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Kuwait’s parliament passes law to cut expat numbers

Kuwait’s parliament passes law to cut expat numbers

The law does not include the previously proposed quota system for expat nationalities

Kuwait parliament assembly

Kuwait’s National Assembly unanimously approved a law to reduce the number of expats in the country, as part of efforts to ‘rebalance’ its population.

The new legislation was passed after introducing amendments such as abolishing the previously proposed quota system for expat nationalities, after the government objected to the system.

The law requires the government to create mechanisms to cut the number of foreigners within the next 12 months, local daily Kuwait Times reported.

The cabinet will issue executive decisions regularly to implement the mechanisms and provide the assembly with annual reports on progress made, the report added.

The mechanisms will take into account the number of expats present in Kuwait, the country’s national development plan and its requirement of expat workers, according to the law. Guidelines concerning the transfer of residency for expats and policies to replace expats with Kuwaiti employees will also be issued.

The law’s main objective is to rebalance the country’s population structure.

Kuwait’s population currently comprises of 70 per cent foreign workers, but Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah said in June that the Gulf state would like expat numbers to reduce to 30 per cent of the country’s population.

Read: Kuwait doesn’t want to be an expat-majority nation anymore

Kuwaiti MPs have already called to replace all expat jobs in the government within one year.

In June, the country announced that it will ban the employment of expatriates in state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and its subsidiaries for the year 2020-21.

Read: Kuwait will not hire expats in the oil sector – minister

Kuwait’s Municipality also said in May that it would soon dismiss all expat employees and replace them with Kuwaitis.

The decision also called for freezing employment applications from expats, cancelling appointments under process and not renewing the contracts of existing employees.

Read: Kuwait’s Municipality to dismiss all expats, freeze the hiring of foreign nationals

 

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