Kuwait: Work permits of 68,000 expats will not be extended

©Gulf News

Cairo: Kuwait will not extend work permits for over 68,000 foreign employees aged 60 and over as the country is seeking to redress its demographic imbalance, a Kuwaiti newspaper said Wednesday.

The Kuwaiti Public Authority of Manpower has embarked on compiling a data base on all migrant workers who are 60 or older and hold high school degrees or equivalent educational certificates in line with a law banning renewal of their work permits as of next year, Al Rai newspaper added, citing sources at the state agency.

The number of those expatriates is estimated at 68,318, an official source at the Public Authority of Manpower said.

“This important decision comes within the government’s vision to handle imbalances in the population make-up and their impact on the labour market,” the source added.

Foreigners account for nearly 3.4 million of Kuwait’s 4.8 million population.

Migrants, who have turned 59 or 60 and whose work permits have expired can now apply for one-year extension only, according to the source. “All related procedures will be halted when the decision comes into effect on January 1,” the source said. “The aim is to give the [expatriate] employee some time to sort out his things in the country. All those to whom the decision applies will have to leave by the end of 2021 at most,” the source added.

There have been increasing calls in Kuwait over recent months to redress the population imbalance in the country, prompting several government bodies to disclose plans to minimise numbers of their expatriate employees.

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