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Proposed Exemptions and Changes to the Visa Transfer

The impact of stopping the transfer of residency for foreign nationals from the public sector (Article 17) to the private sector (Article 18) is presently being assessed by the Ministry of Interior. Many foreign workers employed by different Kuwaiti ministries are impacted by this decision.

The Ministry has received a proposed vision that outlines the procedures and controls related to this decision. The proposal investigates the possibility of excluding specific groups from the ban on moving from Article 17 to Article 18.

Sources state that foreign nationals with Palestinian documentation as well as Kuwaiti citizens’ spouses, children, and expat spouses may be exempt from the transfer ban.

The plan also takes into account exceptions for foreign nationals who were previously residents under Article 18, allowing them to convert to Article 17 as long as they are under 55 and their employment in the private sector is consistent with their previous work in the public sector.

Additionally, a proposed exception to the transfer ban for foreign nationals who initially obtained residency under Article 22 (Dependent / Family Visa) and subsequently converted to Article 17 (Government Sector) is currently being discussed. These factors are still under investigation and might be put into practice after receiving ministry leadership clearance.

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