Kuwait Imposes Labour Ban on Expats from 20 Countries

In the government’s bid to regulate the entry of foreign workers in the country and to promote allocation of jobs in both public and private sector for citizens, a number of initiatives dealing with residency and professional requirements have been set in place.

However, considering the political situation of a country and its diplomatic ties with Kuwait, the government can also place a labour ban on countries that specifically provide domestic workers in the Gulf State.

Gov’t Imposes Labour Ban on Expats from 20 Countries
Credits: KUNA

Expat Workers from These Countries are Banned from Entering Kuwait

The Kuwaiti General Directorate of Residence Affairs recently announced a ban on recruitment of domestic workers from five African countries, which raises the list to a total of 20 countries, as shared in a report by the Khaleej Times.

A circular released by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs identified the names of five countries, including Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Bhutan, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau.

The latest five additions will join the list of 15 other countries such as Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Togo, Senegal, Malawi, Chad, Sierra Leone, Niger, Tanzania, the Gambia, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Madagascar, where recruitment of domestic labourers are restricted by the government of Kuwait.

In line with this, the circular also noted five other African countries placed on temporary recruitment ban, which include Cameroon, the Congo, Burundi, Eritrea, and Liberia.

Meanwhile, the government is set to scrap a draft law to impose 5% tax on expats for remittances sent to their home country after the Chamber of Commerce and Industry voiced concerns about the negative impact the added tax would have to the country in general.

And because the GCC has long been known for its dependence on its foreign labour, analysts warned that taxing remittances would force expats to find alternative methods of sending funds home, a concern mentioned by the Central Bank of Kuwait.

The said bill has already been dropped by the parliament, citing that the bill, in its current form, failed to describe what would constitute as remittance – whether it would include income or loan from banks that is being sent abroad. Hence, it is believed that the lack of clarity and proper definition could hamper the upcoming debate in the parliament.

And with the government’s disapproval over the proposal, the bill would be sent back to the parliament, where it will have to be passed by a majority of 44 votes to be re-discussed.

The basis for the proposal would lead to insignificant yields (0.3% of the total income of the Gulf countries), and would even breed negative traits in the country, as explained by industry experts.

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