Kuwait MPs call for deportation of one million expats

Some estimates suggest expats make up 70 per cent of Kuwait’s 4.4 million population

MPs in Kuwait have reportedly called for the deportation of one million expats over the next five to 10 years to balance the country’s population.

Al-Rai daily reported that the MPs demanded the deportation of 100,000 expats a year for security, economic and social reasons.

“Unless the government is serious in solving the problem and reducing the number of marginal workers, the society will continue to suffer from imported crimes,” the MPs warned, calling for a nationality quota.

The comments came following an interview with minister of social affairs and labour and state minister for economic affairs Hind Al-Subaih published by Kuwait Times last week in which she suggested the government was considering quotas, family visa limits and other means to limit expat numbers.

Read: Kuwait eyes nationality quotas, family visa limits to reduce expat population

However, MPs rejected her claim that it would take 15 years to adjust the country’s population.

“This does not need 15 years as the minister said,” MP Mohammed Al-Huwailah argued, suggesting the problem could be resolved within five years with the correct planning, according to reports.

Kuwait’s perceived population imbalance has been an issue repeatedly raised by MPs in recent years.

Some estimates suggest expats make up 70 per cent of Kuwait’s 4.4 million population.

MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei said a law to reduce the number of expats by 10 per cent annually was needed.

Security sources told daily Al-Qabas that 29,000 expats had been deported in 2016 for reasons including residency law violations and criminal offences.