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Kuwait strips 40,000 workers of their visas
January 14, 2014, 5:25 pm

More than 40,000 foreign workers in Kuwait have been stripped of their visas after authorities claimed they were issued by illegal visa traders.

About 1000 companies were found to have been illegally operating as visa distributors in an ongoing investigation in the Gulf state, where about two-thirds of residents are foreigners.

The government estimates there are about 100,000 illegal workers in the country, many of whom are recruited by unscrupulous fraudsters who offer them jobs on low wages and demand a hefty recruitment fee.

The owners of the recently discovered visa fraud businesses have been referred to the public prosecutor for investigation.

In June, 700 people were charged with visa trading and other illegal visa practices, while another 1000 employers were banned from issuing visas in the future because they allowed their sponsors to work outside of the terms of their visa.

Visa trading is an issue in Kuwait, where the document can be bought for between KD 800 ($2830) and KD 1200 ($4250).

Traders are known to create fake companies and non-existent jobs.

Kuwait also has recently introduced numerous measures to reduce its expatriate population, including a plan to cut the figure by 1m over the next 10 years.

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