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PAM to streamline work permit procedures from June

The Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) has announced significant changes to its work permit procedures, aimed at streamlining the process for employers to bring in foreign workers and reducing the overall cost of labor. The changes were made by the Board of Directors of the Public Authority for Manpower, at its meeting held under the chairmanship of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Acting Minister of Interior Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousef.

The new regulations, which will take effect on June 1st, 2024, are expected to have a positive impact on Kuwait’s business environment and consumer prices.

Employers will now have the flexibility to directly recruit workers from abroad without the requirement to first transfer existing workers from within Kuwait. This change is intended to address labor shortages and reduce the burden on employers.

The previous system, which mandated a certain proportion of workers to be sourced internally, often led to inflated labor costs. The new approach eliminates this requirement, allowing employers to optimize their workforce needs more effectively.

To ensure a more balanced and sustainable labor market, PAM has introduced new fees associated with work permits. An initial fee of 150 Kuwaiti dinars will be applied for issuing a new work permit. Additionally, a fee of 300 Kuwaiti dinars (approximately $980 USD) will be charged for transferring a worker from one company to another within the first three years of their employment. This restriction, along with the employer’s consent requirement, aims to curb visa trading practices and promote longer-term employment relationships.

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