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Kuwait: work permits of 68,000 expatriates will not be extended

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

The Kuwaiti Public Manpower Authority has embarked on compiling a database of all migrant workers aged 60 or over with a high school diploma or higher equivalent study certificate under a law prohibiting the renewal of their work permits from next year, according to the Al Rai newspaper added, citing sources at the state agency.

The number of these expatriates is estimated at 68,318, an official source told the Public Workforce Authority.

“This important decision is part of the government’s vision to manage imbalances in the composition of the population and their impact on the labor market,” added the source.

Foreigners make up nearly 3.4 million of Kuwait’s 4.8 million inhabitants.

Migrants, who have turned 59 or 60 and whose work permits have expired, can now apply for an extension of only one year, according to the source. “All related proceedings will be halted when the decision takes effect on January 1,” the source said. “The goal is to give the [expatriate] employed some time to settle business in the country. All those to whom the decision applies will have to leave by the end of 2021 at the most, ”added the source.

There have been more and more calls to Kuwait in recent months to redress the demographic imbalance in the country, prompting several government agencies to disclose their plans to downplay the number of their expatriate employees.

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