Kuwait: KD10, 000 required for self-sponsorship
KUWAIT: The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) has proposed that an expatriate can apply for self-sponsorship provided they possess a minimum of KD10,000 in their bank account. Under the proposed amendments to current law, an individual or a group of individuals will also be allowed to sponsor someone provided their bank account contains KD10,000. In order to obtain an exemption from the current regulations, the applicant must have been a businessman or a partner in a business venture for at least two consecutive years. The MSAL is still studying the possibility of allowing certain professionals to acquire their own work visa without a local sponsor.
The proposal was first presented and circulated in a 2005 draft law and is currently being studied at the Ministry of Labor, according to an MSAL official quoted in a local Arabic newspaper. The proposed changes have caused mixed reactions among the large number of expatriates residing in Kuwait. "Why do they need KD10,000 in our bank account? If I want to work here for two or three years, why do they need KD10,000? Will that serve as a bond? How can you raise that amount if you are an ordinary worker," queried a business owner.
Elaborating, he said that another significant issue that hampers doing business in Kuwait is the work permit. "If we can have the work permit ourselves, it will be a good step forward. If the policy is implemented the business atmosphere here will significantly improve.
The MSAL has a draft law to scrap the sponsorship system in Kuwait pending in Parliament. The debate was hampered due to the dissolution of Parliament earlier this month. If the proposal to scrap the sponsorship system passes, the state authority will then become the sole authority for the sponsorship of expatriate workers in Kuwait.