Selling visas, giving jobs on social media

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KUWAIT CITY, March 17: The frequency of requests on social media to search for and buy residency permits and to transfer work permits has increased. This comes in light of the resumption and recovery of the labor market and the need for manpower in commercial establishments, following the cancellation of the COVID- 19 restrictions that were enforced in the sector for the past two years, reports Al-Qabas daily. The pattern of advertisements for the sale of residency permits differs.

The fictitious companies or delegates announce the availability of residency permits and transfer of government or private contracts. Those seeking work look for these “phantom” establishments by publishing advertisements to request for the transfer of their contracts to companies, provided that they do not work, and pledging to pay sums of money for that purpose.

There is a noticeable popularity on the Facebook pages of a number of such company representatives. Job seekers post advertisements asking about the possibility of transferring their residency from governmental to another in order to circumvent the decisions of the Ministry of Labor, which refuses this kind of transfer and turnover in the labor market except under certain conditions. This phenomenon revealed that most of the jobs that people seek in their government contracts are driver, sanitation technician, and security personnel. Some of them pay KD 1,000 under the condition that they are left free in the market and are not obligated to work in the company to which they are transferred. Tracking on Facebook, it was noticed that the mandoubs (reps) relied on their advertisements to offer attractive job opportunities with good salaries and other advantages, in the event that the workers are not transferred to the company’s contract and their desire for self-employment.

Others offered the possibility of transferring labor to a government contract, provided that the person wishing to transfer works certain hours in the contract, and shares the daily wage or monthly salary with the company, for instance, having a salary of KD 210 in the contract but receiving KD 150 from it. The most prominent requests that are in great demand are obtaining residency permits as drivers of the delivery companies that have government contracts or in the private sector. According to a source from the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM), the inspection teams in the tripartite committee daily seize about 30 workers of delivery companies for violating the law.

The delivery workers indicated that the increased demand to obtain the title of a driver results from the desire to continue in the job that makes good profits. Some of them get about KD 15 per day from one commercial store, and some deliver to more than one activity or facility, thus achieving sums more than what a formal job can generate. They stated that the value of contracts for workers in the field has recently increased, due to competition between companies to provide workers with the necessary licenses to avoid violations, adding that their salaries range between KD 300 and KD 400 per month.

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