By Victoria Ojeme
About six hundred Nigerians residing in Kuwait are at the risk of being deported over failure to get their residential permit renewed.
This according to some of the affected Nigerians was because their international passports are less than one year to expire and Kuwait authority do not accept such for the renewal of residential permit.
Some of the residents who spoke to our correspondent under anonymity said their means of livelihood is at risk while students among them may also face similar treatment.
“At the moment, we have more than 500 Nigerians in Kuwait who are at the risk of being deported with their families. All for no fault of theirs.
The Nigerian Embassy in kuwait does not issue or renew passports and due to Covid-19 restrictions in Kuwait, airports have only be opened this October 2021 since it’s closure in March 2019. So Nigerians here haven’t been able to seek other alternatives.
“Residencies permit here are only renewed if passports have at least 1 year validity. Most people’s passports are already expired or less than a year, so, effectively they are without valid residencies. Meaning they could be accosted by security officers and deported as illegals,” some of the Nigerians in Kuwait said.
They however disclosed that the Nigerian Immigration officers came early July (just one person with one machine while another one joined few days after but did not come with a machine, all the way from Nigeria.
“They captured data and we were made to believe we would get our passports within two months etc. It’s four months now and no signs. If nothing is done, we may not get anything till next year
In his reaction, the consular officer at the Nigerian embassy in Kuwait, Muhammed Abdullahi Ahmed, said they embassy has been trying to help adding that it is not their fault as the problem affects all the Nigerian missions abroad.
He said, “It is a wrong time because the covid-19 affected all the missions abroad including Nigeria Embassy in Kuwait. The head of immigration came to Kuwait so as to assist and their data had been captured for onward processing.
“What is delaying the work is because of the number of passports they are attending to.
The immigration are working on them alphabetical on about 145 missions. All missions abroad have similar issue and the production would be marathon. Capturing is done already, issuing from Nigeria and still waiting for them.”
Ahmed added that some of them who have been coming to the embassy are being give papers to cover for them until their passport is ready.
The embassy informed both foreign affairs headquarters about the happening, as well as embassy keep issuing letters for the affected nationals requesting and they have been persuading the host authority to bear with them for the main time.