Kuwait announces new limits on visa transfers amid expat crackdown: Reports

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Kuwait’s Public Authority for Manpower announced a decision banning the visa transfer of government workers to the private sector, and placing restrictions on transferring dependent visas to private sector work visas, Kuwait-based newspaper the Kuwait Times reported Tuesday.

The transfer ban of government workers to the private sector exempts Kuwaiti women’s husbands and children, the wives of Kuwaitis, Palestinians with appropriate travel documents, and those health care workers such as doctors and nurses, the Times said.

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The announcement comes as Kuwaiti authorities continue to implement various rules aimed at cracking down on the number of expats in the country. On Saturday, the country’s National Assembly drafted a bill to ban certain types of visa transfers, as well as limits on the number of expat workers.

Last week, authorities announced that work permits for expats aged over 60 without a university degree will no longer be issued.

The new rules were perceived as part of the overall government plan to cut the number of expats in the country by as much as 360,000 workers. According to this plan, 150,000 of these will be expats aged over 60.

In July, a panel vowed to find a plan to cut expats after criticism was leveled at the government for failing to come up with its own solution to reduce expat numbers.

Expats currently form around 70 percent of the population of the country.

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