Kuwait New Visa Rules: A possibility for government employees to transfer to a different organisation and become part of the private sector. 

July 9, 2024
Kuwait new visa rules

Based on the Kuwait new visa rules, it is apparent that the recent changes in visa policy are meant to improve the welfare of expatriates that are in the government sector in Kuwait. These changes were noted by Sheikh Fahad Al Yousuf Al Sabah, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence and Interior, who said that the changes allow for visa transfers from the government to the private sector. This framework fosters inter-country mobility and flexibility of workers within the legal requirements, enhancing chances for expatriates.

What is new in the new visa rules? 

Since July 14, the ability to transfer the visa to private employers in certain circumstances has also expanded for domestic workers. 
Approval from the current employer: The transfer can only occur if the original worker has permission from their current employer. 
Minimum Residency Period: This means that one or many of the employees must have worked for the current employer for at least one year. 
Transfer Fee: For the transfer of the visa, which is an electronic visa, a charge of 50 dinars (around Dh600) is collected. 
Service Charge: An extra charge of 10 dinars per year of service with the current employer must also be made. 
These conditions are meant to keep relations balanced to avoid disruptions and help retain fair labour relations in the nation. 

Outcome of the Amnesty Period 

The new visa rules came after the three-month grace period that started in March and expired in June. This amnesty made it possible for unlawful residents, who are expatriates in Kuwait, to regularise their status. It was now possible to pay the penalties, get new residency, or leave the territory of the USA without paying fines. The amnesty period was one of the general actions performed by Kuwait to regulate the number of foreigners and increase the rate of legal behaviour among them. 

Learn about the violations related to illegal housing and safety concerns. 

Parallel to the visa reforms, Kuwait has also stepped up its campaign on the evils of illegal housing. There was a disaster in which an electrical short circuit led to a fire accident that claimed 50 lives. This led to follow-up action against the squatters, particularly in Bnied Al-Gar, where expatriates, especially bachelors, were ejected from their residences. Utilities terminated the power and water in three structures, which left many without homes during mid-summer, when it was over 45 degrees Celsius. 

Advantages of the New Visa Policy 

The introduction of new visa rules presents several benefits:
Enhanced Labour Mobility: With more competition, expatriates can look for job openings in the private sector, thus improving the markets for employment. 
Legal Compliance: The measures also increase the legal framework around the transfer of visas in a way that minimises the possibilities of abuse and unlawful work. 
Economic Growth: Therefore, if Kuwait allows the mobility of skilled labour into the private sector, this helps to improve the nation’s economy and development. 

Challenges and Considerations 

 While the new visa rules offer numerous advantages, there are challenges and considerations to address: 
Employer Consent: This may present a challenge to some workers when trying to seek approval from their current employer. 
Financial Burden: The transfer fee and service charges might prove to be prohibitive for the workers, especially those in the lower income earners’ bracket. 
Housing Issues: The battle against the blackshedders brings to mind the scarceness of decent and cheap accommodation, especially for expatriates. 


Kuwait’s new visa rules are quite liberal in nature, which would go a long way towards enhancing labour flexibility and legalism in Kuwait. In order to achieve a more flexible labour market, the Kuwaiti government managed to give civil employees the opportunity to transfer their visas to private companies. However, the challenges that come with these reforms must be seriously tackled to avoid robbing the intended beneficiaries.

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