Monthly Archives: January 2014

Immigration Issues

I’ve noticed a lot on Twitter recently about UK immigration policies and, more specifically, how expats such as me are not entitled to an opinion because we ourselves have decided to live and work in another country. Yes I have made the decision to leave the UK for a period of time to earn a tax free salary, but that doesn’t make me a hypocrite when I say the UK government need a tougher stance on immigration.

There’s not much I’d say Kuwait leads the world in. Certainly not traffic law enforcement! But in a country where 85% of the population are economic migrants the UK could learn a lot.

You want to live here, you work. You don’t want to work? Fine, you can have a two month tourist visa and then leave. You cannot convert a tourist visa to a work visa. If you find a job, you leave and come back on the correct visa. To gain your residency you have to have a medical. This ensures that HIV and TB are not brought in to the country. Interestingly the UK used to screen for TB. Those people arriving on long stay visas from country’s with a high incidence of TB used to get referred to Health Control at the airport. Can’t produce your chest X-ray on arrival? You’d get x-rayed there and then and await the results. If you had TB you’d get shipped off to hospital. Yes the NHS then dealt with you but at least you weren’t spreading tuberculosis. Unfortunately government cuts (Labour cuts from what I understand) have meant that this stringent checking process no longer exists. Give it 5 years and it won’t just be the badgers that are riddled with TB in the UK.

If you don’t work in Kuwait you have no access to any form of income. If you want to be here, then work. Getting old? Go home. Once you retire you cannot work. If you can’t work, you can’t stay.

Carrying an ID card here is mandatory. No one moans that it’s against their human rights. You just do it. You have your Civil ID card, it proves your right to be here. The Government have my finger prints as well. I have nothing to hide so I don’t see it as an issue.

Expats in Kuwait do the jobs the locals can’t do, or bring skills to the country that will aid their economic development. You don’t hear locals moaning that we’re stealing jobs. The Filipinos serve you in shops, the Sri Lankan women clean your apartment, the Egyptians drive the taxis and the Westerners bring international Best Practice in business to enable Kuwaiti businesses to compete on an international level. The Kuwaitis get government grants for being Kuwaiti, grants which are increased if you work in the private sector. Kuwaiti businesses are set nationalisation targets to ensure a minimum percentage of the employees are Kuwaiti. They look after their own, and have no problem allowing the rest of the world in as long as those people are willing to work.

I have no issue with immigrants to the UK that want to work. If they want to live in the freezing cold and contribute to society I have no issue. However, I do have issue with the soft policies that allow anyone to come in, work illegally, spread infectious diseases and make no contribution. But that’s the politicians being soft, and not the fault of those that take advantage.

But I’m not entitled to an opinion.

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