Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Expat Hubs Turn on Those They Once Courted

From the U.S. to Singapore to Kuwait, governments are making life harder for skilled foreign workers

Businesspeople walking in lane with painted arrows, carrying moving boxes

Photographer: Klaus Vedfelt/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Take a pandemic, combine it with a global recession and add a sprinkle of pent-up nationalism. For skilled foreign workers around the globe it’s an increasingly bitter cocktail.

From financial-powerhouse Singapore to the U.S.’s tech hubs to oil-rich Kuwait, life has gotten much tougher for workers living abroad who until recently were courted for their expertise. Tighter visa criteria, fewer jobs and concerted government pressure on companies to hire locally is forcing many to return home.