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New plan to halve expat numbers amidst Covid-19 outbreak in Kuwait

14 April 2020

Expatriate workers constitute 3.3 million of Kuwait’s 4.6 million population. As per revived plan, the Kuwaiti government intends to slash expat numbers to 1.5million within five years, and impose stringent rules for arrival of semi-skilled workers in the country.

A quota system will be made applicable allocating fixed labour shares for every foreign community. According to sources, every community will be given a certain quota not exceeding 20 percent of the overall expat numbers.

expats in Kuwait

With the outbreak of novel coronavirus disease in Kuwait, the government has revived a plan aimed at addressing the demographic imbalance in the country by scaling back the expatriate numbers here, a report said.

As per the plan, residence permits for expats over 60 years of age will not be renewed, except for limited professions. Moreover, the expat residence in Kuwait will be for a maximum 15 years.

The plan also regulates employment of domestic helps, by linking their residence permits to the number of family members of the employer. This is done to limit the intake of domestic workers who account for high percentage of expatriates.

Although no immediate official comment has been made on this report, recently, several Kuwaiti public figures have pointed out to the strain in country’s health facilities and increasing Covid-19 threat, linking them all to high expat numbers.

Robin Vinod

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