Kuwait Eases Visa Transfer Rules for Domestic Workers

Kuwait has introduced new visa regulations enabling expatriate domestic workers to transfer their residency to the private sector. Effective from July 14, 2024, this policy aims to streamline labor mobility while ensuring compliance with legal requirements.
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In a significant policy shift, the Kuwaiti government has unveiled new regulations allowing expatriates working in domestic roles to transition to the private sector.

This move is part of a broader strategy to enhance labour mobility and ensure adherence to the country’s legal framework, as announced by the Office of the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence and Interior, Sheikh Fahad Al Yousuf Al Sabah.

Key Provisions of the New Visa Rules

Effective July 14, 2024, expatriate domestic workers in Kuwait will be able to transfer their residency permits to private-sector employment under specific conditions. According to a report, these new guidelines are designed to facilitate a smoother transfer process while maintaining compliance with Kuwait’s labour laws.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the visa transfer, domestic workers must meet the following requirements:

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Approval from Current Employer: Workers must obtain consent from their existing employer to initiate the transfer.

Minimum Residency Requirement: Domestic workers must have completed a minimum residency period of one year with their current employer before initiating a transfer.

Transfer Fees: Applicants are required to pay a transfer fee of 50 Kuwaiti dinars (approximately 600 dirhams). Additionally, there will be a surcharge of 10 dinars for each year of service with the current employer.

Must Read: Kuwait Simplifies Work Permits, Raises Fees: New Rules Explained

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Impact on Domestic Workers and Employers

This new policy offers greater flexibility for domestic workers seeking better employment opportunities and working conditions within the private sector. It also benefits employers in the private sector by creating a wider pool of qualified candidates.

Context of the New Regulations

The introduction of these regulations follows a three-month amnesty period that concluded in June 2024. During this amnesty, expatriates residing illegally in Kuwait were given options to regularize their status. They could either pay penalties, obtain new residency permits or leave the country without incurring fines.

This amnesty period was a critical step towards addressing illegal residency issues and providing expatriates with the opportunity to align with Kuwaiti immigration laws.

Impact on the Expatriate Community

The new visa rules are expected to have a positive impact on the expatriate community in Kuwait, particularly for domestic workers seeking to expand their career opportunities in the private sector.

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This regulatory update offers a more structured pathway for job mobility, potentially enhancing job satisfaction and economic contributions within the country.

Looking Ahead

As Kuwait continues to evolve its labour policies, the government’s focus remains on creating a balanced and dynamic workforce. The latest amendments to visa transfer regulations for domestic workers reflect a forward-thinking approach to labour management and an acknowledgement of the vital role expatriates play in Kuwait’s socio-economic landscape.


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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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