Kuwait’s government departments are to lay off ‘unnecessary’ expats by the end of the year, according to local media reports.
The move comes as one of several attempts to decrease the number of expats in the country, who make up 70 percent of the population, the Kuwait Times said.
The newspaper quoted government sources as saying the cabinet also instructed governmental bodies to freeze the recruitment of expats with the exception of certain vital sectors such as doctors and teachers.
However, earlier reports suggested the government planned to cut the number of expat teachers by 25 per cent, especially in areas where there was already a high number of local and Gulf Cooperation Council educators.
The government has repeatedly denied it is planning to cut the number of expats despite announcing in 2013 that the number of foreign workers would be reduced by 100,000 annually for a decade.
Kuwait deported over 20,000 expats in the first nine months of 2015 and arrested 2,505 illegal foreign workers.
Recently it also introduced a law that compels expats aged over 50 to leave the country. The age limit applies to people working for the public sector and in professions where vacancies can be filled by Kuwaitis.
Last year, Kuwait was ranked the worst country in the world for expats to live and work by by InterNations’ annual Expat Insider survey.