Kuwait has deported 13,000 foreigners since January

The deportations come as the government seeks to rebalance the country’s population



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Kuwait has deported 13,00 foreigners since the start of 2018, according to reports.

The deportations come amid wider efforts by the government to reduce the country’s foreign workforce, estimated to make up 70 per cent of Kuwait’s roughly 4.5 million population, including the mandated replacement of expats in some industries

Read: Kuwait’s banks to cut 17,000 foreign workers

Kuwait times cited security sources as confirming the figure, which includes those detained for labour law violations, criminal offences, traffic violations and other cases.

Some were also found to be medically unfit under the Gulf country’s health policies, which prevent foreigners infected with hepatitis C and AIDS from obtaining residency.

The sources said many of those deported held university degrees.

A further 100 people are currently awaiting deportation.

“The deportation process is much faster now and deportees no longer spend more than a week at the deportation prison unless wanted over cases still being tried in courts,” the sources were quoted as saying.

The top group evicted were Indians, followed by Filipinos, Ethiopians, Egyptians, Sri Lankans and Bangladeshis.

Kuwait began a one-month amnesty for foreigners staying in the country illegally in January.

The period was later extended to allow more workers to participate.

At the time authorities estimated there were 130,000 people staying in the country illegally.

Officials have also doubled down on a drive this year to remove foreign workers from government roles, with an estimated 44,500 set to be replaced by citizens in the coming years.

Read: Kuwait aims to replace 44,500 foreign gov workers with citizens