Kuwait says foreigners on commercial visit visas can switch to work permits
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Kuwait says foreigners on commercial visit visas can switch to work permits

Kuwait says foreigners on commercial visit visas can switch to work permits

Thousands of expats have left Kuwait this year and have been unable to return to the country due to the pandemic

Foreign nationals holding commercial visit visas in Kuwait will be permitted to transfer to work permits in the private sector, the country’s Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) has said.

The move is aimed at meet growing demand for manpower by companies in Kuwait, local daily Kuwait Times reported.

“This decision is a result of cooperation between PAM and the interior ministry and the ministerial coronavirus emergency committee, which allows those entering the country on commercial visit visas to transfer to article 18 work visas easily,” the report quoted PAM director general Ahmad Al-Mousa as saying.

“We reached a decision to modify the IT systems at both PAM and the interior ministry. Work permits will be issued, and based on that the work visa will be issued. This process requires the approval of the ministerial coronavirus emergency committee. The commercial visit visa will then be transferred to an iqama after the employee arrives in the country,” he added.

In particular, discussions were held with schools and institutes.

“We discussed the transfer of teachers arriving on commercial visit visas to work visas, especially as preparations are ongoing for the start of the new academic year. We reviewed cooperation on this issue with the interior ministry,” Mousa said.

“PAM exerted efforts to make the procedure easy for all businesses in the private sector to ensure work goes on smoothly for health, education, finance and other businesses during the pandemic,” he added.

Thousands of expats have left Kuwait this year and have been unable to return to the country due to the pandemic.

The number of expatriates in the country dropped by 56,300 in the first half of 2021, bringing their total to 3.154 million, according to official figures.

Read more: Kuwait’s expat population down by 56,000 in the first half of 2021 – report

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