Kuwait: Expats can switch from commercial visit visas to work permit

Kuwait: The expatriates in Kuwait holding commercial visit visas will be permitted to transfer to work permits in the private sector, local media reported on Tuesday.

According to Arabic daily Al-Rai newspaper, the Director-General of the Public Authority for Manpower in Kuwait, Ahmad Al-Mousa, announced a decision allowing expats to transfer commercial visit visas to a work permit without the need for the holders to leave the country and return with the new visas.

The authority, in cooperation with the ministry of interior, has made an amendment to allow the issuance of a work permit for expatriates holding commercial visits.

This comes in response to the needs of the labor market in light of the repercussions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and to give more flexibility to the transfer of labor during the pandemic period.

As per the media reports, approval of the COVID emergency ministerial committee is required to convert a commercial visit visa into a work permit.

Most expatriates need a visa to enter Kuwait to conduct business activities and must obtain a commercial visitor visa, also known as a business visitor visa, from the Kuwaiti consulate or embassy before travelling.

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) citizens do not need a visa to enter Kuwait to do business.

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