The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait appealed to all undocumented Filipinos and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) with absconding cases to take advantage of the Kuwaiti government’s amnesty program.
Kuwait Government announced on April 1, 2020 that it is giving amnesty to all undocumented foreigners and those with absconding cases to further control the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Kuwait.
In a statement, Philippine Consul General to Kuwait Mohd. Noordin Pendosina N. Lomondot said the monthlong amnesty program “shows not only the Kuwaiti government’s seriousness in fighting the COVID-19, but also the Kuwaiti spirit of generosity to its more than three million expatriates during these trying times.”
“I hope that Filipinos with expired residence visas and absconding cases will take advantage of the amnesty program of the Kuwaiti government, similar to how more than 5,000 of our kababayan availed themselves of amnesty in 2018,” Lomondot said.
For his part, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. and Vice Consul Charleson C. Hermosura said that amnesty grantees will be allowed to leave Kuwait without paying any penalty or fine, and will be given the chance to return to Kuwait anytime.
“I wish to commend the government of Kuwait, particularly the Ministry of Interior or the MOI, for coming up with a well thought out amnesty program wherein the amnesty grantees will be given temporary shelter, with food and medical provisions, and one-way Kuwait Airways tickets to the Philippines—all at the Kuwaiti government’s expense,” Chargé d’Affaires Hermosura said.
Undocumented Filipinos and those with absconding cases are encouraged to go to the following processing centers of the MOI from 1 to 5 April 2020, between 8:00 AM and 2:00 PM: Farwaniya Primary School For Girls for female amnesty applicants, and the neighboring Al Muthanna Primary School For Boys for male amnesty applicants.
Amnesty applicants must bring their valid Philippine passports, and their two luggage (one 20-kilogram bag for check-in, and one 7-kilogram bag for hand-carry).
Those who do not have their passports with them are requested to bring three passport-size ID photos with blue background, which will be used for the issuance of their Travel Documents.
The Embassy will deploy its personnel to the MOI processing centers mentioned above to expedite the issuance of Travel Documents. Amnesty applicants are further advised that there is no need to go to the Embassy to apply for their Travel Documents.
Once their applications are approved, amnesty grantees will not be allowed to leave the processing center, and will be sent straight to a MOI-designated shelter where they will wait for their flight back to the Philippines.
Food and medical provisions are available at the shelter near Kuwait International Airport.
A total of 5,085 overseas Filipinos, including 148 infants, availed themselves of the Kuwaiti government’s amnesty program from February to April 2018.
With its 240,000-strong Filipino community, the Philippines is the third largest expatriate community in Kuwait, behind India and Egypt. The Sri Lankan and the Bangladeshi communities are also expected to benefit from this year’s amnesty program.