3rd February 2023

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Kuwait’s expatriate law

More than 8 Lakh Indians could be expelled from Kuwait if a new expatriate law is enacted, as the Gulf News reported. The legal and legislative committee of the Kuwaiti National Assembly passed the expat quota bill, according to which Indians should not exceed 15% of the population.

  • Anti-expatriate rhetoric has been on the rise since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic with lawmakers and government officials calling for reducing the number of foreigners in Kuwait.
  • The bill has been deemed constitutional and will now be transferred to the respective committee to create a comprehensive plan.
  • Of the 4.3 million inhabitants of Kuwait, expatriates represent 3 million.
  • The Indian community constitutes Kuwait’s largest expat community, with a total of 1.45 million.
  • Last month, Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah proposed reducing the number of expatriates from 70% to 30% of the population.
  • Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem told Kuwait TV that he and a group of lawmakers will present the Assembly with a comprehensive bill that calls for a gradual reduction of expatriates in Kuwait. He said the bill they intend to introduce will propose imposing a limit on the number of expatriates, the numbers of which should gradually decrease by stating that this year expatriates will be 70 percent, next year 65 percent and so on.
  • According to the Indian Embassy in Kuwait, there are some 28,000 Indians working for the Kuwaiti government in various jobs as nurses, engineers at national oil companies, and some as scientists.
  • Most of the Indians (5.23 Lakh) are deployed in the private sector. In addition, there are around 1.16 lakh dependents. Of these, there are around 60,000 Indian students studying at 23 Indian schools in the country.
  • Kuwait is one of the main sources of remittances for India. In 2018, India received almost USD 4.8 billion from Kuwait as remittances.
  • Foreigners accounted for the majority of Kuwait’s COVID-19 cases as the disease spread among migrant workers living in overcrowded housing. According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, more than 49,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported in Kuwait. Globally, more than 5 lakh people have died and more than 11 million have been infected with COVID-19.
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