Expat engineers in Kuwait panic over work visa renewals

Published:  16 Mar at 6 PM
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Tagged: Visas, India
The sudden enforcement of a new Kuwaiti work visa law has left hundreds of expat engineers in a state of panic.

The new law, brought in by Kuwait’s Public Authority for Manpower, has hit hard on expat engineers in the process of renewing their work permits, as it’s now mandatory to present a no-objection certificate. The newly-required certification can only be had by application to the Kuwait Society of Engineers and requires expats to have graduated from an accredited university on the KSE’s list.

The sudden change in the law has resulted in literally hundreds of affected expatriate engineers descending on the Society’s offices to beg for help in getting the certificate. According to one expat mechanical engineer, the offices were only open in the evening and 350 people were queuing. On arrival at the desk after several hours’ wait, he was amazed to see one lone official overseeing the process. Although he’d provided all necessary information and his university was accredited, he was refused as his degree course wasn’t accredited. When he asked what he should, the reply was ‘go back to India and check with your college’.

According to the Kuwait Times, the 1,400-strong trade association has verified similar issues as the majority of Indian colleges don’t have accreditation under the system being used to support the new ruling. Another issue is the requirement to also take, pass and pay for a KSE exam before being issued with a new work visa. A statement from the Public Authority for Manpower simply confirmed the new law, adding that an official announcement is due next week and that the new regulation mainly applies to private sector workers. However, the official also stated the new process may well be used to apply similar rules to other professions staffed by expats.
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