Kuwait MP calls for imposing of exit visas on expats

The permit would require approval from the expat’s sponsor



An MP in Kuwait has called for the imposing of exit visas on expatriates in the latest of a string of measures against the country’s foreign population proposed this year.

MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei submitted a draft law that would mean expats working in the private sector would need to obtain a permit from the country’s public manpower authority to leave the country, according to Kuwait Times.

The permit would require approval from the expat’s sponsor in a similar manner to the system in Qatar, which has been repeatedly criticised by human rights groups.

Read: Qatar officially introduces labour reforms

The proposal would place more power in the hands of companies, which have been banned form holding on to the passports of employees.

Tabtabaei said the measure would apply to private sector and domestic workers. Workers in the government sector are already barred from leaving the country without a permit from the government department employing them.

The draft law comes amid calls from some MPs to reduce the number of foreigners in the county, who make up 70 per cent of the 4.4 million population.

Earlier this year, MP Safa Al-Hashem called for a 10-year limit on foreign workers staying in the country, the doubling of charges for recruitment and restrictions on dependent visas.

Her previous proposals have included a 5 per cent tax on expat remittance and the banning of new workers from obtaining driving licences.

Read: Kuwait MP calls for 10-year limit for foreign workers

Other MPs have called for quotas for each nationality and other measures to cut the expat population.

Also speaking over the weekend, minister of social affairs and labour and minister of state for economic development Hind Al-Sabeeh said the government would soon issue measures to limit the number of marginal labourers in the country, according to the publication.

At the beginning of October the government introduced new healthcare fees for foreigners, including charges for treatments that were previously free for those with insurance.

Read: Kuwait’s hospitals see 30% fewer foreign patients after fee increase

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