Kuwait has decided to stop expatriates entering the country in order to “fix imbalances” in its population, according to a report.
During a meeting last week, the Kuwaiti cabinet ruled that it would maintain its existing expatriate population, and allow foreigners into the country only to replace those leaving, local daily Kuwait Times reported, citing government sources.
The cabinet was reportedly shown a report which stated that Kuwaitis have become a minority in the country, and members discussed ways to “resolve” its demographic composition.
According to official figures, Kuwaitis currently make up just over 31 per cent of the country’s population.
Several Kuwaiti lawmakers have suggested in the past that the country deport non-skilled workers to reduce its expatriate numbers.
Last year, MP Khalil Abdullah stated that the Gulf state should deport 280,000 expatriates per year for the next five years.
“Since we have 2.5 million expatriates, we need to bring the number down to 1.1 million in the next five years, which means we need to reduce their numbers by 280,000 every year,” local daily Al Rai quoted him as saying.
“There is a critical need to find solutions for the demographic situation in Kuwait… We need to have a Kuwaiti population that is at least equal to the number of foreigners who live in the country,” he added.
In January this year, Kuwait’s government also announced plans to launch a crackdown on illegal residents, expected to lead to the arrest of more than 100,000 expatriates.