KUWIAT: The Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) plans to cancel more than 10,000 work permits that are registered with the authority and are not valid, sources said. The authority has initiated the legal procedures for cancellation after verifying the validity of the data with the interior minister. Cancellations will begin following the Eid al-Fitr holiday. The authority is taking this step based on article 35 from the work permits procedures, which stipulates that the authority can cancel work permits automatically if the worker has been abroad for more than six months unless they have an exemption from the General Department of Residency.

A permit can be cancelled if it expired while the worker is abroad, or if they were deported for any reason. The authority will make look into cancelling work permits for other reasons beginning next month. The reasons include failure to provide real data and documents, as well as unaccredited education certificates. “Decisions to cancel these permits will be issued successively, and from time to time, according to reviews and audits, as well as according to the results of tests received from accredited professional societies such as the Society of Engineers and the Kuwaiti Accountants Society,” sources said.

The first wave of cancellations will include 2,500 work permits to be announced this month. “The manpower authority will not issue any work permits to anyone who is found to have previously obtained it in a manner that violates the law, through the inaccuracy of their academic certificate or their failure to pass the professional tests,” sources explained. The authority will coordinate issuing residence permits with the interior ministry, meaning that anyone who gets their permit cancelled will become an illegal resident.

According to sources, several ministries will be assigned to take steps to address the demographics imbalance and reduce the number of expatriate workers that the market does not need. The Ministry of the Interior is expected to review the conditions for granting expatriates a driving license, as well as the conditions for issuing mobile taxi licenses, which have become a large market for attracting expatriate workers.

These decisions were ready for discussion and issuance, had it not been for the government's resignation and waiting for the formation of a new government, sources said. The supreme committee for addressing the demographic imbalance will reportedly hold a meeting with the Manpower Authority, which could result in a comprehensive review of the requirements for issuing work permits in marginal professions that currently attract expatriate workers.