Obtaining a residency in Kuwait is sometimes a very complicated matter. I have been introduced through my line of work to many clients who are in limbo, stuck in Kuwait between one sponsor and another, and not being able to renew their residency or transfer it. I believe that people should be able to live in the country that they are sacrificing for with a feeling of stability and safety.
I have also been inside the Public Authority of Manpower and have realized how much more organized the place can be, maybe by having signs in multiple languages, online information on the process and maybe even staff who have been trained on the legal aspects as well on how to deal with employees from different cultures. With that said, the government has made many changes in the past weeks and I would like to share them with you, as I have received many questions from my readers regarding the changes.
Question: Is it true that I can now renew my visa online? Can you please clarify?
Fajer: The General Department for Residency Affairs did discuss their new project which would allow visa holders of articles 17, 18, 20 and 22 to renew their residencies online. Now there is no law or bylaw to specify the dynamics of such a move, but I am assuming that there would be one very soon once the project is launched. I am also expecting the renewals to still happen through the sponsor and not the employer. Therefore, at this time I cannot provide you with any further information.
Question: I do not want to work for my employer anymore and I want to transfer. Can I get a release from them even though I have not found a new job?
Fajer: I would always suggest to my clients that they find another job before they ask for a transfer, and this is because it is smart to always have a plan before you make a decision. Unless your work environment is not safe, I would wait it out and take all the right steps. With that said, you can get a release and some companies will give you a timeframe to find another job.
Question: Can I work in Kuwait on a tourist visa?
Fajer: No. I receive this question very often and it does not make sense to me. In every country you will need the proper paperwork to work as an employee. The law being confusing is not an excuse. I see people all the time coming to me working as tourists or on dependent visas, and it is wrong. As a lawyer, I cannot and will not encourage this behavior, and just because you think everyone is getting away with it, does not mean that people will continue getting away with it. This kind of behavior will encourage the government rightfully to enforce deportation.
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By Attorney Fajer Ahmed