Kuwait Cancels Over 1.15 Million Visas of Expats in 3 Years

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According to local media reports, Kuwait has cancelled over 1.15 million visas of expatriates during the three-year period, ending in March 2023. The country has also deported thousands of illegal expatriates who violated residence and labour laws.

Deportations in 2023

Between January 2022 and April 2023, 67,000 expatriates left the country. Out of this number, 11,000 individuals were issued with “administrative deportation” orders in the first quarter of 2023.

Deportations in 2022

In 2022, Kuwait deported around 40,000 illegal expatriates who violated residence and labour laws. According to the Arabic daily Al-Qabas, the year 2022 saw the cancellation of the residency of 56,279 expatriates.

The cancellation of these residences was due to various reasons, including the desire of the residence owner to leave, and the issuance of deportation orders for violating labour and residence laws.

Market Recovery and New Entries

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on many sectors, the local labour market has recently seen an influx of labour force. Official data showed that the year 2022 witnessed a significant recovery in the labour market, with 67,000 workers entering the country for the first time. Of these, 64 per cent were domestic workers.

Expatriates Leaving in 2021

In 2021, 227,000 expatriates left Kuwait, with approximately 160,000 departing without compensation. Most of these individuals worked in the private and family sectors as domestic workers.

The number of domestic workers in Kuwait is approximately 750,000, accounting for about 22 per cent of the total expatriate workforce, which amounts to a total of 3.4 million people.

In conclusion, Kuwait’s cancellation of over 1.15 million visas of expatriates in three years indicates a significant shift in the country’s labour market. The influx of new workers and deportation of illegal residents reflect Kuwait’s effort to regulate the labour market and ensure compliance with residence and labour laws.

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