Kuwait mulls fate of over 70,000 expatriate workers stuck overseas

Indian nationals queue outside a school to receive residency violators wishing to avail an amnesty Kuwait on April 16, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 24 July 2020

Kuwait mulls fate of over 70,000 expatriate workers stuck overseas

  • Study recommends banning three categories of expats from returning to Kuwait

DUBAI: Expatriate workers in Kuwait who are over 60 years, but stuck overseas due to the coronavirus pandemic, are at risk of losing their jobs if the government pursues its plan not to renew their expiring residency visas.

A study is set to be submitted to the Kuwait interior ministry that will recommend who among the over 70,000 expatriates stranded overseas should be allowed back into the country using their previous residency visas.

“The total number of such expats was divided into categories in order to study each category in detail. Those who will be allowed back will enter with new visit visas to be later transferred to their previous residency visas,” Kuwait Times reported, quoting unnamed sources.

The study recommends banning three categories of expats from returning to Kuwait – marginal laborers, expats over 60 years of age and those sponsored by fake companies who have no actual jobs, the news daily said.

Legislators are considering a proposal that would implement a quota for expatriates, after the Kuwait’s ruler Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah said the Gulf nation faces a ‘big challenge’ in addressing its demographic imbalance issue.

The Emir added that the “ideal population structure is to have Kuwaitis being 70 percent and non-Kuwaitis 30 percent” of the total population. Kuwait has a population of some 4.8 million people, of them 1.45 million Kuwaitis and around 3.34 million non-nationals, which is the reverse ratio.

“Age and criminal records will determine the return of domestic helpers,” the sources said in the report, noting that sponsors would be asked to replace domestic helpers aged over 60 with those younger.

Domestic helpers indicted in crimes or felonies will not be allowed back, the news report said.

The study will also recommend obtaining arrival and departure lists of dependents to examine the length of their stay in Kuwait, as many of them only stay for a few days and leave, then return before the passage of six months abroad.

“Those will not be allowed to get their residencies back,” the news report quoted sources.


Egypt’s El-Sisi warns of instability after protest calls

Updated 27 September 2020

Egypt’s El-Sisi warns of instability after protest calls

  • El-Sisi thanked Egyptians for not heeding the calls, saying the government was undertaking the measures as part of reforms
  • The small-scale demonstrations come amid mounting anger against government campaigns to stop illegal construction

CAIRO: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi warned on Sunday against attempts to stoke instability in the country, following a recent spate of scattered and small-scale anti-government protests.
“Some people have been trying in recent weeks to take advantage of the tough measures we are taking,” El-Sisi said at a ceremony to inaugurate an oil refining complex north of Cairo.
“They choose the hard conditions to harm and cast doubts among Egyptians over what we do.”
Dozens of people took part in rare protests in recent days in several villages in Egypt, according to videos shared widely on social media, especially by sympathizers of the Muslim Brotherhood, an outlawed group.
The small-scale demonstrations come amid mounting anger, particularly in rural and low-income areas, against sweeping government campaigns to stop illegal construction, which have required people to pay fines to legalize home-ownership.
Exiled businessman Mohamed Ali, who has urged anti-El-Sisi protests since last year, has intensified his calls in recent weeks in online videos, calling on Egyptians take to the streets against the government.
During his speech, El-Sisi thanked Egyptians for not heeding the calls, saying the government was undertaking the measures as part of reforms.
On Saturday, family and medical sources said a man was killed in clashes between protesters and police in a village south of Cairo.