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Changes to Kuwait’s Work Permit System: Fees for Transfers Starting June 1



In a move aimed at tackling labour shortages and high labour costs, the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) in Kuwait has announced significant changes to its work permit system.

Easier Recruitment for Businesses

Previously, businesses were required to fill a quota of 75% of their workforce through local recruitment before seeking migrant workers abroad.


This new policy, approved by PAM’s Board of Directors, allows employers to directly recruit their estimated workforce needs from overseas.

This is expected to streamline the hiring process and reduce costs associated with labour shortages. The new regulations will come into effect on June 1, 2024.

New Fees for Work Permits and Transfers

To bolster employment stability for employers and regulate labour mobility, the new regulations introduce additional fees. A fee of KD 150 will be charged for issuing a work permit for the first time.


Moreover, a KD 300 fee will be imposed for transferring migrant workers from one company to another, provided they have not been in the country for more than three years.

This move aims to curtail visa-trading practices and streamline commercial activities, ultimately reducing labour costs across various sectors.

Also Read: Travel Update: No Biometric Hurdle for Expats Returning to Kuwait


Focus on Compliance and Worker Rights

Alongside the changes to the work permit system, PAM is stepping up efforts to ensure compliance with labour laws. Regular inspections will be conducted to verify companies are adhering to regulations, such as assigning workers tasks as specified in their permits. Failure to comply can result in penalties, including imprisonment and fines.

Additionally, PAM warns businesses against employing workers registered under another company, with similar penalties applicable for violations.

Job Opportunities for Kuwaiti Citizens

PAM, in collaboration with other government bodies, is actively facilitating employment opportunities for Kuwaiti citizens in the private sector. A recent event connected 137 job seekers with positions arising from government contracts with the Ministry of Health.


Following interviews and a five-week training program, successful applicants secured jobs as supervisors and first supervisors for cleaning, transportation, and waste disposal services.

Also Read: Kuwait Visa Update – Clarification on Openings and Application Process


This revised system is expected to benefit both businesses and Kuwaiti citizens. By simplifying the recruitment process and addressing labour shortages, the changes aim to stimulate the business environment.


Additionally, the focus on compliance and worker rights protects both employers and employees. The emphasis on creating employment opportunities for Kuwaiti citizens further strengthens the program.

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