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Kuwait Detains 450 Undocumented Migrants; Deportees Barred From GCC Entry for 5 Years

The crackdown will be followed by additional large-scale security operations targeting illegal residents

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 3, 2024, 14:54:08

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Kuwait, foreigners, illegal residence, GCC, migrants, Kuwaiti Interior Ministry

Kuwait has launched a significant security crackdown on illegal foreign residents following the expiration of a three-month amnesty deadline this week.

Approximately 450 individuals who violated the country’s residency regulations were detained in operations conducted across Kuwait's six governorates, shortly after the deadline expired, as reported by Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai.

This crackdown will be followed by additional large-scale security operations targeting illegal residents who did not take advantage of the amnesty offered by authorities.

The detained undocumented migrants were transported to an accommodation centre and will be interrogated regarding those who harboured and employed them.

Those violating residency rules will be deported from Kuwait within four days, in coordination with their respective embassies to obtain travel documents, especially for those without passports.

Deportees are prohibited from entering other GCC countries for five years, and they will also face a lifelong ban from re-entering Kuwait, according to Al Rai.

Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry affirmed its commitment to conducting nationwide inspection campaigns.
The ministry urged the public not to harbour violators to avoid penalties and encouraged cooperation in reporting them to authorities via the emergency number 112.

Kuwait extended the deadline, initially set to end on June 17, until June 30, allowing undocumented expatriates to regularise their residency status or voluntarily leave the country. Official figures on how many expats utilised the grace period are not available.

The amnesty, effective from March 17, permitted irregular expatriates with passports to depart Kuwait without paying fines, with the possibility of re-entry.

Those without travel documents could obtain new ones for departure. Kuwait, with a population of 4.8 million, including approximately 3.3 million foreigners, is striving to address population imbalances by prioritising the employment of its citizens, a policy known as "Kuwaitisation".

Individuals or companies in Kuwait employing undocumented migrants face charges of unlawfully sheltering and concealing them. Last year, Kuwait deported a record 42,000 expatriates for violating residency and labour laws, as well as involvement in criminal activities.

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