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Ban on transfer of commercial visas to work permit lifted

The five-month ban on transfer of commercial visit visas to work permits has been lifted in Kuwait this week. This initiative forms a part of measure taken to regulate influx of unskilled labourers into the country, to maintain the demographic balance.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour (MSAL) said that expatriates, who are academically qualified, can now obtain work permits. But, those without requisite qualifications can only apply for jobs where there is skill shortage (also known as rare fields).

The eligibility to obtain work permits, in the case of unqualified workers, will depend on approval from the special committee of labour department. More regulations will be imposed to ensure that human trafficking is eliminated.

This will ensure that expatriates are hired only in places that desperately require their services, the Minister said.

The ban on visa transfer was lifted on 1st January 2012, but, was postponed until, completion of elections this week.

The sources have confirmed that Ministry aims to increase the percentage of nationals in the labour force from 31 percent to 34 percent by 2014. The Ministry also opened doors for issuance of work permits in vital sectors so as to ensure that there is more manpower for implementation of development plan.

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