What is the change? Employers are now required to make a deposit of 250 Kuwaiti dinars (about US$825) before applications for work permits can be filed.

What does the change mean? Employers must make the deposit, obtain a letter of guarantee from a bank, and bring the letter of guarantee, along with supporting documents, to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor before filing work permit applications.

  • Implementation time frame:The change went into effect April 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits for foreign nationals.
  • Who is affected: Employers sponsoring foreign nationals on Kuwaiti work permits.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing times themselves should not be affected; however, the change will likely lengthen the overall time it takes to obtain a work permit because it adds additional preparation steps.
  • Business impact: The new requirement is a significant cost to businesses supporting foreign laborers on work permits.

Background: The deposit requirement is designed to keep employers accountable for the foreign employees they bring to Kuwait. It is not the only measure Kuwait is taking to keep employers accountable. The Manpower and Government Restructuring Program is also stepping up efforts to verify employee contracts, ensure that contractors are giving actual work tasks to Kuwaiti employees, and check that employees are actually at their work places during work hours.

BAL Analysis: The KD 250 deposit requirement adds a significant cost to employers recruiting foreign workers. Employers should take note of the change; applications will not be approved if the deposit has not been made.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Kuwait. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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