Planning is underway for the large scale arrest and deportation of around 126,000 expatriates living illegally in Kuwait, reports Al Jarida daily. They did not take advantage of the amnesty in April allowing for residency visa violators to leave the country without paying fines, and having their flights sponsored by the Kuwaiti government.
As part of the preparations, ‘large-scale’ security campaigns will be organized in various areas around Kuwait next month, said the daily, quoting security sources. In a similar vein, the Public Authority for Manpower and Ministry of Commerce and Industry are working in coordination to create a procedure to identify inactive businesses that are involved in visa trading by employing a large number of marginal laborers in Kuwait.
In recent months, Kuwaiti social media users and politicians have increased their demands on the government to crack down on illegal visa merchants, which has led to a demographic imbalance where expats number more than Kuwaitis.
Visa merchants are thought to make thousands of dinars by providing visas in exchange for money for jobs that do not exist. The influx of job seekers into the country has fostered an underclass of unemployed expats, who live in the shadows of the formal economy.