Almost 1.5 million foreign workers are expected to leave Kuwait by the end of 2020 as government policies to prioritise nationals, compounded by the effects of the covid-19 pandemic, prompt many in the Gulf state to reconsider their futures.
By October, the government is expected to have passed into law new policies limiting the number of expats in Kuwaiti companies' workforces, in the latest in a slew of bad news for the Gulf state's majority-expatriate workforce.
In February this year, the government withdrew more than 154,000 work permits for expats. And last month, the municipality said it would replace all positions currently filled by expats with Kuwaiti citizens.
And in June Kuwait's prime minister said he wanted to see the Gulf state's expat workforce reduced by 40% from the current 70% level, even though expats account for 3.4 million of Kuwait's 4.8 million populace. Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah said he was keen to "redress this imbalance."
According to Arab news, Kuwait's interior minister Anas al-Saleh has confirmed the draft of Kuwait's new residency law is intended to limit the number of foreign nationals recruited by companies each year and will include tough regulations based on their skills.
It is thought the majority of the 1.5 million expected to leave this year are Indian and Egyptian citizens. Between March and July this year, more than 158,000 had already left the Emirate.