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Legal panel clears bill for 5-year cap on expats’ stay
November 24, 2014, 8:33 am

The National Assembly’s legal and legislative committee yesterday cleared a draft law calling to impose a five-year cap on the residence of expatriate workers in Kuwait, and that the size of any single community should not exceed 10 percent of the Kuwaiti population, which currently stands at 1.25 million.

The panel’s action is mere routine work because the committee only examines if any particular bill is in line with the constitution or not. The bill now must go to the interior and defense committee which must discuss the subject of the proposal and see if it is necessary and useful for the country and if it can be implemented or not.

The bill, filed by MP Abdullah Al-Tameemi, calls for making the maximum period of stay for unskilled and semi-skilled expatriates five years. Highly qualified professionals are exempt from the proposal. It also says the size of any community should not exceed 10 percent of Kuwaitis, which means that at current strength, any expat community should not exceed 125,000.

This practically means that around 550,000 Indians, 400,000 Egyptians, about 100,000 Bangladeshis and tens of thousands of Filipinos, Pakistanis and Syrians will become illegal residents because they exceed the quota under the proposal. If approved by the interior and defense committee, the bill will go to the Assembly for approval, and then to the government.

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