Expats over the age of 60 who work in Kuwait will be unable to renew their visas starting January 2021.
Rabat – The state of Kuwait will not renew the visas of immigrants over the age of 60 who do not hold university degrees, Kuwaiti outlet Annahar reported on Monday. Approximately 97,612 expatriates would face deportation because they do not meet the new education-based requirement, say statistics from the Public Authority for Civil Information.
Only 15,502 foreign workers over the age of 60 have a university degree in Kuwait, according to the Arab Times. The vast number of expatriates working in the service industry, public and private offices, and as housekeepers or maids would not qualify for a residence permit once they pass the age of 60.
The move comes as a painful blow to the many foreign workers who have lived and contributed to Kuwaiti society for decades. These immigrants have seen Kuwait develop, largely due to the physical labor of foreign workers who came to the Gulf nation to provide for their families back home.
In a country where native Kuwaitis can retire as early as 45, those of foreign origin will be expected to work until 60 and then leave, if they are not deported before then. After living in Kuwait for decades, many of these immigrants may not have a “home” to which they can return.
A similar fate awaits many teachers who work in Kuwait but are stranded abroad after their visits home collided with COVID-19 travel restrictions. Local publication Al Qabas reported on August 24 that teachers stranded abroad will not have their residency permit renewed.
Many teachers who are immigrants who had built a life in Kuwait, and whose possessions are likely still in Kuwait, will not be allowed back into the country. The Ministry of Education and the Interior Ministry have pledged to coordinate to find an “alternative mechanism” to allow some teachers to return under new visas, instead of renewing their existing permits.