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Expat workers face new tests, transfer curbs

KUWAIT: The manpower authority issued a number of decisions to regulate the presence of expat workers in Kuwait, namely those doing technical jobs as per their work permits. Minister of State for Economic Affairs Mariam Al-Aqeel said the regulations will limit all forms of manipulations and eventually put an end to visa trafficking.

“The manpower authority has set very strict measures including banning the change of a worker’s profession or educational level except through certain measures,” Aqeel said, adding that in case of changing professions to become an educator for persons with special needs, a worker will be subjected to specific tests, a measure that will be later applied to other professions.

Aqeel said special tests are being currently set for 20 technical jobs and crafts and stressed that the conditions to be followed include commitment to the qualification degree and specialty, the activity practiced, passing the set tests and having the required certificates of experience. Aqeel added that transfers will be allowed within the same sector from one technical profession to another based on certain regulations regardless of the educational level or degree, if a worker had entered Kuwait as a technician or craftsman.

Aqeel explained that professions for which workers will be subjected to tests initially include auto mechanics, electrical technicians, safety and security supervisors, pipefitters, land surveyors, aluminum technicians, welders, turnery operators, advertisement and publicity representatives, salesmen, irrigation grid technicians, steel reinforcement workers, construction carpenters, asphalt lab technicians, purchase officers, accountants, librarians, legal consultants and legal clerks. Aqeel explained that in case a worker desires to change their profession, they will have to depart and return with a new work visa matching the degree they want to use for work.

By A Saleh

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