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KUWAIT: People submit their biometric data at a center in Dajeej.
KUWAIT: People submit their biometric data at a center in Dajeej.

Scramble for biometrics appointments

KUWAIT: People in Kuwait are scrambling to find appointments to submit their biometric data as the May-end deadline to register looms. Two million citizens and expatriates have already submitted their biometrics, with 400,000 more to go. Mohammad Qanbar told Kuwait Times the process was smooth and organized, expressing satisfaction with the efficiency of the staff when accompanying his maid for her biometrics to facilitate her visa renewal.

Hamdy Aboeldahab said he is illiterate and struggled to get an appointment, so he asked a resident of his building for help. “I felt embarrassed to ask a stranger to do it for me, but had to due to the difficulty of following up on appointments. The person who managed to make the appointment took more than a month to find one,” he said.

Due to the difficulty of getting appointments, some people show up without an appointment, with varying success. Ahmed Adel said he had to wait for an hour before his turn arrived at the personal identification department, but was surprised no one inquired about the appointment he had previously made through the Sahel app. Azzam Abdulrahim registered his biometrics through the proper process, but his wife entered the biometrics booth at Avenues Mall without an appointment.

Amer Mina was also able to submit his biometrics without an appointment, but after standing for four hours at a biometrics center. “I was tired of checking the (Meta) appointments website and the Sahel app, so I went last week to one of the biometrics centers, and after four hours, they agreed to let me in without an appointment. This is how I finished the task that was bothering me,” he said.

Reem Al-Houli said she managed to register her biometrics at the airport. “One employee refused to tell me where to go and told me that there is no scanning at the airport. But I persisted and asked another employee, who told me scanning is available in Hall 2. The queue was long, and I was late in collecting my luggage, but it was worth it,” she told Kuwait Times.

As for Rima Lotfy, all the appointments she had booked for biometrics in early April were canceled due to the National Assembly election, so she had to find new appointments for her family members and herself. Regarding the tricks and appropriate times to find availability, Lotfy said she had been trying to get an appointment for months, but discovered in Ramadan that bookings opened just before iftar time, so she quickly rebooked her appointments.

Meanwhile, Abo Ali said he found an appointment for his father and himself a week ago. “I found it is possible to get appointments if you enter the Meta website after midnight,” he revealed. Khaled Hassan pointed out people can get a slot five minutes before the clock strikes the hour. “For example, if you want to book an appointment at 6, visit the website at 5:55 and search for the appropriate time,” he explained. “The secret is in being quick, because only one or two appointments are available, mostly in Umm Al-Haiman and Jahra.”

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