By B Izzak

KUWAIT: The Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) announced yesterday that it has stopped transferring business visas into work permits as of today. The Authority said it will continue to accept such visas which had been issued until the end of the year but new visas issued from yesterday will not be transferred.

The Authority said the reason for taking such a measure is the decision of the government to resume issuing all types of visas through the Interior Ministry. Reports said that the Interior Ministry has resumed issuing tourist visas to certain nationalities through online applications.

Interior Ministry's Residency sector announced that in cooperation with the information technology department the e-visa system was updated so that tourist visas can be issued through Interior Ministry website for 53 countries whose nationals are allowed to apply for such visas - that in addition to some residents of GCC countries where jobs are mentioned in the ministerial decision 220/2008.

These are: doctors, pharmacists, lawyers, engineers, consultants, judges, prosecutors, university professors, journalists, pilots, computer programmers, managers, business men, diplomats, owners managers and company mandoubs and commercial establishments as well as privileged Saudi residency holder.