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‘Govt 5-year residence plan for expats opposed; policy will serve visa traders’

‘Move to have adverse effect on economy, people’

KUWAIT CITY, April 13: The new approach being considered by the government to solve the population imbalance by stipulating five years duration for residence visa of expatriate labor after which they will be replaced with new sets of workers has attracted negative reactions from Kuwaitis and non-Kuwaitis, especially private company owners, who affirmed that the policy will only serve visa traders since it will help them to enlarge the rate of their activities.

An expatriate Mohammad Ali said the idea of stipulating five years for residence visa of expatriates is ill conceived, because it will make experienced expatriates reject working in Kuwait. He indicated that he has acquired long years of experience in Kuwait.

In his reaction, another expatriate engineer Salah Al-Seyyid declared that the market is about demand and supply, so it is the company where an expatriate works that can determine his competency. This means that the company will terminate his appointment if his performance is low to almost 70 percent rating.

Considering that companies keep only highly competent staff, stipulating five years only for residence of expatriates will have negative implications on the companies. As for Mansour Zaki, he said the decision would have been reasonable if targeted at marginal workers only. He posited that taking such a step against productive expatriates will have adverse effect on the country, because they benefit economy of Kuwait and gain from the country at the same time.

Talking about the issue, Chairman of the Union of Contracting Companies Dr Salah Bourseli declared that stipulating five years for expatriates’ residence visas is an unrealistic proposition that cannot stand the test of time and the decision is unprofessional.

He believed that the decision is detrimental to the national interest, because there are some professions that are not easy to lose such as engineers in the construction sector. He stressed, “I have many engineers who have been working in my company for over 25 years, while I keep some technical experts and supervisors whose wealth of experience I can’t afford to lose”

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