Recently, the Kuwait Government has expressed intentions to introduce residency caps on expats to trim down their numbers to only 45 per cent of the country’s total population.
In 2010, expatriates in Kuwait constituted 69 per cent of the country’s total population or around 2,340,000 foreign nationals to 1,120,000 Kuwaiti nationals.
Kuwait Gov’t Eyes to Introduce Expat Residency Caps
As per media reports, the Government is looking at enforcing varying residency caps for migrant workers as follows: six years on unskilled workers, eight years on semi-skilled workers, ten on semi-skilled employees with families, twelve on skilled workers, while professionals with valuable expertise get to enjoy an open stay.
Kuwait ranked fourth in the World Bank’s list of nations with the highest rate in accommodating expats as opposed to nationals. The other nations which made the list were Qatar (87%), Monaco (72%), and the UAE (70%). Moreover, Kuwait was named as one of the leading sources of remittances from migrants workers back to their home countries.
The Kuwaiti government has already limited the National Manpower Development Program that had been launched a couple of years ago and mandated private companies to employ a certain percentage of nationals in the workforce. Businesses whose transactions failed to comply with this rule have been stopped.
The proposal to limit expatriates is yet to be submitted by a working committee composed of representatives from various ministries for review.