Kuwait ban on under 30 year old expat diploma holders reversed

Published:  29 May at 6 PM
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The recently announced employment ban on work permits for diploma-holding expats aged under 30 years is set to be cancelled.

The controversial ruling was poorly received by the expat community and the emirate’s business owners, as it’s uncertain whether suitable replacements could be found within the local population. The resolution applied to both the private sector and to workers in the oil and gas industry, and was to be implemented early last year but was postponed until July this year to allow further study of the issue before being withdrawn entirely.

According to local media, Kuwait’s directors of the Public Authority for Manpower decided to cancel the ruling in favour of alternative regulatory policies including the recruitment of efficient, experienced overseas talent in addition to requirements for local companies to utilise the national workforce by creating jobs for young people. The decision doesn’t apply to jobs which don’t demand qualifications, including menial workers, drivers and machine operators.

At the same time, the Kuwaiti government has also rejected the call to impose taxes on expatriate remittances formerly approved by a parliamentary committee. Sources believe the government’s position hasn’t changed as it’s been seen not to favour the proposed new tax because it won’t benefit the treasury in the long term. It’s also been suggested that taxing remittances would cause hardship and result in expat workers leaving the emirate.

Meanwhile in Oman, the opposite views seems to have been taken as the existing ban on expat visas for those in certain professions is now to be extended for a further six months. The ban is not expected to affect jobs requiring qualifications and experience, and seems to be mainly aimed at construction workers in the private sector as well as sales staff and other such professions.

In the UAE, a new scheme involving refunding of VAT payments on new homes is to be introduced, but expats will be exempt from its benefits. Criteria for the VAT clawback include the financing of new property as a residential unit for applicants and their families and the costs of essential services and workers connected with the construction. Included are architects, engineers and builders, and VAT-rated products used must be of reliable quality.
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