Indians staying illegally in Kuwait get help from their embassy

March 13, 2011

Hundreds of Indian nationals without valid residence permits are lining up at the Indian embassy to get documents that will help them leave the country under a four-month amnesty announced by the government.

According official estimates, about 1,250 Indians went to the embassy on Sunday for the documents that will help them exit or, in some cases, legalise their status. “The response has been extremely good,” Indian Ambassador Ajai Malhotra told the Kuwait Times daily. On the first day of the amnesty on March 1, about 200 Indians approached the embassy while on March 3, the number went up to 1,100.

“It is heartening to know that several Indians and Indian associations have come forward to help their brethren download and fill up the forms for availing of amnesty related services,” the ambassador said, quoted by the daily.

Kuwait is home to around 640,000 Indians, the largest expatriate community.

“We expect about 15,000 or so to approach us to avail of our amnesty-related services,” the envoy said. “While the amnesty is in effect for four months  – from March 1, 2011 till June 30, 2011 – it is preferable for Indian nationals to address residence permit concerns in March-April, before the summer heat sets in,” he said.

Special fares

Malhotra said that the embassy has arranged with Indian air carriers to transport financially weak candidates by reducing or waiving airfares.

“Some air carriers that fly to India, like Air India and Jet Airways, have been approached and we expect them to announce special fares for those availing of the amnesty shortly. Moreover, the embassy will bear the air ticket cost for destitute Indians,” he said.

The embassy also made special arrangements to meet the large crowds at its counters.

“We have deployed considerable additional staff, opened several new facilitation counters, and advanced the opening time of the embassy for amnesty-related services from our normal 8.30 am to 7 pm on every working day.”

Forms to obtain emergency certificates can be printed free from the embassy website and are also available free at the embassy.

“Moreover, we also provide a free form filling service at the embassy premises. We also offer free bottled water and snacks to those waiting to be served at the embassy. Ten portable toilets have been temporarily installed to cater to the large numbers visiting our premises,” he said.

The Indian embassy in Kuwait on March 1 issued a press release that provides the guidelines for securing the amnesty clearance.

It is available at the embassy website and has been e-mailed to Indian media representatives in Kuwait and copied to all Indian associations in Kuwait with a request to circulate it to members.

Money exchanges in Kuwait have also been requested to publicise the release that was translated into Indian languages that are widely used in the Indian community in Kuwait, the daily said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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