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Expats employed in Kuwait’s govt sector may transfer to private now

KUWAIT CITY: The Kuwaiti public authority for the manpower (PAM) has Wednesday announced that the expats working in the government sector are able to transfer their work permits to the private sector.

In a statement released to this effect and reported by their local media, PAM specified the expatriates working in ministries, agencies, and public institutions, including those on a dependent visa, are now eligible to transfer their work permits.

However, the people working on government contracts and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are not eligible to transfer their visas as per this decision.

This new development is only limited to expats currently in Kuwait already and that only after their current employer approves of their transfer.

In addition, PAM removed the ban on expats from switching to the following six sectors: industry, cooperative society, free trade zone, industry and grazing. Previously, there was a ban on expats transferring to one of the six sectors.

Influenced by pandemic-led losses

The decision comes as the country witnesses a shortfall of the labour force due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ: Saudi health ministry announces free Covid vaccines at pharmacies

Kuwait is dependent on foreign labour, especially in the private sector, where expats make up around 90 per cent of the total private-sector labour force.

Over the past year, it is estimated that around 134,000 expats left Kuwait due to various reasons from expired visas to lack of jobs due to the negative impact the pandemic has had on the economy.

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