Kuwait – Aggressive Localization Measures Proposed by Lawmakers.
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Recent announcements made by the government officials of Kuwait have impacted the current immigration processes, which had already slowed significantly due to COVID-19 related immigration processes suspensions, and the immigration authorities of Kuwait have halted granting new expatriate visa quotas and residency permits to private sector employers unless the requested visas and residency permits are related to strategic government programs.
In several recent announcements and press releases issued by Kuwaiti government officials, it has been made public that a panel of Kuwait’s lawmakers plan to propose regulations including a ban on recruiting ‘new expats’ and limiting the duration of residence for foreign workers in the country.
MP Khalil Al-Saleh, head of Kuwait’s Assembly’s Human Resource Development Committee, said that the panel will make the proposal to the government shortly. Mr. Saleh stressed that addressing the ‘imbalance’ in Kuwait’s demographic structure requires “draining” the sources of visa trading and a “ban on the recruitment of new expat labor”, as well as the Kuwaitization of jobs, imposing certain quotas on expat communities and limiting the stay for foreign workers in the country.
His remarks come after Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah said that the Gulf state would like expat numbers to reduce to 30 per cent of the country’s population – down from 70 per cent at present. That would require reducing the number of foreign workers by around 2.5 million.
In May 2020, it was also announced that Kuwait’s Municipality will soon dismiss all expat employees and replace them with Kuwaitis. The decision also calls for freezing employment applications from expats, cancelling appointments under process and not renewing the contracts of existing employees.
On 6 July 2020, the following updates were published by the local news outlets:
- Kuwait’s Interior Ministry has decided to update the exiting residency laws of Kuwait to reduce the number of expats and introduce an expat quota bill.
- The bill proposes to reduce the number of Indians to 15% of Kuwait’s total population. If enacted into law, this could force as many as 800,000 Indians to leave Kuwait. After India, Egypt accounts for the second-highest number of expats in Kuwait. The bill also proposes reducing the proportion of Egyptian nationals to 10% of the Kuwait’s total population.
- The draft of Kuwait’s new residency law would also limit the number of foreign nationals recruited by companies each year and will include regulations based on their skills, Interior Minister Anas Al-Saleh was earlier reported saying.
Mercans’ Kuwait Payroll Outsourcing Solutions
While Mercans’ Kuwait Payroll Outsourcing alerts will allow you to stay on top the latest development in Kuwait ‘s payroll regulations, you should still get in touch with Mercans’ Kuwait payroll outsourcing, compliance, PEO/GEO and BPO specialists for a free consultation on setting up fully compliant payroll and HR functions. Better yet, outsource your payroll and HR activities in Kuwait to Mercans and our Kuwait payroll outsourcing experts will ensure that your employees will always be paid on time and in accordance with the Kuwait regulations.
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Also Read: Payroll in Kuwait & HR Insights