Gulf States In Another Crackdown On Expat Workers


Kuwait is planning to scrap all public sector jobs for expats, according to a new report.

The Supreme Planning Council wants to keep government posts for expats with specialist skills.

The proposal is part of a report discussing ways to reduce Kuwait’s reliance on expat workers and to provide more jobs for nationals.

The council also suggests tougher rules for expats in Kuwait.

They include new measures for dealing with illegal immigrants, travel bans and deportation for contravening visa rules.

Building special cities got expats and immigrants is also on the agenda. The government is also imposing minimum salary requirements on expats seeking family visas.

Census figures from 2013 show the country has a population of 3.69 million. Two thirds are expats.

Ranked worst place to live

Around 100,000 migrants are stateless Bedouins claiming Kuwaiti citizenship. The government has denied them residence visas and wants to them to return to neighbouring countries, but they have also been denied citizenship outside Kuwait as well.

In a recent global survey, Kuwait was ranked as the worst place to live for expats – for the third year running.

Meanwhile, almost 500 expats working as doctors and nurses at King Saud University have lost their jobs.

The Ministry of Civil service has declined to renew their contracts.

All are medical professionals and some have worked at the university for more than a decade.

The hospital wanted to keep 516 expat posts, but the government only agreed to renew contracts for seven consultants and 31 assistant doctors. The remaining 478 must seek new jobs or leave the country.

Human trafficking claims

The action followed lobbying from Saudi former medical students who have struggled to find jobs after graduating.

The students also want expat medical posts limited to 10 years.

The Saudi Ministry of Labour and Social Development has also banned recruitment agencies from advertising posts in the kingdom in eight countries due to suspected human trafficking.

The countries are: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Vietnam, Sir Lanka, Tanzania and Niger.

The ministry claims to have received thousands of complaints against recruiters accused of operating a pricing cartel and failing to provide staff for agreed services.

Investigators also revealed that the recruiters have had to repay almost £375,000 collected in fees from households alleging posts were never filled for vacancies such as maids, drivers, cooks and gardeners.

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