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Latest visa and work permit regulations for expats in Kuwait

Over the past months, there have been several new regulations related to visa and work permits for expats in Kuwait. There have been changes in visa fees, sponsor transfers and contractors for government.

Here are few pointers:

Do not sign any document that is written only in Arabic, unless there is a translation alongside the document.

Ensure that your visa / work permit has the right amount of salary mentioned, and your job position and academic qualification, else, you will face difficulties when you resign or wish to transfer visas.

Always read your visa and work permit carefully. This is particularly important for matters like salary increases, as the new decision places a cap on salary increase for every year or every two years, depending on the type of contract.

As per the latest decision A/57/2016 issued by the Social Affairs and Labour department, there are different fees for different visas KD 200 for transfer from expired government contract to another government contract within same employer; KD300 for transfer from expired government contract or a valid government contract to a different employer; KD300 for transfer from government to private sector, and from private sector back to government before completion of one year.

In case an employee enters Kuwait as a domestic worker and then transfers to private sector, and thereafter again transfers to domestic sector before completion of three years, a fee of KD300 has to be paid.

For transfer of work permit of an employee under government contract to the main file of same employer, KD350 has to be paid.

Employees who are not receiving salaries on time, or are being overworked, or are ill-treated, can file a complaint to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour. However, they should not leave their work environment before the issue is settled, else, an absconding case may be filed and that will cause more issues.

Even when a resignation is submitted, employees should ensure that it is accepted.

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