Kuwait's lawmakers have unanimously approved a law to reduce the number of expats in the country, as part of efforts to 'rebalance' its population structure.
The new legislation requires the government to create mechanisms to cut the number of foreigners within the next 12 months, according to a report by Gulf Business. The mechanisms will take into account the number of expats present in Kuwait, the country’s national development plan and its requirements of expat workers. Guidelines concerning the transfer of residency for expats and policies to replace expats with Kuwaiti employees will also be issued.
Kuwait’s population currently comprises more than 70% foreign workers, but Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah said in June that the Gulf state would like expat numbers to reduce to 30% of the country’s population. Expatriate workers account for roughly 3.4m of the country's 4.8m people.
In July, Kuwait's National Assembly passed a law stipulating that Indians should not exceed 15% of the population. Around 1.45m Indians reside in Kuwait, making up roughly 30% of the population. The cut was said to go into effect this month. Meanwhile, Egyptians, Filipinos, and Sri Lankans must not account for more than 10% each of the population; while Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Nepalis and Vietnamese must not cross 5% each.