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Kuwait: expats sent packing

Kuwait residents to get deported

The state plans to get tough and reduce the number of foreign residents.

May 20, 2013 5:05 by

Lately, it would appear that Kuwait has been making it unbearable to be an expatriate. Last month, the minister of social affairs and labour, Thekra al-Rasheedi, announced the state’s plans to deport around 100,000 expats every year – in order to reduce the number of foreign residents by one million – for the next decade.

Interestingly enough, we haven’t been told what measures would be used to get the residents to actually leave, but a similar scheme is happening in Saudi Arabia as we speak. Currently, expats make up 68 per cent of Kuwait’s population – approximately 2.6 million.

Come June 1st, a medical segregation at public health facilities will be imposed – whereby only Kuwaiti patients will be treated in the morning, while all foreigners resort to evening consultations and visits. This particular ruling came after complaints in parliament of Kuwaiti patients having to ‘wait’ for treatment due to the large number of expatriates.

And thirdly, the gulf state has recently started deporting expat residents for traffic offences, including driving without a licence, using their cars to carry paying passengers, jumping a red light for the second time, or breaking the speed limit by more than 40 kilometres per hour. So far, over 1,200 expats have been shown the door since the month-old crackdown began and violators can be deported without an official court order. In a nutshell, Kuwait appears to be on a ‘deportation spree’.

It is already difficult enough for any foreigner to obtain a driver’s licence as – according to a now decade-old decision – one must hold a university degree, earn at least $1,400 a month and have lived in Kuwait for at least two years.

The Kuwait Society for Human Rights described the deportations as “oppressive” and urged the government to stop, as it “violates the basic principles of human rights” and could tarnish the state’s image – particularly at a time when its human rights record is already under scrutiny.

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  1. Priyanka on May 20, 2013 7:14 pm

    Deplorable. How are the authorities getting away with this? And that too just because the mollycoddled, overfed citizens don’t like to wait in queues.

    Also, I wont be surprised if a certain segment of expats is being targeted more than the others.

    Way to go Kuwait- from one of the fattest, unhealthiest nations of the world, you are now the most blatant fascists on the planet.

  2. PPM on May 21, 2013 10:09 am

    Very few Kuwaiti will ever be awake in the mornings anyway and even fewer will be sick and need a hospital.
    Surely the only real beneficiaries of this policy will be the health workers who will now have loads of time on their hands in the mornings to deal with paperwork, retirement planning, gossip, etc..

  3. buzzword on May 21, 2013 10:33 am

    Only one solution appears to be appropriate to solve the problem of the mollycoddled camels….all expatriates simply march in unison and just take over the reins of power.

    I bet it can be done since the fat can hardly move after every feast . LOL.


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