Firstly I would like to express my gratitude to the Legal Clinic staff of the Arab Times newspaper for the genuine answers provided on most labor related issues experienced by the expatriate community here in Kuwait.
You have been a great help in resolving a lot of the issues/ queries of the expat community.
I am a Mechanical Engineer, and have recently (2016) joined a trading company. Its only been 2 months, but the transfer of visa was ongoing (As per company HR). So now they have come back to me saying that I have 2 options:
1. Transfer of residence to another project visa by paying KD 300, or
2. The company will be sending me out of country (i.e. to my home country) and bringing me back on their visa. The problem is that I have children and a maid dependent on my residence. And if I leave the country,
a) What will happen to their residence status?
b) How can I resolve that?
c) Will my driving license be affected?
d) If I come back on a new visa, will I be subject to the same conditions as coming to Kuwait for the first time? (like staying in company for 3 years?) I came to Kuwait in 2009 on a project visa and have been employed by the same company since.
Answer: What the company has advised you is correct. You can transfer to another project visa on a payment of KD 300 or your company can get you a new visa but you will have to leave the country and return on the new document.
Now, if you were to do a local transfer to another project there would be no problems with the residence of your dependents nor of the maid but if you were to leave the country after the cancellation of your residence there could be a multitude of problems.
The foremost of these problems would be the cancellation of the dependents residence — on the cancellation of your residence — plus the residence of the maid.
There is a way out of this problem: if the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor okays your new work permit before you leave the country.
In this case you will have to present the work permit to the Immigration Department with the undertaking that you are returning to the country almost immediately.
In such a case it is possible that your request MAY be accepted because this is totally at the discretion of the Immigration Department. In case your request is accepted you will be given a certain time frame to return to the country … and the residencies of your dependents along with that of your maid will not be cancelled. But once you leave the country, after the cancellation of your residence, you will also face some other serious consequences.
1. Your driving license will be cancelled and you will have to apply again when you return. There is a possibility of you being asked to wait two years before you can submit the application besides having to fulfil all the new conditions for a drivers license.
2. Most importantly, you will be asked to fulfil all residence requirements, just like you came the first time: you have to undergo the medical exam plus fulfil all the residence requirements within 60 days of landing in the country.
Send your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com