Gulf Business: Kuwait will be going ahead with its decision to stop issuing work permits to expats aged over 60 who do not have a university degree, local media reported.
The decision is set to be implemented from January 1, 2021 and will be applied when their residency permits expire.
Expat workers falling within the bracket have been given adequate time to adjust their legal status, the director general of Public Authority for Manpower, Ahmad Al-Mousa, told local daily Al-Rai.
He said the regulation does not prevent them from adjusting their status through a family visa or other types of visas.
The announcement, made in August, comes after Kuwait’s government proposed a new plan to ‘rebalance’ its population.
The plan could see as many as 360,000 expatriates deported in the “short-term” including 120,000 illegal workers, 150,000 expats aged over 60 as well as 90,000 ‘poorly-educated labourers’, according to media reports.
Longer-term, the plan proposes replacing tens of thousands of expat workers with locals, by adopting technology and tightening the recruitment regulations, officials said.
Expats currently account for roughly 70 per cent of Kuwait’s 4.8 million population.
However, the Gulf state would like expat numbers to reduce to 30 per cent of the country’s population, Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah said in June.
That would require cutting down the number of foreign workers by around 2.5 million.