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Kuwait: Follow-up to KWT41478.E of 10 April 2003 on the alien reporting card, including its purpose and circumstances under which it is issued

Publisher Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 22 December 2003
Citation / Document Symbol KWT42279.E
Reference 5
Cite as Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Kuwait: Follow-up to KWT41478.E of 10 April 2003 on the alien reporting card, including its purpose and circumstances under which it is issued, 22 December 2003, KWT42279.E, available at: [accessed 19 April 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Based on an examination of similar identity documents in its possession, the Kuwaiti office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) stated that the card described in the Research Directorate's 8 April 2003 letter appears to be authentic (17 Dec. 2003). The UNHCR also indicated that

these cards were issued to Bedoons by the Kuwaiti Government until a few months ago, when they ceased to renew them. Issuance of the card was aimed only to obtain correct Bedoon numbers for the purpose of a population census and it explicitly indicated that it was not a form of identification. Most Bedoons, however, applied for "Alien Reporting Card" in hopes ... it would one day lead to legalizing their status in Kuwait.

In order to apply for this card, Bedoons had to register with the office for illegal residents in the Ministry of Interior. The applicant then had to hand in proof of having been registered in the 1965 Census and provide a copy of their birth certificate. Recently, through the registration of names and birth certificates, the Kuwaiti Government has conducted a background check and managed to trace the old origins of many of Bedoons to Syria and Iraq. As a result, the Kuwaiti Government refused to renew the Alien Reporting Card upon expiry of those whose original nationality was traced.


Most of today's Bedoons fit the definition of the 1954 Statelessness Convention, in that they are not considered nationals of any State. Bedoons were rendered stateless either de jure, by Kuwaiti citizenship law interpreted and amended by the government, or de facto, when they were excluded in practice from the scope of the law (UNHCR 17 Dec. 2003).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


United Nations. 17 December 2003. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representation in Canada, Ottawa. Correspondence from Legal Officer.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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