Kuwait to cap residencies for expats according to their skills

Published:  17 Oct at 6 PM
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Tagged: UAE
Kuwait is planning to bring in residency caps for expatriates in a move which will slash numbers to just under half of the emirate’s overall population.

Media reports reveal unskilled labourers will be hit by a six-year cap, semi-skilled workers will have an eight year cap imposed if they’re single and ten years if they have families living with them, and skilled expatriates will be allowed a 12-year cap. Expats with specific, rare expertise will not be affected by the new rules.

At the present time, estimates show the numbers of expats living and working in Kuwait as 2,340,000, making up 69 per cent of the emirate’s total population. It seems Kuwait’s World Bank ranking of Kuwait’s expat numbers as the fourth highest in the world when compared with nationals was a spur for the emirate’s government as regards introducing the caps. According to the World Bank survey, Qatar’s total population is 87 per cent expatriate and the UAE hosts 70 per cent. In addition to the percentage, Kuwait is now one of the largest sources of immigrant remittances to the home country, a fact which may have much to do with the government’s action.

The new rules come in addition to restrictions placed on the National Manpower Development Programme initiated several years ago in order to enforce a law forcing private companies to employ a percentage of nationals. Firms who refused to comply ae now having their transactions cancelled. As regards the caps plan, the proposal is to be submitted by a committee consisting of representatives from various Kuwaiti ministries.
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