Filipinos in Kuwait urged to avail of visa amnesty program

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

March 25, 2024, 7:51 pm

<p><em>(File photo)</em></p>

(File photo)

MANILA – A lawmaker on Monday encouraged Filipinos in Kuwait to avail of the Kuwaiti government's visa amnesty program, which allows people with expired visas to rectify their status by settling fines or leave the country without paying penalties.

House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs chairperson Ron Salo said the amnesty program, which runs from March 17, 2024, to June 17, 2024, provides a "lifeline" for those in violation of residency laws to either regularize their residency status or safely return to their home countries and avoid harsher penalties.

"This amnesty initiative by the Kuwait Ministry of Interior is a commendable step towards resolving the issues faced by our ‘kababayan’ whose visas have already expired," Salo said in a statement.

Salo said his office is actively coordinating with the Department of Migrant Workers and officer-in-charge Undersecretary Hans Cacdac to assist Filipinos in availing of this amnesty.

"Our priority is to ensure their well-being and provide necessary support during this process,” said Salo. "I welcome this visa amnesty program and look forward to further collaboration and strengthening of ties between our countries."

About the deployment ban on overseas Filipino workers to Kuwait, Salo announced that he will visit the Gulf state after the Ramadan celebrations from April 20 to April 23.

"My visit aims to assess the living conditions of Filipinos, aid in the bilateral discussions between our nations, and provide insights on lifting the ban," Salo said.

The DMW, through Advisory No. 5, suspended the deployment of first-time OFWs bound for Kuwait.

The advisory was issued on Feb. 8, 2023, following the murder of overseas Filipino worker Jullebee Ranara.

The State of Kuwait’s Appeal Court has fully adopted the guilty verdict and sentenced the 17-year-old suspect to one year in prison for driving without a license and 15 years in prison for murder. (PNA)