Kuwait: SME employees can transfer visa after one year

Kuwait City: Kuwait’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Abdullah Al Salman, announced that a ministerial decree had been issued to allow employees working in a small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) to transfer their work permit to another SME after a year instead of three years, local media reported.


In order for the work permit to be transferred, the employer’s approval is required. Prior to the decision, those with an SME work permit could only transfer jobs after three years from the date the work permit was issued. People whose work permit is registered under an SME are barred from transferring it to the governmental sector, and also to non-SME private sector companies.

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The decision was issued due to the high demand for labour and the ongoing ban on issuing new visas or work permits for anybody who does not have a valid work permit. Back in August, the Director of the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM), Ahmed Al Mousa, announced that a directive had been issued to allow transfer of labour between SMEs without the requirement to attach a wage transfer certificate until the end of the current year, provided that the file of the company had not suspended.

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