Regulations regarding the renewal of work permits in Kuwait have been changed, with expats who belong to certain categories greatly benefiting from these changes.
The Minister of Justice, Minister of State for Integrity Enhancement, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Public Authority for Manpower, Counselor Jamal Al-Jalawi, made an announcement that the renewal of work permits in Kuwait will be granted to expats who are 60 years of age or older and holders of high school certificates or less. Individuals with any certificate equivalent to it are also included in this regulation.
Kuwaiti officials have been discussing this issue for over a month. In 2020, individuals belonging to the aforementioned categories were prohibited from renewing their work permits. However, it was recently reviewed and authorities have come to the decision to revise the regulations.
Renewal of Work Permits in Kuwait Will Benefit Both the Expats and the Country
This was welcomed by the affected expats with great enthusiasm, with most of them working in the fields of handicrafts, technical and mechanical workshops, and industrial sectors.
Most of the expats, especially those who have been in Kuwait for so long, find it difficult to leave and return to their home country or elsewhere. Before this regulation was implemented, they were forced to do so since they could not legally reside in Kuwait anymore. Around 4,000 expats exited the labor market at that time because of their age.
Some expats who have reached the age of 60 share that this change in the renewal of work permits in Kuwait has removed their worries over what will happen to them should they not be allowed to stay in the country. It gives them the opportunity to continue on with their lives as they currently are.
The decision to change the regulations for the renewal of work permits in Kuwait is expected to bring many benefits for the country. Stability in the labor market can be improved since expats can keep their current jobs. At the same time, the country will be able to retain the skills and knowledge of craftsmen and those belonging to related professions.
Furthermore, the humanitarian image of Kuwait will be promoted, and families will not have to experience separation from each other. This is because Kuwaiti citizens who have spouses and children of other nationalities are also included in the regulation. Individuals who already have residency documents can apply for a similar visa.
Working expats will contribute to the national economy and will be beneficial for small businesses and projects.
The fee for the renewal of work permits in Kuwait will be 250 dinars, to be paid every year. Expats will also need to apply for health insurance from accredited companies.
Health Insurance for Expats in Kuwait
Expats who are 60 years old or older and have high school certificates are required to pay 503.5 dinars for health insurance. The aforementioned fee includes costs for the insurance itself, documentation, and supervisory and office work. This decision was released by the Insurance Regulatory group.
This covers up to 10,000 dinars’ worth of total treatment costs per year. Hospital admission and treatment will be capped at 8,000 dinars, while outpatient services will be covered up to 1,500 dinars. Ordinary dental services are also included, with a limit of 500 dinars.
When availing of medical services, expats should go to the hospital that is covered by the insurance policy they are under. If medical treatment for critical conditions is needed but the hospital does not have the appropriate resources to provide the necessary healthcare services, insurance companies should transfer the patient to another hospital that can accommodate him.
The insurance fee could not go any lower than 500 dinars because those who are 60 years of age or older have more health risks and possible preexisting conditions. These contribute to the costs incurred for medical treatment.
A list of the insurance companies where expats can avail themselves of this service is still subject to approval and will be released as soon as it is available. However, expats can expect to have more than 20 insurance companies to choose from. Eight insurance companies can already be found on the Kuwait Stock Exchange.
Expats must ensure that they obtain health insurance from the listed companies. Failure to do so will have negative consequences for their renewal of work permits in Kuwait or transfer within the private sector.
The new regulations for the renewal of work permits in Kuwait will enable eligible expats to continue working and living in the country that they have grown accustomed to. It is a welcomed change so that expats do not have to worry about their source of income and lifestyle at that age.