Expats in Kuwait furious over 10 year cap on visas

Published:  29 Nov at 6 PM
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Tagged: Visas, India, UAE
Kuwait is back in the news once more due to it’s proposed 10 or 15-year cap on visas for expat professionals working in the emirate.

Expat feathers were ruffled a few months ago when the first suggestion of the 10-year cap was mooted in the emirate’s parliament. Recently, the suggestion was made that the cap should be increased to 15 years, a slight improvement which has not yet been voted in by lawmakers. Kuwaitization is a dirty word for many expats nowadays, as they are fully conscious the emirate plus the rest of the Gulf States would not be what they are without the participation of a massive number of expat workers at all levels.

At present, expats account for 70 per cent of Kuwait’s total population, with the Indian community the largest at over a million, followed by the Egyptian community with around 700,000. The motivation behind the various acts against expat participation in the country has been put down to Kuwait’s World Bank rating it as having the fourth-highest expat population on the planet.

The UAE, Qatar and Monaco took the first three places, but no-one’s seen Monaco attempting to get rid of its expat population, perhaps because the vast majority are extremely wealthy and the remainder are there to serve them. According to State Minister for Economic Affairs Hind al Subaith, Kuwait is planning to only keep its ‘necessary expats’, by means of reforming its labour market by excluding marginal workers.

Whilst the 15-year cap is being argued over in parliament, media outlets are reporting a progressive scale relating to who can remain in Kuwait and who should be deported. Some 12 to 15 years for highly-skilled professionals, 10 years for skilled personnel with families, eight years for skilled workers without families and six years for unskilled labourers seems to be the structure of the cap as a whole at present.
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