Kuwait is mulling the possibility of granting exemptions to its ban on work permit renewals for expatriates aged 60 who do not hold university degrees.
The ban took effect in January this year.
According to local media reports, possible amendments to the ban include exempting those born in Kuwait as well as those who have been living in the country for more than 30 years.
Requirements could include a comprehensive private health insurance, in addition to government insurance for the elderly as well as a special fee for work permits which will be doubled annually.
Officials at Kuwait’s Public Authority for Manpower reportedly recommended imposing a fee of KD3,000 for renewing the work permit for this category annually, which was reduced after discussion to KD2,000.
However, no decision has been adopted so far, with a final announcement expected this month.
As per reports, the ban is anticipated to affect thousands of expats, with more than 70,000 workers set to leave Kuwait this year.
The new policy was implemented after Kuwait’s government proposed a new plan to ‘rebalance’ its population last year.
The plan could see as many as 360,000 expatriates deported in the “short-term” including 120,000 illegal workers, 150,000 expats aged over 60 as well as 90,000 ‘poorly-educated labourers’, according to media reports.
Longer-term, the plan proposes replacing tens of thousands of expat workers with locals, by adopting technology and tightening the recruitment regulations, officials said.
Expats currently account for roughly 70 per cent of Kuwait’s 4.8 million population.