While stating that the government of Kuwait has declared an amnesty period for illegal expatriates in Kuwait, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Kuwait said about 15,447 Sri Lankans were illegally living in Kuwait. The Embassy said in a statement that the Ministry of Interior of Kuwait has declared an amnesty period from January 29 to February 22 for expatriates who do not possess residency permits or those with expired residency permits, to rectify their status or leave the country. It said the amnesty would allow illegal residents to leave the country during the amnesty period through any port without paying penalties; or to legalize their status and continue residing in Kuwait after paying all fines and obtaining a valid visa without being referred to the investigation department. “Those who leave the country during this amnesty will be allowed to enter Kuwait again if they meet the regular conditions of entry and if they were not banned from entry for another reason. However, residency violators who are banned from travelling or subjected to court cases should visit the Residency Affairs Department to discuss the possibility of getting a valid visa during the amnesty period, the decree stated,” it said. It said if an illegal resident was caught during the amnesty period, such a person would be deported immediately. It also said residency violators who do not leave the country during the amnesty period would have to face legal penalties, denial of valid visa, deportation and denial of re-entry into Kuwait. “This is a rare opportunity for about 15,447 Sri Lankans who live illegally in Kuwait to resolve their residency issues or leave the country without being blacklisted,” it said. It said further inquiries could be made in this regard from the Embassy via its hotline: 00 965 65000118.