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Visit to Work Visa Transfer Soon

Middle East : 18 January 2012

Source: Kuwait Times

Kuwait will soon allow expatriate labor forces to transfer visitor’s visas to work permits, only if they are hired by private companies to work in public sector ventures. The announcement was made on Monday by a senior government official.

The government implemented a temporary ban late last year on visa transfer, citing the need to carry out ‘demography restructuring’ measures.

Speaking to reporters at the inauguration of a women’s conference Monday, Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor Undersecretary Mohammad Al-Kandari said that the plan is to allow issuing work permits to private firms which have contracts with state departments. It is the first phase for lifting the ban.

Al-Kandari further indicated that the ministry will send a request on that regard to the Cabinet as soon as its new formation is announced following the parliamentary elections. Meanwhile, Al-Kandari revealed that the MSAL intends to review conditions for visa transfer which are likely to be mainly exclusive to labor forces with academic qualifications. “[Kuwait's] labor market doesn’t need more expatriate labor forces at the time”, Al-Kandari said, reiterating at the same time that the government is committed to a plan to increase the percentage of Kuwaitis in the local labor market from 31 to 34 percent by 2014.

Separately, the Kuwait Municipality reportedly plans to hold meetings with mayors of different areas around Kuwait in order to discuss the problems pertaining with the presence of clusters of single expatriate labor forces in these areas. The report, which quotes anonymous sources with knowledge of the subject, provides little information about the subject, aside from the fact that mayors were invited to give their ideas about the best solutions to solve these problems.

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