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Kuwait Government will not Imprison or Penalise 24,000 Illegal Indian Workers if they report to Interior Ministry for Deportation or Transfer of Job Visas

There are around one million Indian workers in Kuwait, who contribute immensely to the development of the country

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Representational image. VOA

Kuwait, December 8, 2016: In a rare gesture, the Kuwait government has stated it would not imprison or penalise over 24,000 illegal Indian workers if they report to the Interior Ministry for deportation or transfer of job visas.

“We are lenient towards Indian workers but have asked them to strictly follow the rules and regulations. The Immigration Department is ready to help them in the deportation process,” Major General Talal Ibrahim Marafie, who heads the department, told a group of Indian journalists, adding this was being done “in view of good and strong ties with India.”

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A million of them there

There are around one million Indian workers in Kuwait, who contribute immensely to the development of the country.

Major General Marafie said there were multiple reasons for the overstays. In most cases, workers leave their sponsors and work for other companies for financial benefits. There are also cases where the sponsor is abroad and when visas expire there is no one to help the workers get their travel documents legalised. Some sponsors retain the passports of workers. Such workers leave their sponsors for monetary benefits and better jobs. He said the government was keen to help illegal workers if they report to “us.”

The Immigration Department will make necessary arrangements for their deportation. The workers have to pay a small amount as a penalty, but in most cases, this has been waived. However, Maj. Gen. Marafie made it clear that if any of the workers had indulged in malpractices, they would not be spared.

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He said that 2,018 illegal Indian workers had already been helped to leave the country without any penalty.

On non-payment of dues

As for the non-payment of dues to the workers, he said the government attached great importance to this critical issue.

Senior Interior Ministry official Mohammed Ajami stated that thousands of such cases had been resolved. The Ministry also offers legal assistance to workers to fight their cases in court. The verdict has to be given within one month’s time so that the workers don’t suffer any delay. The government has also formed a committee of lawyers to help foreign workers in settling their dues.

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Changes in labour laws

Mr. Ajami said the government had proposed certain changes in the labour laws under which workers would have the right to retain their passports and travel documents. Moreover, sponsors will be made responsible to pay dues within a one-month period or face legal action.

On the drop in oil revenue, Maj. Gen. Marafie said this had not impacted on recruitment. More than 50,000 Indians have been recruited this year, he noted. (IANS)

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“Special” Passports For Diplomats: Kuwait, India Agree on Exemption Of Entry Visas

According to official figures, Indians at nearly 700,000 make up for the largest expat community in Kuwait.

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It also authorises the holders of such passports to extend their stay after the expiry of the period after the approval of the competent authorities in accordance with the legal provisions in force. Pixabay

An agreement signed by the governments of Kuwait and India on mutual exemption of entry visa for diplomatic, official and “special” passports has been implemented from February 19, diplomatic sources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said here.

The Al-Anba daily quoted the sources as saying on Wednesday that the agreement was signed between the governments on October 31, 2018.

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“Special” passports has been implemented from February 19, diplomatic sources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said here. Pixabay

Citizens of both countries who hold the passports will be allowed to enter, exit or transit through the international ports without a visa and enter the territory of the other party without obtaining a visa and residence for up to 60 days, the Arab Times reports.

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It also authorises the holders of such passports to extend their stay after the expiry of the period after the approval of the competent authorities in accordance with the legal provisions in force, provided that the passports are valid for a period not less than six months from the date of entry into the territory of either party.According to official figures, Indians at nearly 700,000 make up for the largest expat community in Kuwait. (IANS)