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Expatriate Insurance News: Expats in Kuwait 'may be able to transfer residence permits without sponsor consent'

Expatriates living in Kuwait may soon be able to transfer their residence permits without having to obtain the approval of their current sponsor, in a move instigated by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour.

The decision has been issued for "humanitarian considerations", Arab Times reported, such as in the case of a sponsor dying, the expatriate’s employment suddenly being terminated or where a salary has not been paid.

Under the country’s sponsorship system, expatriate workers must be sponsored by a local employer in order to get a work permit.

However, the government has been looking to reduce or abolish the system.

The paper said that the privilege will be extended to the husbands and children of Kuwait women and to Palestinian expatriates who hold another country’s travel documents and have children studying at Kuwaiti schools.

Residency can also be transferred without a sponsor’s approval when the expat has lived in Kuwait for a year, the Kuwait Times reported. This allows expatriate workers more freedom to take up another job and could be seen as a move to abolish the sponsorship system with its strict controls on expats.

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