Kuwait committee proposes new fines, limits to reduce foreign workforce

Foreigners make up around 70 per cent of Kuwait’s population



A supreme committee tasked with reducing Kuwait’s foreign population has proposed new fees, fines and limits with a particular focus on domestic workers.

The new measures include reducing the number of domestic visas issued per person from five to three and doubling fines for residency law violations from KD2 ($6.63) to KD4 ($13.25) per day to a maximum of KD1,000 ($3,313), according to local reports.

Other suggestions include barring women who divorce from their husbands while in the country from transferring their residency permit to work in the private sector and ensuring workers on temporary government contracts leave when the contract period is over.

The committee also wants to stop family resident permits being given to children unless their father has a valid permit and to stop mothers from sponsoring their children unless they have specialised skills.

Drivers and other foreigners on article 20 residency visas that have left the country or had their visa revoked would also be prevented from returning for new work for two years.

The proposals come amid continued debate in parliament surrounding the large number of foreigners in the country, who make up 70 per cent of the 4.4 milion population.

Kuwait’s minister of social affairs and labour said in response to parliamentary questions this week that visa and work permit fees could be increased and the minimum salary for sponsoring dependents could be doubled to balance the population.

Read: Kuwait eyes increased residence, work permit fees to reduce foreign population

Recent labour crackdowns have seen 1,238 roaming vendors deported and 1,529 residencies suspended for violations.

Kuwait’s Civil Service Commission is also working to reduce the number of foreign workers in the public sector.