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Illegal expats fail to rectify status despite grace period
March 3, 2018, 3:03 pm

Ministry of Interior officials are perplexed at the lukewarm response to the general amnesty granted to illegal expatriates in the country that came into force on 29 January.

According to sources at the Ministry of Interior, only 10 to 15 percent of illegal residents in the country have so far made use of the amnesty period, despite its extension by two months to 22 April, from its earlier expiry date of 22 February. This poor response reveals that many expatriates are apparently not willing to regularize their residency or leave the country unhindered as per the amnesty, said the ministry source.

As per the government amnesty degree number 64/2018, illegal expatriates can legalize their residency status by paying a penalty of KD2 per each day, with the maximum fine set at KD600 even if the violation period was longer. The last time such a broad ‘amnesty’ came into force was in 2011 when violators were allowed to leave the country without paying penalties.

The grace period of two more months, which was given on compassionate grounds and in view of Kuwait’s humanitarian and civilized aspect, has failed to realize the expected outcome, said the ministry official. While not assigning any specific reason for why illegal expatriates were not willing to avail of the opportunity to amend their residency status or leave the country, the ministry of interior source revealed that only a small fraction of the estimated 154,000 residency violators in the country had so far benefited from the amnesty decision.

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