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Three-year work clause not mandatory for renewal of residence permits

Expatriates in Kuwait will be able to renew their residence permits without having to work mandatorily for three years for their sponsors.

This new rule forms a part of measures by Kuwait to cancel the highly controversial sponsorship.

During the year 2009, expatriates were allowed to change their residence permits without consent of their sponsors, but, had to work for their sponsors for at least three years.

The Assistant Undersecretary at the Labour Ministry, Jamal Al Dossari said that the Social Affairs and Labour Ministry will grant the right to any employee to change his/her residence permit without the need for approval of their sponsor.

The changeover will be permitted following evidence that the sponsor has refused the permission to grant the change of permit, without any valid reasons.

The Ministry will permit change of residence permit, without the need to complete the three-year clause, if the company has shut down or it its license is passed on to another person through inheritance or sale.

The sponsorship system, which binds the work and legal residence permits of foreigners to their employers (known as sponsors), was introduced in GCC nations to regulate the foreign workers and employers relationship. Eventually, it was being used as a routine practice for all foreigners, irrespective of their positions.

As such a systems gives immense control and unchecked leverage over workers to sponsors, and economically fulfils the need of employers, the GCC states, in recent years, launched several reforms to amend or scrap the sponsorship system for more independence for host country and their entry, exit procedures.

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