As part of a massive official efforts to address the demographic gap in Kuwait and overhaul the labor market, Kuwait is looking to put a new cap on hiring foreigners according to their age. Just 30 percent of the total population are Kuwaiti citizens.
According to the new proposal the limit will be cut from 65 to 60 age for foreigners, and no contract will be extended for any expatriate aged 60.
Only a limited number of positions that require particularly high skills would be exempted from the new rule, Kuwaiti daily Al Seyassah reported on Tuesday, citing “well-informed” sources.
“It makes no sense to hire a worker or a driver who is over 60. The proposal aims to enhance the quality of the workers, ensure greater ability to perform jobs and reduce the number of foreigners in the 60-plus category, as the country addresses the demographic imbalance,” the sources said.
Other measures being considered by the interior, social affairs, labour and trade ministries include confining family visit visas to spouses and children and limiting them to one month without the possibility of renewing them.
Currently, family visit visas cover expatriates’ relatives, including their parents, and can be extended.
The Ministry of Interior is also considering reducing the number of work permits to members of some large communities, and to limit them to government contracts and technical specialities.
Hiking recruitment fees and health insurances and requiring expatriates to undergo medical check-ups before entering Kuwait are other options being considered, the sources added.
Kuwait this week said it cancelled the contracts of 3,140 foreigners working in the public sector. Ahmad Al Jassar, Chairman of the Civil Service Commission (CSC), said the move was based on a CSC resolution on staff proportions for 2017-2018, as part of the state policy to replace expatriates with Kuwaitis in the government sector.
According to the Public Authority for Civil Information, the 3,205,385 foreigners living in the northern Arabian Gulf state make up 69.73 per cent of the total population. Kuwaitis, numbering 1,391,297, make up the remaining 30.27 per cent.
Several lawmakers have been aggressively pushing for far-reaching reforms that would seriously address the demographic imbalance, reduce reliance on expatriates and boost employment opportunities for locals.