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Kuwait to stop work permit renewals for expats over 60years

22 November 2020

Authorities in Kuwait are planning to stop renewal of work permits for expats over 60 years of age, and who do not hold a university degree.

This decision will get effective from 1st January 2021, and will be applicable on an individual basis when work or residency permits expire.

Kuwait had been engaged in a long-term effort to cut down the number of expat workers in the State, and plans to shift priority on hiring of Kuwaiti nationals.

Kuwaiti Prime Minister, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah, mentioned that the Gulf State plans to limit expat numbers to 30 percent of the country’s population. Under such a circumstance, as many as 2.5 million people will have to leave Kuwait.

It is estimated that 15,000 expats left the country in the first six months this year.

The Director General of the Public Authority for Manpower, Ahmed al Mousa said “The authority is continuing to implement the decision, which indicates that they have given the target group a period to make administrative arrangements and to amend their legal status, as the decision will not be applicable to them until 1st January 2021,”

“Those who hold a post-secondary diploma or higher are not affected by the new decision,” the ministry clarified.

Although some expat workers over the age of 60 will have to apply for a family residency permit, they will still have to leave once this document expires.

Currently, expats account for 3.4 million of the 4.8 million population in Kuwait.

Early in the month of June, Al-Sabah had mentioned about redressing this “imbalance”, and said that “We are responsible for everyone who lives on this land and the residency trade has exhausted the state and the services in all institutions, especially when dealing with the current situation.”

Robin Vinod

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