Kuwait visa traffickers accused of upsetting demographic balance

January 27, 2012

Kuwaitis trafficking in work permits have been accused of inflating the number of foreigners moving into Kuwait and putting pressure on the municipality to tackle the problems they cause.

Fadhil Safar, Works and Municipalities Minister, said that the total population of Kuwait should be around three millions based on official figures.

“However, the figure is now 3,600,000 people,” he said. “Six months ago, it was 3,500,000, which means that there was an increase by 100,000 in half a year,” the minister said as he opened the first municipal forum in 2012.

‘Unnatural growth’

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The “unnatural” growth requires prompt action and the matter will be taken up with the cabinet, the minister said.

However, an official from the social affairs and labour ministry said that it had deployed “outstanding efforts” to maintaining the demographic balance by curbing the issuance of work permits to foreigners and ending the possibility to transfer a commercial visit visa to a work permit, except for university degree holders.

The official told local Arabic daily Al Rai that the 100,000 increase in six month was “normal” amid requests by the government to bring in foreigners for major projects.

No limits

“In some cases, there are requests for up to 10,000 people to come into Kuwait and work for companies that have contracts with the government. There are also people who come under one of the 18 categories that do not have limits to their numbers,” the official said.

Kuwait, like the other fellow members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), has been pushing for reducing the number of foreigners, especially unskilled labourers, in their countries.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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