Qabas, the amount is determined “according to the job title obtained for the person who wants to travel, which could be one-year residency or two years. In the end, all of them are mere job titles that do not guarantee the opportunity to work in the place.”

Wait your Turn
A phone call made by Al-Qabas correspondent to one of the offices in Assiut Governorate, Upper Egypt, which sells “free visa” with the job title of “an employee” of a major company in Kuwait, revealed that the company is asking to pay a sum for reservation to confirm their seriousness and wait for their turn, given the massive demand for visa

Receipt of trust
As for the payment method, the person wishing to travel guarantees his right whereby the payment mechanism is at intervals, which starts after issuance of the visa. Before the customer signs a trust receipt document, and after the visa arrives, he pays half of the agreed amount, and upon his arrival to Kuwait, pays the rest of the amount in two installments. He’s required to sign the payment before traveling.

The Egyptian “Manpower” … No comment
Al-Qabas contacted spokesperson of the Egyptian Ministry of Manpower for days to ask about licenses of the offices granted by the Ministry to employment agencies that sell the so-called “free” residences, a name not included in the labor regulations in Kuwait, but he did not comment. Employment office: We work for Kuwaiti companies At an overseas employment agency in Manial Region, the manager agreed to expose the controversial sale of residencies. He told Al-Qabas: “Kuwait is one of the most desirable countries to travel to due to the currency difference, and the offices in Egypt do not work on their own but through companies. It is a Kuwaiti company that grants visas and work contracts through delegates and mediators who cooperate with it. He pointed out that “many people bought free residence, searched for work and settled legally, indicating “the residence business is a legitimate matter and occurs in all countries of the world and done according to supply and demand”. He added, “We provide you the opportunity to travel and obtain residency, in exchange for a service sum,” explaining that his office provides accommodations for many Arab and European countries and that “employment recruitment offices play their role legally.”

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