Kuwait’s visa ban on Filipinos: P30,000 cash assistance announced for affected OFWs

The suspension remains in place as the Philippine government works on a 'long-term solution' to issues involving expats working in the Gulf country

By Web Desk

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AFp file photo used for illustrative purposes
AFp file photo used for illustrative purposes

Published: Sat 20 May 2023, 12:03 PM

Last updated: Sat 20 May 2023, 12:18 PM

Kuwait-bound overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) — who have been impacted by the visa suspension imposed by the Gulf country — will be getting cash assistance from the Philippine government.

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) on Friday announced that all those affected will each receive cash aid worth P30,000 (approximately Dh1,900).

A total of 815 OFWs have been directly affected by the ban, according to the DMW.

Earlier this month, Kuwait suspended all types of work and entry visas that had been issued to Filiipinos, saying the Southeast Asian country had 'violated provisions of a bilateral agreement'.

The Philippine government later confirmed that the suspension applies to all visas — including tourist, student, business or employment — that was issued to Filipino travellers who are flying to the Gulf country for the first time.

Those with existing 'Iqama' or residence permits, however, will not be affected.

Bilateral talks were held between the two countries from May 16 to 17 but officials were not able to confirm a resolution yet. The Philippine government said in a statement that it would be working on a “long-term solution” to issues involving overseas Filipinos working there.

DMW secretary Toots Ople told local media that the cash assistance was meant to "offset some of the costs" that the OFWs had to spend to be able to work in Kuwait.

Out of 815 affected OFWs, 514 were supposed to leave the country as experienced domestic workers, according to a local media report quoting Ople.

The DMW is also looking into providing livelihood and employment assistance to these Filipino, the report added.


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