Kuwait Suspends New Philippians Visas in Rights Row: 26 May, Kuwait (Reuters) The interior ministry verified this week that Kuwait has suspended all new visas for Philippine nationals indefinitely, escalating a dispute between the oil-rich Gulf state and Manila over worker protections and employer rights.
Government statistics indicate that approximately 6% of Kuwait’s 4.7 million inhabitants are of Philippine descent. Kuwaitis make up 32%.
The visa suspension comes after the Philippines halted the deployment of domestic workers to Kuwait for the first time in February, following the discovery of the body of domestic worker Jullebee Ranara in the Kuwaiti desert in January.
Remittances account for approximately 10% of the gross domestic product of the Philippines, as a large number of Filipinos work abroad. Many work as low-paid domestic employees in oil-rich Gulf states like Kuwait, where visa systems bind workers to a single employer and make migrant workers vulnerable to abuse, such as employers seizing their passports.
On Wednesday, the interior ministry stated that the Philippines violated a bilateral labor agreement. Following a dispute over worker protections in the aftermath of a number of deaths among domestic workers, the two nations signed an agreement in 2018.
Included on the list of violations are housing employees in shelters, searching for runaways without involving state institutions, communicating with Kuwaiti citizens without permission from authorities, and pressuring Kuwaiti employers to add employment clauses.
A week ago, the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines stated that all actions taken by the Philippine Embassy and government are “to ensure the safety and welfare of our own nationals.”
“Providing protection to a country’s citizens abroad is a well-established duty of consular offices under international law and conventions,” the statement stated.
Without a visa, you may enter Kuwait.
Visas are issued upon arrival at all Kuwaiti entry points to U.S. citizens. General Requirements: Valid passport with at least six (6) months remaining prior to expiration.
What is Visa 20 in Kuwait?
Visa #20 is issued to menial laborers and household employees. Comparatively, health insurance and residence fees are extremely low. Visas are issued in Kuwait according to various professional categories. Article 18 specifies that a person who enters Kuwait with a work visa is permitted to work and, as a result, is issued a work permit.