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Amnesty ends in Kuwait, 30,000 undocumented expats avail scheme – report

Amnesty ends in Kuwait, 30,000 undocumented expats avail scheme – report

The initiative, which was in place from April 1-30, permitted residency violators to leave the country without paying any fines

KUWAIT-INDIA-HEALTH-VIRUS amnesty

Kuwait’s amnesty programme, which ended on April 30, was availed by an estimated 30,000 expatriates who did not have valid residency permits in the country, according to local media reports.

The initiative, which was in place from April 1-30, permitted residency violators to leave the country without paying any fines while allowing them a chance to return to the country later with the right documents.

Filipinos could apply from April 1-5 and Egyptians from April 6-10, Bangladeshi nationals from April 11-15, Indians from April 16-20, Sri Lankans from April 21-25 and all nationalities from April 26-30.

Kuwait also arranged for special outbound flights to fly back those who applied for amnesty.

Read: Kuwait to allow repatriation flights, amnesty underway for expats without valid visas

While Kuwait’s Interior Ministry is yet to announce the total number of applicants, estimates suggest that 30,000 out of around 160,000 undocumented expats living in Kuwait availed the amnesty, Kuwait Times reported.

Restrictions imposed on air travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic was believed to be one of the main reasons for the low turnout, the report added.

Kuwait has been aggressively looking to reduce its expat population in line with demands imposed by MPs.

Last year, MP Safa Al Hashem also urged the GCC state to expel close to two million expatriates from the country over the next five years to rectify its ‘demographic imbalance’.

She said that it was essential to have Kuwaitis number more than 50 per cent of the country’s population.

Read: Kuwaiti MP calls for expelling close to 2 million expats, urges remittance tax

Hashem has also called for expats to be charged “for the air they breathe” and proposed a 10-year limit on their stay in the country.

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