Kuwait has deported over 148,000 expats between 2013 and 2019 due to violations of residence and labour laws, according to the latest figures from the ministry of Interior.
Men outnumbered women among the deportees with men accounting for 88,000 and women about 60,000. As Al-Anba daily reports, during the six years 29,000 Indian men were deported, which is the single largest community, followed by Egyptians, 16,000; then came in the Bangladeshis, 14,000; Sri Lankans and Nepalese 5,000; Ethiopians 4,000, the Filipinos 1,700 and the rest of people of different nationalities.
Among the women the Ethiopians ranked first with 14,000, Filipinos 13.5 thousand, Sri Lankans 12,000, by Indians 7,000, Nepalese 5,000, Egyptians 400, Bangladeshis 200, and the rest other nationalities.
The mounting burden on expatriates day by day due to the increase in fees and the cost of living, in addition to the state’s tendency to terminate their services from public sector jobs, have forced many to leave"
A number of lawmakers have demanded holding a meeting with minister of State for Economic Affairs Mariam Al-Aqeel before the next parliamentary term commences to discuss what they described as "chaos" in issuing work permits by the Public Authority for Manpower, manipulation of Kuwait's demography and official and public demands to control the increase in expat population at the expense of citizens
A government-parliament agreement has been made to limit the number of work permits issued to a certain expat community because their population had grown to become as much as Kuwaitis, pending the implementation of a limited quota per expat community in Kuwait.
Overall, 102,280 residency visas held by expats were cancelled between 2015 and the end of 2018, according to data from Kuwait's interior ministry.
Up to 2,501 visas were cancelled last year alone, with the majority of those expats working in the public sector.
With more expats leaving, Kuwait's real estate investment sector will witness more pressure in the coming months, resulting in more vacant apartments, Kuwait Times quoted secretary-general of the Real Estate Union, Qais Al-Ghanim, as saying.
"The mounting burden on expatriates day by day due to the increase in fees and the cost of living, in addition to the state's tendency to terminate their services from public sector jobs, have forced many to leave, especially during the past few months.
"All this had a negative effect on the consumer situation in the country in general and on the investment property sector in particular," Ghanim said.
Kuwait has been working on reducing its expatriate population in order to boost nationalisation in the workforce.
Currently, Kuwaitis account for less than 30% of the country's 4.7 million population at 1.4 million.