Feb 18, Colombo: Nearly 4,000 Sri Lankan migrant workers who have been overstaying in Kuwait are getting ready to return or have returned to the island within the grace period provided by the Kuwait government, the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment said.
Sri Lankan Embassy in Kuwait has provided 5795 temporary passports to the overstaying migrant workers to return to the country, the Deputy General Manager of Foreign Employment Bureau Senerath Yapa told BBC Sinhala service.
Deputy General Manager, Senerath Yapa said that nearly 4000 illegal migrant workers have taken steps to leave Kuwait and another group of 700 - 800 are ready to return after they have completed the required documentation.
He said the return of some of them has been delayed due to the difficulty of leaving the country as a result of various legal issues faced by some migrant workers.
The illegal migrant workers have to leave the country before the amnesty period announced by Kuwait authorities ends on February 22.
According to an announcement of Kuwait's Ministry of Internal Affairs the amnesty period commenced on January 29.
Minister of Justice and Foreign Employment Thalatha Athukorala has stated that 15,447 Sri Lankan migrant workers are staying in Kuwait illegally without the required visa.
An announcement issued by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) in January said migrant workers living in Kuwait without visas could leave the country without having to pay any fines during the amnesty Period.
The Bureau of Foreign Employment says that those who leave Kuwait during the amnesty can return to Kuwait in the future if there are no legal barriers.
Deputy General Manager of Foreign Employment Services Senerath Yapa said while the illegal migrant workers have to leave Kuwait before February 22, Sri Lanka will continue to send migrant workers to Kuwait as usual.