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Ban on transfer of commercial visit visas to work permits, lifted in Kuwait

The commercial visit visas in Kuwait can be transferred into work permits, from early 2012, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour has announced.

Such transfers were suspended over the last three months. The Ministry has now announced its decision to again begin granting of work permits from early next year, and has also agreed to grant more amenities to major companies in this regard.

The Ministry had suspended the processing of commercial visit visas which permits expatriates to convert their purpose of stay from visit visa status to employment status, from 1st September 2011, for an indefinite period of time. This was done so that the Ministry could review the visa system and determine new policies to be implemented.

At present, a company-sponsored commercial visit visa permits entry into Kuwait, so that it can be converted to a residency visa and work permit can be obtained, which permits the expatriate to be employed by sponsoring company.

The ban was announced, following political unrest in the region, and due to the anti-regime protests that were seen across the Arab states. Kuwait wanted to avoid any possible security concerns caused by increased inflow of foreign workers into the country.

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