Thousands of Nepalis accept Kuwait amnesty

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 24, 2018-Thousands of migrant Nepali workers have used Kuwait government’s full amnesty offered to expatriates living without valid permits, according to Nepal embassy in Kuwait.

According to embassy officials in Kuwait, nearly 3,000 Nepalis, including over 1,700 women migrant workers, working in the country without legal permits to stay and work have so far registered for travel documents at the embassy. 

On January 23, Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior had issued a decree announcing it would give a 25-day general amnesty to all the foreigners living in Kuwait, who had overstayed in the country without the legal permit. 

The decision was expected to directly benefit nearly 130,000 expatriates, residing in the country without valid residency permits. The amnesty had given the residency law violators two options—either to leave the country within the stipulated period without paying the penalty for overstaying or update their legal status through the required 


Following the decision, Nepali migrant workers in the Gulf countries without valid stay permit came forward to make use of the amnesty that allowed them to return home without facing any legal actions from the local authority. 

On January 29, the first day of the amnesty, the Nepali embassy issued 263 travel documents to Nepalis, who wished to return home. Since then the embassy has encouraged Nepalis in Kuwait accept the amnesty and helping them with the procedures to do it.

The top five countries whose citizens are residing in the country violating the residency laws are India with over 32,000 violators, Egypt (10,700), Philippines (11,800), Bangladesh (25,000) and Syria (6,900), according to Kuwaiti government data.

An estimated 4,500 Nepalis are in Kuwait without valid permits.

The amnesty window was originally up to February 22. Kuwaiti authorities extended it for two months more up to April 22. 

The number of migrant workers using this facility is expected to go up. Now, the new amnesty deadline is April 22.

Ministry of Labour and Employment Spokesperson Bhuwan Prasad Acharya said, “This is a great opportunity to Nepalis to return home or continue with their work in Kuwait after updating their legal status. 

We are thinking of holding talks with multi-stakeholders on how the opportunities can be best utilised. If those workers cannot return home on their own then we will ask the concerned bodies, including recruiting agencies, to take this responsibility.” 

Published: 24-02-2018 08:08

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