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Kuwait: Embassy Details Repatriation Procedures For ‘Illegal’ OFWs

Image courtesy of Mike Non - PEBA/GOV Admin Group

Rumours Of Jail For Undocumented Filipinos in Kuwait Denied
By Michelle Fe Santiago
Arab Times Staff

KUWAIT CITY, July 2: The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait issued on Tuesday an advisory on the normal procedure of returning to the Philippines via the Kuwait Immigration for undocumented or overstaying Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). The advisory outlining 10 steps came out after some OFWs complained why they have to be endorsed to the Kuwait Immigration authorities despite having a duly processed travel document.

Philippine Charge d’ Affaires Raul Dado brushed off talks circulating on the social networking site Facebook that the Embassy is sending undocumented OFWs to jail. He outlined that they have to understand the procedure and the important thing is to follow the law of the host country. “If we break it, we need to follow the normal procedure of going back to the Philippines. The embassy does not cause deportation. It is the normal procedure in any country like the US or Canada. The embassy helps and gives travel documents for this.

It is speaking to Kuwait Immigration so that the return home will be as painless as possible. There is a homecoming for many of us, it may be now,” he stated.

In the advisory he explained the step-by-step procedures to be taken by undocumented OFWs who want to go home. The advisory states the following:
1. If you have legal documents, no need to worry.
2. If you are overstaying, follow the law of the host country
3. Prepare your tickets
4. The only procedure for overstayers in Kuwait is to transit through Kuwait Immigration back to the Philippines.
5. For this purpose, the embassy will issue travel documents Free Of Charge.
6. You may get the travel documents at the Embassy from Joseph De Claro, Joven Cabanes or Ms Catherine Gison.
7. You may proceed to the Immigration.
8. Follow the laws of Kuwait.
9. The Embassy does not cause the arrest or deportation of anyone. It meets with Immigration Officials to speed up procedures and to ensure good food, water and medicines at Immigration Centers. Kuwait Immigration officers have been very supportive.
10. The laws of Kuwait provide the above procedure for overstayers.

Dado told the Arab Times on Tuesday that they have been meeting with Ministry of Interior top officials and are closely working with them to expedite the repatriation of all undocumented OFWs who have expressed their willingness to go home and had their travel documents processed. He also clarified that a travel document is not a safety pass to be flashed to the authorities to avoid arrest.
“We urged all the undocumented OFWs to please get your travel documents so we can have them processed and you can fly home to the Philippines, the soonest possible time,” he stressed. He added that now may be the time to return to the Philippines if necessary, fix their papers and see their loved ones. “There is always hope and there’s always a new beginning,” he cited.