Kuwait is implementing a set of anti-expat legislation as the country pushes for more Kuwaitisation efforts in order to provide more job opportunities to locals.
Already underway are the new rules when it comes to renewing a driver's license. Online applications of expats trying to renew their licenses will be blocked if they have unpaid fines, have changed their profession, left the country or completed their studies (for students), and will be asked to check in with relevant traffic departments to rectify their status if they are entitled to get driving licenses with the new data.
Moreover, sources close to the government told local media that the project will reduce the number of expat licenses by over 25,000 due to cancelling those of expats who permanently left Kuwait, changed their profession, exceeded the age of 65 or completed their studies in Kuwait.
This is nothing more than reorganizing their numbers in view of the growing number of Kuwaiti graduates awaiting employment and replacing expats where possible"
The same sources have expressed surprise over opposition to new anti-expat legislation as they stress that the new rules are necessary to provide jobs to Kuwaitis. "This is nothing more than reorganizing their numbers in view of the growing number of Kuwaiti graduates awaiting employment and replacing expats where possible," the sources explained, noting that legislation by the government and the parliament will never be against expats' rights or living standards. "If such talk refers to imposing new fees, citizens also pay some of these fees," the sources stressed.
"Health fees are collected worldwide and those paid in Kuwait are the least," added the sources, underlining that imposing health insurance on visitors is done around the world. "It is absurd to describe it as means to drive expats away from Kuwait," the sources exclaimed, pointing out that only small numbers of expats had left compared to their total numbers in Kuwait, and that they had left for personal reasons and not because of the fees or being replaced by citizens, who are still a minority in the private sector.
The sources admitted that the government does have plans to cut the numbers of some communities in a bid to adjust Kuwait's demographics, but remarked that such plans will never affect qualified and skilled labor. "They only target marginal workers who overburden public services and pose security threats without actually doing any good to Kuwait," explained the sources, noting that such laborers will not be given work permits in the future.