I am currently working in Kuwait, originally from the UK. I came over via my company and my company sponsored my visa and now my civil ID (for two years). I have worked with the company almost 5 months and there is no specific end date for my contract, it just states I should give 3 months notice.
My boss is not the kindest and typically is unwilling to let employees go. I would like to move on to a different employment here in Kuwait but I don’t think he would make it easy for me to be released.
What would my best course of action be? And what would he typically have to do other than signing my release?
Would I still have to leave the country and then come back in?
Could he block me while I am out of the country to stop me coming back in (yes he would do this as he is possessive) Would my residency have to be sponsored by my new company?
What about my civil ID which has been done for two years. What are my options here? And would it be worth getting the British Embassy or lawyer involved?
Please get back to me as I am very confused.
Answer: According to the Labour Law, when a company brings you from your home country to work in Kuwait, you will be required to work three years for the company before you can ask for a release.
In plain language, the law is on the side of your boss and if he decides not to give you a release before the expiry of three years there is very little that you can do except to demand for cancellation of the contract and be returned to your home country.
But remember that in resorting to the latter option your boss might demand compensation for the years left unserved. As you stated, your boss has nothing to do other than signing the release paper but the point is that without him signing the release paper, there won’t be any movement on your part. The issue of leaving the country and coming back doesn’t arise if one gets a release. You only leave the country to come back when you get sponsorship from a new company.
When you sever ties with your current company either through a release or cancellation of your visa, your residency and civil ID will both have to be the responsibility of the new company if you have one. To be frank, you don’t have many options here except if you can prove that your boss has broken the terms of your contract and in which case you can file a complaint with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour through the department in your area. To make things easier for you, you can hire a lawyer but we don’t see the role the British Embassy can play here except in a situation where your rights are being violated.
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