Ahmad Al-Mousa

By Nawara Fattahova

KUWAIT: The Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) yesterday said it will allow foreigners in the country on commercial visit visas to transfer to work permits in the private sector (article 18), in a bid to meet high demand for manpower by Kuwaiti companies. Thousands of residents have not been able to return to the country or have left the country for good due to the coronavirus pandemic.

PAM Director General Ahmad Al-Mousa said the decision aims to meet the needs of the labor market affected by the pandemic. "This decision is a result of cooperation between PAM and the interior ministry and the ministerial coronavirus emergency committee, which allows those entering the country on commercial visit visas to transfer to article 18 work visas easily," he said.

PAM also held meeting with the Kuwait Union of Owners of Private Schools and Cultural Institutes. "During the meeting, we reached a decision to modify the IT systems at both PAM and the interior ministry. Work permits will be issued, and based on that the work visa will be issued. This process requires the approval of the ministerial coronavirus emergency committee. The commercial visit visa will then be transferred to an iqama after the employee arrives in the country," stressed Mousa.

"We discussed the transfer of teachers arriving on commercial visit visas to work visas, especially as preparations are ongoing for the start of the new academic year. We reviewed cooperation on this issue with the interior ministry," he added. "PAM exerted efforts to make the procedure easy for all businesses in the private sector to ensure work goes on smoothly for health, education, finance and other businesses during the pandemic," concluded Mousa.