Manama: Kuwait will not change the citizenship status in its official records of Syrians who present newly-acquired Sudanese passports and request the amendment of their nationality.

The decision by Kuwait was taken after Sudanese authorities informed security agencies in the northern Arabian Gulf state that several Syrians acquired Sudanese passports by “suspiciously circumventing the law, which poses a threat to national security,” Kuwaiti daily Al Anba reported on Monday, citing security sources.

The Sudanese authorities said they had stopped issuing Sudanese citizenship certificates and passports to non-Sudanese and contacted security agencies in Kuwait and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states to inform them about the matter.

Kuwait’s interior ministry took note of the decision and requested its agencies not to amend the status of any Syrian expatriate who presents a Sudanese passport, the source said, adding that the Sudanese passports were genuine, but temporary and, according to the authorities in Khartoum, will not be renewed.

The number of Syrians who sought to change their citizenship status to Sudanese in Kuwait was only 10, but it is much higher in other Gulf countries, the source said.

Thousands of Syrians, affected by the war and eager to obtain passports from other countries that would ease suspicions and facilitate their movements, have been applying for foreign citizenships.

According to Sudanese website Enab Baladi, reports emerged in Sudan last year about Syrians being able to obtain the Sudanese “business passport” after paying $10,000.

The reports sparked heated debates in the country between those who supported assisting the Syrians in their plight and those who assailed the citizenship deal as “totally wrong.”

The news site said that Sudan was the only Arab country that still accepted Syrians without visas or other restrictions.

More than 130,000 Syrians live in Sudan where they reportedly do not need permits to work. At public colleges, Syrian students are charged the same fees as Sudanese students.

Reports in neighbouring Cairo said that several Syrians attempt after some time in Sudan to sneak into neighbouring Egypt by paying up to $800 for smugglers.

The Syrians opt for moving to Egypt “because it has a larger economic market with greater employment opportunities.”

“They also want to be reunited with members of their families who are living in Egypt and who arrived before the local authorities in July 2013 imposed visas for Syrians. Some Syrians also want to use Egypt as a platform for emigrating to Europe,” Masr Al Arabiya reported in September.

One Sudanese said that he smuggled up to 30 Syrians a day through dangerous desert paths into Egypt.