Kuwaiti MP proposes expats pass tests to stay in the country

Expats make up roughly 70 per cent of Kuwait’s population



A Kuwaiti MP has reportedly proposed that foreign workers are sorted based on their income and profession and forced to undergo mandatory tests to stay in the country.

The roadmap described by MP Dr Abdurrahman Al-Jeeran in the Al-Rai publication would see expats pay for training courses in their field and deported if they fail two times.

“If he passes the courses, then he would be required to pay fees. And if he fails, he is given a second opportunity to pass the course. If he does not in the second chance, he is deported,” he was quoted as saying.

Jeeran reportedly argued earlier this week that the demographic imbalance in the country should be a priority when the National Assembly resumes sessions in October.

Expats make up roughly 70 per cent of the country’s estimated 4.3 million population.

“Does Kuwait need 800,000 Indians and 500,000 Arabs with below average educational levels?” he was quoted as saying, calling for limits on expat numbers.

Separately though he did call for a “reasonable” minimum wage, suggesting foreign workers will not be able to meet the financial demand of their families of the cost of living increases.

In recent years Kuwait has sought to reduce its reliance on expatriates and the percentage of foreign workers in the country.

Earlier in 2016, local reports suggested government departments had been instructed to lay off unnecessary expats and freeze the recruitment of foreign workers.

Read: Kuwait public sector to cut “unnecessary” expats

The country is also reportedly considering plans to deport expats that are fired or made redundant.

Read: Kuwait considers deporting expats that lose their job

Last week a report released by InterNations ranked Kuwait as the worst country in the world for expatriates, attracting attention from local officials.

Read: Kuwaiti official criticises ‘worst nation for expats’ ranking

Minister of social affairs and labour and state minister for planning and development Hind Al- Subaih criticised the Expat Insider 2016 survey and said a team had been assigned to investigate its findings.