Demographics and expat work permit chaos in Kuwait

Published:  12 Jul at 6 PM
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Tagged: Visas, USA, Citizenship, Jobs
Kuwaiti parliamentarians are demanding ministers meet with lawmakers to devise an end to the chaos surrounding the issuance of expat work permits.

As well as an attempt to rectify problems with expat work permit issuance, the demand is seen to involve public demands to control growth in the expat population as it harms citizens. Accusations of manipulation of the emirate’s demography were also made, as lawmakers believe jobs are being stolen from locals by incomers.

The meeting, expected to be held at the end of September or early in October, will not just involve finance, health and social affairs ministers but will be open to all parliamentarians. As is normal in Kuwaiti politics, much attention is being given to the emirate’s demographic imbalance, with expats continually being blamed for unemployment figures. The focus on marginal labour was again under discussion via a statement that 70 per cent of Kuwaiti’s expat community don’t have university degrees and an accusation that the manpower authority was over-generous as regards the issuing of work permits at this level.

Also under discussion was the introduction by parliamentary agreement of official limits on the numbers of expat workers in certain sectors where they are as numerous as Kuwaitis. Lawmakers are now looking at a specific expat limit in numbers per employment sector as equal numbers are considered a threat. At the same time, informed sources revealed the launching of an employer-aimed scheme involving online expat transfers for first-time work permit issuance in order to save time and effort.
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