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Kuwait Ministry suggests 150 percent increase in expat service fee

16 June 2020

The Kuwaiti Ministry of Economic Affairs has suggested a 150 percent increase in expat service fee.

The ministry proposal aims at addressing the demographic imbalance in Kuwait, wherein expatriates constitute 70 percent of the population.

As per the proposal, the fee for renewing residency permits would increase, restricting granting of family visas and doubling the fee for electricity, education, health and insurance as of early September.

The Ministry further suggested stopping renewal of residency permits for expatriates over the age of 60 years, stopping exceptions that are granted to certain professions such as consultants in government agencies, increasing percentage of Kuwaitis working in state agencies and limiting expat communities to less than 30 percent of the population.

Last week, the Kuwaiti Prime Minister, Sheikh Sabah Al Khaled Al Sabah, said that the country wishes to reduce the expat numbers to 30 percent of the total population from the present 70 percent.

The Oil and acting Minister of Electricity and Water, Dr. Khaled Al Fadil, also announced that Kuwait will no longer hire expat workers in the state-owned KPC (Kuwait Petroleum Corporation) and its subsidiaries for the year 2020-21.

The economy of Kuwait has already been hit hard by the dip in oil prices owing to coronavirus outbreak. Furthermore, this month, Kuwait’s Cabinet has agreed to cut government budgets by 20 percent during the fiscal year 2020-21.

The National Bank of Kuwait SAK, the country’s biggest lender, predicted the shortfall would touch 40 percent of the gross domestic product in the fiscal year.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.

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