Kuwait mulls reducing expatriates to 50% of overall population

Kuwait cost of living

Kuwait may reduce the proportion of expatriates to half of the country’s overall population.

Expats currently number 3.25 million and Kuwaitis around 1.4 million.

According to Al-Qabas newspaper, a national committee would be set to up to oversee and manage the country’s demographics.

The new target would be reached over seven years, at which point Kuwaitis are expected to number around 1.7 million. Reducing expatriates to half the population would therefore require a reduction in the foreign population of around 1.5 million over that period.

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The plans also call for no single nationality to constitute more than 25% of the country’s overall population. India and Egypt currently have the most overseas nationals in the country, with around 600,000 and 300,000 respectively.

Around 10% of all the expatriates employed in the government sector would also have to be replaced every year. In the private sector, 5% of all foreign employees would have to be replaced each year.

A further crackdown on people without degrees or with fake ones doing jobs that require degrees is also expected. Original degree certificates will have to be endorsed by both the country of origin and Kuwait when taking up a new post or renewing a visa.

For expatriates that remain in the country, the process of applying for visas could become a little easier. Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior (MoI) is working on a plan to move the whole procedure online.

Expatriates could also soon have access to a unified health insurance policy. Under new plans, responsibility for expatriate healthcare is set to be transferred from the Ministry of Health (MoH) to the Health Assurance Hospitals Company (Dhaman). This would give expatriates a unified policy providing healthcare through a specified list of providers.

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