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Kuwait Introduces New Hiring Rules for Overseas Workers, Excludes Domestic Staff

Kuwait has made significant changes to how private sector workers from overseas are hired, but these new rules won’t affect domestic workers. Aseel Al-Mazyed, the Director of Public Relations and Media at the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) and also the spokeswoman for the agency, announced these updates. The changes are stirring conversations as they aim to streamline the hiring process and enhance workers’ mobility within the country.

Understanding the New Policy

Starting from June 1, the revised policy will be in effect for one year, during which it will be closely evaluated by the PAM Board of Directors. The most notable change under this new policy is that private sector employees can now switch their employer after three years of service, or they can do so earlier by paying a transfer fee of 300 dinars, provided they have the approval of their original employer.

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This reform replaces the older system that categorized recruitment based on specific types of activities. Al-Mazyed explained that this new mechanism is designed to give more flexibility to both employees and employers in the private sector. This flexibility is expected to make Kuwait’s job market more attractive to foreign talent, promoting a dynamic and competitive work environment.

Digital Innovations and Online Applications

One of the key features of the updated hiring process is the digitalization of applications. Business owners can now submit applications for work permits online, simplifying the process and saving time. Additionally, Al-Mazyed highlighted PAM’s ongoing efforts to integrate all its services into the Sahel application, a move aimed at enhancing accessibility and efficiency.

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Exclusion of Domestic Workers

It is important to note that these changes do not apply to domestic workers. The decision to exclude this category from the new hiring rules has raised questions and discussions about the rights and mobility of domestic staff within Kuwait’s labor market.

Ongoing Evaluations and Future Plans

While the new rules are set to revolutionize the hiring process for private sector employees, PAM is also considering further regulations that could restrict certain professions to the Kuwaiti workforce only. This is part of a broader effort to balance the job market, ensuring opportunities for local citizens while managing the inflow of skilled workers from abroad.

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Promoting a Safe Work Environment

In addition to these hiring changes, PAM is actively promoting workplace safety. This commitment was showcased as Kuwait observed World Occupational Safety Day. The event featured a workshop that brought together representatives from seven government agencies, each sharing expertise in their area, particularly focusing on safety measures and inspection mechanisms.

The theme for this year, ‘Towards a Safe Work Environment, underscores the government’s dedication to ensuring that all workers, whether local or foreign, operate in safe and regulated conditions.


As Kuwait continues to refine its labor laws and hiring practices, the impact of these changes will likely be a topic of much discussion among policymakers, business owners, and the workforce. The move to exclude domestic workers from the new rules, however, points to an area in labor regulations that may need further attention to ensure fairness and safety for all workers in Kuwait.

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Written by areeba iqbal

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