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Kuwait may introduce residency cap on expatriates

The Government in Kuwait has announced plans to introduce residency cap on expatriates, so as to slash their numbers to 45 percent of total population in the country.

According to media reports, the government will recommend imposing a six-year cap on unskilled labourers, eight years on semi-skilled employees, ten-years on semi-skilled employees with families, and 12 years on skilled employees, while expatriates with rare expertise will be given an open stay.


The 2010 estimates reveal that the number of expatriates in Kuwait stands at 2,340,000 and constitute 69 percent of population, with a total of 1,120,000 Kuwaitis.


The sources reveal that the government is interested in proceeding with residency cap plans, following Kuwait’s ranking by the World Bank, wherein it was ranked as accommodating fourth highest rate of expatriates, in comparison to nationals. The other three nations were Qatar with 87%, Monacco with 72 percent and UAE with 70 percent.


Kuwait has also been indicated as being one of the biggest sources of remittances sent by immigrant workers to their home countries.


The government in Kuwait has already restricted the National Manpower Development Program, which began several years ago, and enforced the law which requires private firms to include a certain percentage of nationals. The transactions of firms that do not abide by this law have been stopped.


The proposal to restrict expatriates will be submitted by a committee, constituting representatives of various ministries.

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