१६ जेष्ठ २०८१, बुधबार
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Nepalis living illegally in Kuwait can return home by June 17 without facing penalties

नेपालब्रिटेन डट कम्
६ बैशाख २०८१, बिहीबार १२:३६

London: Kuwait is going to facilitate the return of stranded workers from various countries, including Nepal, who are in Kuwait for foreign employment or travel. Kuwait has launched an amnesty program for young individuals stranded in Kuwait transit for the purpose of employment or to travel to other countries, as well as immigrants who have illegally stayed or worked there in violation of visa regulations.

An amnesty has been declared for stranded migrant workers unlawfully residing in Kuwait, allowing them to return home from March 17, 2024, to June 17, 2024. Many young individuals who arrived in Kuwait from different countries were unable to return home due to fines imposed on them.

Those who entered Kuwait illegally were forced to live in hiding as they faced hefty fines for returning to their home countries. The Kuwaiti government has now made provisions for them to return home without any fines.

Foreign workers residing illegally in Kuwait without valid visas were subject to fines. In accordance with a notice issued by the Kuwaiti government on January 10, 2016, various arrangements were made for foreign workers who violated residency laws and were living in Kuwait without a valid visa, allowing them to return to their home countries after paying fines or to stay in Kuwait with a valid visa.

The provision stated that workers residing illegally in Kuwait, except for those who had absconded from their employer or company or were involved in criminal activities or offenses, could return to Nepal after paying fines and surrendering their passports or travel documents issued by the embassy. They were required to leave Kuwait and return to their home country within the stipulated time frame.

For those who violated Kuwait’s visa regulations, Kuwait has arranged for their visas to be regularized after they pay a fine of 600 Kuwaiti dinars (KWD) (over 250,000 Nepali rupees), allowing them to continue working in Kuwait. However, Kuwait has provided an option for those living illegally to return home without any penalties if they wish to do so. Individuals who return home after paying fines can go through the new process if they intend to return to Kuwait.

Kuwait is also an attractive destination for young Nepalis aged between 16 and 40 seeking employment opportunities. According to the Public Authority for Civil Information, Kuwait, there are more than 107,000 Nepalis residing in Kuwait.

It has been stated that those who do not avail themselves of the amnesty program within the specified period will be deported and prohibited from returning to Kuwait. Additionally, as per data from the Public Authority for Civil Information, Kuwait, until December of last year, there were 62,708 men and 44,781 women from Nepal. Among them, around 77,000 individuals are employed in various companies, with over 30,000 Nepalis working as domestic help. The data further indicates that 95.3 percent of female workers and 4.7 percent of male workers are employed in domestic work.

According to statistics from the Department of Foreign Employment, 43,507 Nepali youths arrived in Kuwait with work permits during the fiscal year 2022/23. The Nepali Embassy in Kuwait has urged Nepali citizens residing in Kuwait illegally without valid visas to utilize the amnesty program.

According to the embassy, foreign workers unlawfully residing in Kuwait without visas in violation of Kuwaiti laws, who do not have a criminal record or travel restrictions, can directly return to their home countries under the declared amnesty. Giri Prasad Acharya, Labor attaché at the Nepali Embassy in Kuwait, stated that a three-month amnesty has been announced for foreign workers unlawfully residing in Kuwait.

“This amnesty applies only to foreign citizens living and working illegally,” he explained. “It does not apply to individuals fined for any crimes or offenses. Foreign workers involved in such cases can return to their respective countries after fulfilling Kuwait’s laws and regulations,” he added.

Acharya further mentioned that workers who violated visa regulations or whose visas have expired must secure a new sponsor if they wish to work in Kuwait. “Foreign workers can stay and work in Kuwait by finding a new sponsor with the consent of the previous sponsor after paying the Kuwaiti visa fine of 600 KWD,” he stated.

According to the embassy, individuals who have become undocumented due to the expiration of their Kuwaiti residence visas or because they absconded from one employer to work for another illegally can finalize their procedures and regain legal status within the extended period. However, he noted that individuals reported for criminal activities or involved in such activities, as well as those who have outstanding loans from banks, cannot depart unless their accounts are settled.

The embassy has advised Nepali individuals illegally residing in Kuwait to return to Nepal on time using this opportunity. According to the embassy, Nepali youths granted amnesty to return to Nepal without penalties will not encounter last-minute rushes, difficulties due to various reasons, and will not be deprived of the privileges they are entitled to receive.

“I urge Nepali citizens to obtain travel permits from the embassy approximately one month in advance and return to Nepal after completing the necessary procedures on time. This amnesty presents a golden opportunity for those unlawfully residing in Kuwait to return home without facing any penalties. We sincerely request you not to miss this opportunity,” Acharya emphasized.