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Project visa transfer

I was hired from abroad on a Project Visa and I have been working in the same company since 5 years. I had lot of opportunities outside to join other companies but because of my visa status I was unable to transfer my residence. I am basically from IT background and I am currently looking for an opportunity. Please let me know if you have any information on the current rule for the Project Visa status.

Name withheld
Answer: There are so many contradictory statements being made by various officials of both the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor and the Public Authority for Manpower that one is left wondering about the ground reality.

Only about four months ago a Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor official said that expatriates on government project visas and factory visas could transfer their residence to the private sector – on completion of their projects – if their sponsors had no objection, on a payment of a KD 300 fees.

What this official forgot to mention was this KD 300 fee was only for transfer from one government project, on its completion, to another government project which has a different sponsor. If you want to transfer to another government project of the same sponsor the fee will be KD 200. Now, here is another possibility.

You can pay KD 350 to transfer your work permit, if you are on a government project, to the main file of the same sponsor. This would mean that you could land, if the sponsor wanted in the private sector.

On the other hand, another official has said that “It’s now not a question of what your work status is or how long you have spent with the firm on a government project visa…instead what is being considered is whether you were hired for the project from abroad or you joined the firm on a local transfer”. This decision clarifies that laborers contracted on a government project locally from the private sector or transferring from dependent visas can transfer to other sponsors according to the previous conditions, which are:

1. Conclusion of the project’s tenure

2. Working for at least one year for the first sponsor 3. Getting the sponsor’s approval for transferring.

So, this makes it very clear that if you transferred to this project locally from another sponsor / company then your transfer is allowed. In the end, as a result of the above decision, we would again like to stress that the best way to find out what’s the latest is by trying your luck…submit any application for the transfer … you might be lucky.

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