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New draft bill proposes cap on foreign employment in Kuwait

28 May 2020

Several lawmakers in Kuwait have proposed setting up of a quota system for employing foreigners, as it could serve as a way to address the demographic imbalance in the country. They submitted a draft bill regarding the same.

At present, foreign workers constitute 3.3 million of the 4.6 million population in Kuwait.

The proposed quota system states that the number of Indian workers should not exceed 15 percent of the overall Kuwaiti population, while Egyptian expats should be maximum of 10 percent. At present, Indians and Egyptians constitute vast majority of foreign communities in Kuwait.

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The draft also predicts deportation of 844000 Indians and 500,000 Egyptians.

The draft stipulates that the demographic imbalance in Kuwait has caused increased problems in recent years, and is getting more conspicuous and serious after the outbreak of novel coronavirus.

Majority of illegal workers have been residing in densely population areas that lack health rules, causing spread of COVID-19 in Kuwait, the report points out.

The report notes that the numbers of certain foreign communities are equal to that of Kuwaitis. Therefore, the draft law sets maximum limits for each community against Kuwait population, and bans entry of more individuals from such communities into Kuwait if their numbers exceed their designated quotas.

The draft also bans the government bodies from approving transfer of visit visas to residency permits for work, or renewal of residency permit of any expat recruited under temporary work permit at the end of respective government project.

As per the draft, public workers are liable to maximum 10 years imprisonment and fine up to KD100,000 or any of the two penalties if they approve the recruitment of a worker whose nationality has exceeded the proposed recruitment quota.


Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.