By Ghadeer Ghloum
KUWAIT: Due to its oil industry and flourishing economy, Kuwait has been a popular destination for expatriates seeking better financial opportunities. However, life as an expat in Kuwait can come with its challenges and struggles. From expats who were born in Kuwait and have grown old here to expats who recently came to Kuwait, all of them face obstacles that can be resolved to ease their lives in Kuwait. From being a major part of Kuwait’s community and playing an important role in Kuwait’s workforce and financial stability, Kuwait Times focuses on a few expectations that expats would love to see in Kuwait.
Facilitate owning property
Fatma, an expat in Kuwait, said: “The difficulty of owning property is a major problem, as we are not able to invest our hard-earned money into a secure and tangible asset. It makes it difficult to plan for a long-term future in the country, so expats are left with no choice but to entrust their financial stability to the often-unpredictable rental market.”
Not being allowed to buy property is a significant issue that affects expats’ quality of living. It limits their investment opportunities, creates instability in their lives and contributes to the feeling that they are not fully integrated into the society. Therefore, addressing this issue would not only benefit the expat community, but also contribute positively to Kuwait’s overall economic growth and development.
Allow permanent residency
Fatma also highlighted the issue of forcing some expats over 60 to leave. “Kuwait is seen as a home country by many expats. My uncle and wife were in Kuwait before the Iraqi invasion. They lived their life, worked and raised their children and grandchildren in Kuwait. However, they had to leave Kuwait because they reached 60 years of age. Due to such laws, besides visa restrictions, you can barely see expat families,” she added.
One of the most significant issues that expats face in Kuwait is the lack of permanent residency, because the issue of forcing expats over the age of 60 to leave regardless of how long they have stayed and served the state feeds a sense of insecurity, which can impact their mental health and cause stress due to their inability to plan for their future in Kuwait.
Open visit visas for families
Visa restrictions’ impact on expats in Kuwait has been a subject of significant concern for expats, as these restrictions lead to several challenges and limitations on expats living in Kuwait, which affects their daily lives, productivity and social connections. Ala’a, an expat, confirmed visa curbs have a significant impact on expats’ social lives and connections.
“Expats are restricted from inviting family members and friends to visit them in Kuwait, which means they are away from their emotional and social support system, that is, their loved ones back home. This negatively affects their performance at work and creates a sense of disconnect between themselves and the state because they are only meant to earn money and leave, rather than investing their knowledge by growing their businesses and future in Kuwait,” he opined.