Kuwait Tightens Work Permit Rules, Bans Changes to Expat Permits

Kuwait has introduced stringent work permit regulations to curb illegal labor practices, focusing on changes related to expatriates' names, birthdates, and nationalities. These measures are designed to protect the national workforce and tackle ongoing challenges posed by foreign labor in the country.
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In a bid to clamp down on illicit labour practices and to safeguard its national workforce, Kuwait has introduced stringent measures governing changes to data on work permits for expatriates, specifically pertaining to name, birth date, and nationality.

The new regulations have been implemented following close collaboration between the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) and the Ministry of Interior, as reported by Al Jarida newspaper, citing reliable sources within PAM.

Cracking Down on Past Exploitative Practices

The primary objective behind these measures is to deter past instances of illegal manipulation in recruiting labourers of certain nationalities. These recruitments often occurred despite existing restrictions on hiring individuals from those specific countries.

The sources emphasized the need to put an end to these unethical practices that have persisted in the past.

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A Stern Warning for Offenders

Kuwait has taken a resolute stance against illegal foreign residents, estimated to be around 150,000 in number, residing within its borders. The government has issued a stern warning that any expatriate found assisting an unlawful resident will also face deportation.

Furthermore, Kuwaiti individuals or companies found employing illegal residents will face legal charges for unlawfully sheltering and concealing these individuals.

Demographic Transformation Underway

Foreigners currently constitute a significant portion of Kuwait’s population, accounting for approximately 3.4 million out of a total population of 4.6 million.

The nation is actively working to address this demographic imbalance and gradually replace foreign workers with its own citizens as part of an employment strategy known as “Kuwaitisation.”

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Calls for Stricter Employment Regulations

In recent months, Kuwait has witnessed mounting calls for tighter controls on foreign employment. Critics argue that migrant workers have put immense strain on the country’s infrastructure, especially amid the economic challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

These new measures signify Kuwait’s commitment to protecting the interests of its national workforce while concurrently addressing the broader challenges associated with foreign labour in the country.


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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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