Kuwait Towers Image Credit: Yasmena Al Mulla

Cairo: Kuwait has started in January implementing a decision banning renewal of work permits for expatriates aged 60 and above holding pre-university degrees, a Kuwaiti manpower official. 'There is no review of this administrative decree. It has taken effect since the start of this year and has not been subjected to any amendment,' Deputy head of the Public authority of Manpower Abdullah Al Mutawtah added. He did not say how many expatriates will be affected by the ban.

The decision, however, does not apply to foreign university degree holders who have reached the age of 70, according to the official. 'No decision has been issued banning renewing work permits for them,' he said.

Al Mutawtah was speaking on the sidelines of a visit by heads of six diplomatic missions in Kuwait to a commendation centre for expatriates. They included ambassadors of the US, Britain, France, Germany, Canada and Australia.

More than 70,000 migrant workers are set to leave Kuwait this year in implementation of the ban over employing expatriates aged 60, according to Kuwaiti media.

Kuwait has recently unveiled measures to minimize hiring foreigners as part of vigorous efforts to redress a demographic balance in the country.

In recent months, there have been increasing calls in Kuwait for curbing foreigners’ employment amid accusations that migrant workers have strained the Gulf country’s infrastructure facilities.