Kuwait – New visa rule proves problematic for Indian Engineers
The Government in Kuwait says that all Expatriate Engineers cannot renew their work visa, if they do not get a No-Objection Certificate(NOC) from the Kuwait Society of Engineers. This has come as a shock for the economy of Kerala. It is dependent on foreign remittances. The state presently has been hit by the slow growth of West Asian nations and the localization of workforce happening there.
Firstly, the Indian Engineers are present in sufficient numbers in the region. It is estimated that their strength in Kuwait is around 18,000. Many of them belong to Kerala. Furthermore, the new rule, says that Kuwait Society of Engineers will give the NOC after verifying the accreditation of the colleges that the professionals attended in the past. This is a situation in which many persons cannot renew their visas.
National Bureau of Accreditation
Furthermore, the KSE pursues the accreditation list belonging to the National Bureau of Accreditation. There is no consideration for the All Indian Council of Technical Education. The situation is grave and various associations have made a representation regarding it. Presently, the matter is under the consideration of the Indian Embassy in Kuwait. This is a fact mentions Sri H.Namboothiri, CEO, NORKA ROOTS, which works under the Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs. The government Kuwait might have taken this measure to have an international benchmark for engineers who come to the country to get a job.
The role of Union government
Moreover, this matter should be dealt at the level of the Union government, he added. N Rajkumar, Centre chairman, Institution of Engineers-India of Kerala mentions that IEI will take it further and discuss it with KSE.
IEI and KSE
The Memorandum of Understanding between IEI and KSE is up for renewal and the national president will deal with it upon renewal. There is a proposal that all engineers wishing to renew their visa and seeking fresh jobs must write a test, prior to the hiring by companies/government.
Experts feel that this measure is happening for increasing job-localization in Kuwait. There is a possibility of implementing such rules in other countries of Gulf Cooperation Council region.
What will happen in future?
Moreover, such rules will speed up the trend of the return of professionals to India. A study shows that migration to Gulf countries has decreased to 2.2 million from 2.4 million in 2016 in just two years.
90 percent of immigrants from Kerala go to the Gulf countries. Any development of negative nature will affect the state in a big way. There is a need for migration from the state into other countries.