Arabic local newspaper Alqabas reported that The issue of dealing with residency visa violators in the country has grown more complicated than before, as the violators are divided into two parties, the first is the 2019 offenders, and the second is the pre-2019 offenders, and both of them are not entitled to amend their legal status even if the fines are paid, Al Qabas daily reported. Despite there being a full prosecution plan for all violators to rid the country of illegal residents, it has not been implemented. The exception to residency violators are the parents of a citizen, the husband and children of a Kuwaiti woman, the children of a Kuwaiti, and the domestic labor of citizens.

The daily said, referring to sources, the concerned departments in the Ministry of Interior (MoI) are awaiting the green light to pursue violators and ensure they uphold the law without exception, as the sources confirmed the MoI’s seriousness to proceed through with an integrated plan, with instructions from the higher administrators, to eliminate the phenomenon of residency violators.

The daily said, quoting security sources the issue of the residency violators are a “major crisis” and “chronic headache” to the top officials of the ministry, noting that “the number of violators of the first section is estimated at about 50,000, while the number of violators of the second party – those who are in violation in the previous year – are estimated at about 90,000.

The case of the 2019 offenders requires study as there are those that failed to take advantage of the amnesty period granted by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Anas Al-Saleh in late March, as part of an initiative to leave the country without paying fines and without bearing travel costs, with the possibility of returning to the country again under a new visa under the opportunity to amend their legal status.

This was after they paid the due fines and obtained a valid residency for the country, so they would no longer be under restrictions.

Fundamental difference

The daily pointed out, quoting sources that the offenders of 2019 only had a deadline to leave the country safely, but it was only to leave the country, not to amend their status, hence they should not be equated with the pre-2019 violators who had many opportunities to amend their legal status by paying the fines owed and apply for a valid residency in the country. They also failed to take advantage of the amnesty period.

The issue of residency visa violators has become, more than ever, a need for an integrated security plan with specific conditions and objectives, which is vastly different from all previous solutions that did not bring anything new. This is particularly as it is a thorny and complex issue, which calls for a new and targeted strategy supervised by senior specialized security officials to develop radical solutions to end. The final objective is to rid the country of residency violators, who have become a heavy burden and a time bomb that can explode at any time.

Serious matter

Bringing the problem to the fore, Parliament speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim said he was looking forward to work with the government to address pressing issues, like budget deficit, low oil prices and illegal residents.

Addressing the opening session of the National Assembly’s 5th regular session of the 15th legislative term, Al-Ghanim discussed the challenges facing the parliament and government, and noted “it is our duty to direct our political speech” to addressing thorny issues in line with a specific timetable.