Thousands of Engineers in Kuwait Could Face Deportation After New Rules

A no-objection certificate from the Kuwait Society of Engineers is now needed to attain residency and work permits in the country.


Thousands of Indian engineers in Kuwait could face deportation following a new regulation that seeks to enforce protectionism indirectly was announced in the Gulf nation. The move will affect 15,000 to 40,000 Indian engineers, according to reports.

The Kuwait Public Authority for Manpower announced on March 11 that a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Kuwait Society of Engineers (KSOE) is needed to attain residency and work permits in the country.

Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor, who heads the Parliamentary Standing Committee of External Affairs, has told the Indian embassy in Kuwait to have a dialogue with authorities in the country, the Times of India reported.

The NOC will be given only to those engineers who have graduated from colleges recognized by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA), the KSOE said, further deepening the problem since many colleges in India have accreditation from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) or University Grants Commission (UGC), instead of the NBA.

The engineers are worried now that the KSOE, a non-governmental public benefit association, is responsible for their livelihoods in Kuwait.

“Most engineers are aged between 30-45 and graduated long before NBA got into the act,” Jyothidas Narayan, a member of the Kuwait Engineers Forum, which represents 1,400 engineers in the construction and oil & gas industry, told TOI. “Even for the few who have degrees from NAB-accredited college — the accreditation being recent — will be of no use to them as their certificate would not reflect the same.”

People have been lining up outside the KSOE premises in Bnaid El Gar, which doesn’t have enough manpower to handle applications that are being filed in hundreds every day, the report added. Many of the Indians have been living in Kuwait for decades and have school-going children and well-settled families in the country.

The changes affect only expat engineers in the private sector. Even if an engineer is from an accredited college they have to appear for an exam in the KSOE before acquiring the no-objection certificate, according to the Kuwait Times. The same process may be put in place for other professions in the future.

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