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21 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Legalising illegal Bangladeshi expats

Envoy in Kuwait seeks MRPs sans police verification

DEEPAK ACHARJEE

Bangladesh's ambassador to Kuwait, SM Abul Kalam, has requested the authorities concerned to take steps to issue machine readable passports (MRPs) without police verification for expatriate Bangladeshis staying and working illegally in Kuwait to legalise their stay. The ambassador made the request to the secretary of the Security Service Division of the home ministry and the director general of the Department of Passport and Immigration (DIP) by sending letters to them recently. The request comes at a time when the Kuwaiti government has declared a general amnesty for undocumented foreigners, including Bangladeshi expatriates, staying in the oil-rich Gulf country illegally.

On January 24, the deputy prime minister and minister of interior of Kuwait, Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, declared the amnesty, which came into effect on January 29 and would continue till February 22. If the illegal expatriates return home during the grace period, they can once again go back to Kuwait legally to take up jobs, according to the amnesty declaration.

In a letter sent to the director general of DIP, Abul Kalam said the illegal Bangladeshi expatriates with passports can avail of the opportunity to get "Akama" from the Kuwaiti government to stay legally. “There are so many Bangladeshi expatriates who have handwritten passports, while many have no passports. If we provide them with passports within a week during the amnesty period, they can stay here legally. And that’s why we are requesting you to issue passports against the applicants within seven days without police verification,” the letter says.

When contacted, the director general of DIP, Maj. Gen. Md Masud Rezwan, told The Independent that after receiving the letter, they issued passports within the shortest possible time after completing police verification immediately. “We found some names of foreign citizens, such as Rohingyas, on the list of the ambassador. We will never issue fresh passports at home and abroad without police verification, as many Rohingya people at home and abroad have sought Bangladeshi passports,” he said. Sources in the expatriate ministry said the amnesty from the Kuwaiti government provides a great opportunity for the illegal Bangladeshi workers to live in Kuwait legally by paying a fixed amount of fine. The amnesty also stipulated that the illegal workers will be able to return to their homes without paying a fine.

The Bangladesh embassy in Kuwait has asked those who have no passports, those having handwritten passports, and those who want to return to Bangladesh to come to it with two PP sized photographs and a photocopy of any of the following: passport, civil ID, birth registration certificate or citizenship certificate issued by the union parishad chairperson. There are about two lakh Bangladeshis in Kuwait now.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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