Kuwait lifts restrictions on hiring foreign workers

Kuwait lifts restrictions on hiring foreign workers By A Robin - June 09, 2024


Kuwait’s Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) has liberalised the issuance of work permits, enabling companies to hire foreign workers without any restrictions.

According to local media reports, employers across Kuwait can now recruit overseas workers as per their operational needs, with each work permit costing KD150 (Dh1,793).

The new directive effectively abolishes the earlier system where companies were categorised into three groups based on the percentage of overseas workers they could employ — 100 per cent, 50 per cent, and 25 per cent of their estimated labour requirements.

This move is expected to boost the flexibility and responsiveness of businesses to labour market demands in Kuwait, potentially transforming the economic landscape by facilitating easier access to international talent.

By virtue of the new rules that went into effect on June 1, employers will be allowed to recruit workers from abroad without being obligated to first transfer the existing manpower inside Kuwait in a move also aimed to develop the business environment in the country.

Previously, employers were obligated to meet their labour needs through workers’ transfer inside the country and recruit certain portions from abroad, a system blamed for sending wages of manpower and consequently consumer prices higher.

In an attempt to maintain labour stability at home, the approved changes incorporate a new fee arrangement for issuing work permits.

Accordingly, an initial work permit is issued for KD150. A fee of KD300 is levied for transferring a worker from one company to another within the first three years of employment. The transfer hinges on the employer’s consent.

By A Robin - June 09, 2024

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