Kuwait puts freeze on expat population

New foreigners will only be allowed into the country if they’re replacing an exiting worker - report
Kuwait puts freeze on expat population
By Courtney Trenwith
Mon 27 Apr 2015 01:45 PM

Kuwait has frozen the number of expatriates in the country, according to Kuwait Times.

New foreign workers will only be granted visas to replace exiting expats.

Kuwaiti authorities have struggled to deal with contention among citizens over the imbalance between locals and foreigners in the country, particularly as infrastructure has failed to keep up with the expanding population.

Expats make up about two-thirds of the total population of about 3.3 million.

Various schemes to reduce expat numbers have been previously announced, including in 2013 when the then-social minister said the number of expats would be cut by 100,000 each year until 2023, effectively halving the total. The new government has not followed through with that policy.

More than 90 percent of Kuwaitis who work are employed by the public sector, while there are more than 2 million expats in the private sector, according to Arabian Business sources.

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