Over 2,800 Indians apply for Kuwait amnesty scheme

September 23rd, 2008 - 11:01 am ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Sep 23 (IANS) Over 2,800 Indians have applied to take advantage of an amnesty scheme in Kuwait designed to help illegal foreign residents to either regularise their papers or return to their home countries.”We have received over 2,800 applications from Indians till now,” an official in the Indian embassy in Kuwait told IANS over phone.

“All those who have applied want to go back to India and we are processing their applications for issuing outpasses,” the official said Monday.

The 45-day amnesty scheme was launched Sep 1 by Kuwait’s ruler Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to mark the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Under the scheme, immigration departments across that Gulf city-state would assist all individuals to either adjust their illegal residency status or help them leave the country.

Those who have no travel documents would be allowed to leave the country within the specified period mentioned in the new law.

Expatriates willing to return to their respective countries after deportation must follow the official channels and procedures.

However, according to assistant general director at Kuwait’s general department of immigration Bader Al-Hamadi, those expatriates who have committed serious felonies would not be allowed to leave the country and would not benefit from the scheme.

Meanwhile, the Indian mission in Kuwait has also made arrangements with national carriers Air India and Indian Airlines and leading private Indian airline Jet Airways to provide special fares to those Indians in Kuwait who avail of the amnesty scheme.

The three carriers have agreed to a special request from the mission to offer special fares to Indian amnesty seekers.

The embassy has also called upon all Indians in Kuwait to abide by the law of the land, and appealed to those Indian nationals who were without valid visas or residencies, to avail of the benefits of the amnesty scheme, the deadline of which expires Oct 15.

There are around 550,000 expatriate Indians in Kuwait.

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