Migrant Engineers in Kuwait Face Tough Time to Get NOC for Work Visa Renewal

To obtain the certificate, the applicant must be a graduate from a university that's included in the list of accredited universities, and in courses recognized by the Kuwait Society of Engineers.


Several engineers of foreign nationality in Kuwait who have to renew their work visas have been left confused after the country’s Public Authority for Manpower, which had introduced a new regulation, enforced it suddenly on March 15, Kuwait Times reported.

According to the regulation that was circulated to all labor departments few days ago, expatriate engineers will be unable to renew their work visas until they get a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Kuwait Society of Engineers (KSE).

In order to acquire the NOC, the applicant must be a graduate from an accredited university, which is on the list of accredited universities, and in courses on the KSE master list, said the report.

The Public Authority for Manpower officials said that the decision is not something new, as it has been in effect for a long time. It was circulated for the purposes of additional inspection and audit of the certificates by attaching a letter issued by KSE to it. The letter given by the KSE is necessary for the approval of engineers to acquire work permits, reported Arab Times.

Hundreds of expat engineers, especially those who have graduated from colleges that are little known or not in the KSE list, will be hit by the move.

Many expatriate engineers could be seen at the KES premises to seek assistance in getting the NOC on March 15. Kuwait Engineering Forum (KEF), an engineering society with over 1,300 engineers from India, and a registered association with the Indian embassy in Kuwait, said that they were facing similar problems with the new regulation. A member also pointed out that the issue will impact nearly 60 percent of Indian engineers working in Kuwait, according to Kuwait Times.

“I was worried when they said that the procedure for new applications was only open in the evening and as expected the lines were massive with more than 350 people all clamoring for more information,” Nawaf Aboobacker, a mechanical engineer whose work visa will expire soon, was quoted as saying by Kuwait Times. He added that even though his college was accredited, his course (Mechanical Engineering) was not. “When I asked what I am supposed to do now – I was told to go back to my college in India and check with them,” he said.

The Public Authority for Manpower confirmed that new regulation essentially applies to expat engineers working in the private sector, and did not furnish further details, stating that an official announcement on the issue will be made next week, according to the report.

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