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Thursday , April 25 2019

Number of visas granted to Indians to work in Gulf states declines: ToI

Kuwait 3rd most favoured destination

KUWAIT CITY, July 5: The Times of India (ToI) newspaper reported a decline of about half in the number of visas granted to Indians heading to work in the Gulf States, reaching 3.7 million in 2017, compared with 7.6 million in 2015.

According to a report published in the newspaper, the number of new Indian workers in Kuwait last year was 56,380, compared with 72,384 in 2016 and 66,543 in 2015, which represents a decline of about 15 percent between 2015 and 2017.

According to the data, Kuwait is the third most favored destination of the Gulf, after the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Although the UAE is the most preferred destination for Indian workers, the number of new Indian workers there has also declined, reaching 1.5 million workers in 2017, compared with 1.6 million in 2016 and 2.2 million in 2015, 33 percent over the years cited.

Saudi Arabia absorbed about 78,000 Indians in 2017, compared with 1.6 million in 2016 and 3 million in 2015, a decline of 74 percent. In Oman, the number of new Indian nationals in 2017 stood at 53,332, compared to 63,236 in 2016 and 85,028 in 2015.

For the State of Qatar, data showed that it attracted 24,759 new Indian workers in 2017, compared with 30,619 in 2016 and 59,340 in 2015, a decline of about 58 percent. The number of new Indian workers in the Kingdom of Bahrain was about 11,516 in 2017, compared to 11,964 in 2016 and 15,619 in 2015, a decline of 26 percent.

The report pointed out that the reason for the influx of larger numbers of Indian workers to the United Arab Emirates is the result of the relaxation of the immigration policies of professionals, while countries such as Oman have tightened the screws on migration by extending the recruitment freeze for another six months until the end of December, while Saudi Arabia lost its luster to Indian labor after the imposition of a family tax, which would have an impact on migrant workers paying a tax of SR 100 per month per dependent, which would double every year.

According to the report, while Indian blue-collar workers, such as workers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers and drivers, dominate the work stage in the Gulf states, industry observers say there is a gradual shift taking place now, with more white-collar workers from India interested at work in the Gulf States.

According to the World Bank’s latest report, India continues to be the world leader in terms of receiving remittances from abroad, bringing total remittances to $69 billion in 2017, of which about 56 percent comes from Gulf countries.

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