Visa trade flourishing once again in Kuwait
The visa trade has returned to haunt the authorities once again after laying low during the Covid-19 pandemic, reports Al-Qabas daily. In this regard middlemen and those who have activated their trade through advertisements, at home and abroad, are offering work visas for sale, while the Ministry of Interior and the Public Authority for Manpower constantly warn against violating the laws, and despite the referral of hundreds of those involved in the visa trade to the judiciary and the issuance of verdicts against them, the daily monitored new advertisements mushrooming on the social media and WhatsApp offering visas for sale and the price ranges between 1,500 and 2,300 dinars depending on the nationality and job description. Moreover, responsible sources have warned of the recent resurgence of the random employment phenomenon — despite the shortage of craftsmen, which requires urgent intervention from the concerned state authorities so that the phenomenon does not escalate as it was before the pandemic.
It is noticed on social networking sites the Syrians and the Sudanese sending requests for visas to work in Kuwait, whatever the value of the visa. Despite the difficulty of Syrians entering the country, Al-Qabas monitored offers on social media about the availability of visas, but at high prices, sometimes reaching 5,000 dinars. As for the most advertisements on social media platforms showing availability of visas or the transfer of residence, they are for Egyptians, via fake accounts inside Kuwait or on Egyptian WhatsApp numbers announcing the availability of visa services.
On the ground, informed sources considered that the 80-day window granted by the Ministry of Interior to the expatriates abroad is sufficient to organize and arrange their affairs and return to their workplaces. After more than two years, the Ministry of the Interior re-activated the law for the revocation of Article 18 work permits of expatriates if they stay outside Kuwait for more than 6 months.
The outbreak of the Corona virus had caused the suspension of this law, as many expatriates who renewed their residencies benefited from it as they were permitted to renew their work permits online. The Ministry of Interior had revealed in a statement the day before yesterday that the 6-month calculation period starts from May 1 and ends at the beginning of next November, that is, it gave those outside the country an opportunity of 80 days to return to the country. The sources confirmed that the decision will reflect positively on the labor market, which has recently been suffering from a shortage of some jobs and professions.