Interior minister extends amnesty for residence violators till April 22

Curbs relaxed on absconding domestics

KUWAIT: Interior Minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah yesterday extended the amnesty for residence violators by two more months till April 22. The extension came in an official circular signed by the minister yesterday following reports that as many as 50,000 expatriate residency violators have benefitted from the amnesty that was to end on Feb 23. The amnesty allows residency violators to leave the country without the need to pay any overstay fines and also allows them to return to the country if they manage to obtain a new work permit.

Initial reports estimated that as many as 100,000 expatriates were living in the country without legal residence permits. According to the latest population figures from the Public Authority for Civil Information, there are 3.1 million expatriates in the country against around 1.4 million nationals.

In a related decision, the director general of the residence department yesterday issued a decision allowing maids registered by their sponsors as absconding to transfer to a new sponsor without the prior consent of the original employer. Previously, workers and maids registered by their employers as absconding or runaways were not allowed to get their residence transferred without the consent of their sponsors, some of whom exploited this facility against the workers. According to the decision, helpers registered as absconders can transfer their residence to a new sponsor, provided the new sponsor pays all the fines – if any – registered against them. The helper then cannot transfer to another sponsor until one year elapses from the date of the transfer.

By B Izzak

 

This article was published on 20/02/2018