Government Imposes New Expat Fees

In its bid for Kuwaitisation in the next four years, the government has been setting new policies into effect which will help it realize its goals for its labour and manpower sector.

What this means for expats are new policies affecting their residency and employment status in the country, but most notably this comes in the form of fees and added costs for staying in the country.

Gov’t Imposes New Expat Fees
Image credit: xiquinhosilva/Flickr

New Expat Fees Announced by the Gov’t

The Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) is looking to charge a KD 992 fee for dependents who wish to join their families in Kuwait, as shared in a report by

The decision covers the KD 30 payment for every visit visa and temporary residence fee of KD 20. Expat fees will be imposed starting June 2019 with the goal of increasing the number of Kuwaitis in the private sector, as explained by PAM’s general manager Ahmed Al-Mousa.

In September 2017, the GCC member state introduced the Kuwaitisation plan with the intention of curbing the number of expat-employees in state-run organisations within five years. In line with this, local authorities are lobbying for more extensive measures to address what the government calls as a growing demographic imbalance problem.

Such measures include reducing the number of domestic helpers’ visa issued by the government by half, which will limit the stay of foreign workers in certain areas in the country by a maximum of 10 0r 20 years, after which the worker has to exit the country for good, and other measures to cut down the number of visas issued per person in a single year. Moreover, the government is also studying the possibility of doubling residency violation fines, and to put this legislation into effect to penalise anyone found guilty of helping workers or encouraging absconders.

The Kuwaitisation program is similar to the policies adopted by neighbouring GCC member countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

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