More than 70,000 expats are projected to exit Kuwait, as the government imposed a decision to ban residency permits of foreign workers aged 60 and above.
The new ruling was implemented starting January 1, as per the Kuwaiti Public Authority. This also covers expats who only finished high school.
No More Expats Aged 60 and Above Allowed in Kuwait
The said decision was imposed to redress the increasing imbalance between the population of citizens and expatriates, the Gulf News reported.
Meanwhile, the authority also noted that the said decision does not apply to foreign university degree holders who have reached the age of 70.
Those who fall under the abovementioned categories will have to leave Kuwait after the expiry of their residency by the end of 2021.
Moreover, the decision includes expats who work in professional sectors such as construction, car repair, and restaurants.
Kuwait has recently unveiled its plans to limit the hiring of foreigners as part of vigorous efforts to redress a demographic balance in the country.
As of last 2020, the population of Kuwait is around 4.3 million, with Kuwaitis making up 1.3 million and expats accounting for the remaining 3 million of the population.
Last year, Kuwait’s Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah had proposed reducing the number of expats from 70 percent to 30 percent of the population.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, anti-expat sentiments have surfaced among Gulf nations, which was further highlighted along with the consistent decline in oil prices.
In line with this, several amnesties have been enacted to encourage illegal expats to exit the country free of cost.
The issue of expats outnumbering Kuwaitis in the country can be seen as a precursor to more anti-expat campaigns in the years to come.