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Which sectors will be affected by the new changes?
Currently, anyone working, or planning to work in any engineering role in Kuwait is subject to additional requirements, which has been in force since mid-2018. In our experience, anyone working as an architect will also be subject to these guidelines, as in Kuwait this job title requires an engineering visa.
Despite these conditions, there are reported to be around 10,000 engineers still currently operating in Kuwait who do not meet the basic requirements. This will result in the possibility of their work permits not being renewed when they are either due to expire or they attempt to begin employment with a new company.
What are the new document requirements for Kuwait Legalisation?
Previously, anyone working as an engineer in Kuwait would only need to provide their legalised copy of their highest qualification to their employer. This would require full Kuwait legalisation within the issuing country, before being verified by the MoFA in Kuwait City.
Further documents may be required if there are specialities required for the job role. This is decided by the employer on a case-by-case basis.
In May 2018, Kuwait’s Public Authority of Manpower revised the guidelines and stipulated that anyone operating as an engineer in Kuwait must receive a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Kuwait Society of Engineers (KSE) before they can do so. You can read more about this below.
As of the end of 2019, the KSA themselves updated their requirements to include a transcript of results, which must now be provided to support the education award itself. This must be an official academic transcript issued by the college or university, which is fully itemised with module and the level. This forms part of the document requirements for your membership application.
Which memberships will be required to work in Kuwait?
If you wish to work as an engineer or architect in Kuwait, membership of the Kuwait Society of Engineers (KSE) is now mandatory to operate in the country. In order to gain membership, an expat will require the following documentation:
- Passport copy
- A copy of a valid work permit
- A copy of your Civil ID
- Two passport-style photos
- Copy of any previous union or official body membership certificates
- Original and a legalised copy of your highest education award
- Original and a legalised copy of your education transcript
If the college or university which awarded your qualification is not on the list of pre-approved institutions, you will likely lose the right to hold the title of “engineer” on your work permit if you already hold one. The approved institutions are decided by each issuing country individually, not by the KSE themselves.
If you have a qualification from an approved institution, but have less than 5 years professional experience, you will be required to complete a proficiency test. Otherwise, if you have both an award from an approved body and more than 5 years experience as an engineer, you will only need to appear for an in-person interview in order to gain membership approval.
One of the toughest hit migrant groups is the Indian expat community of Kuwait, who have struggled to get their awards recognised by the KSE. The majority of the bodies which offer engineering qualifications in India are not accredited by the Kuwait’s preferred national body.
We advise you confirm with your future employer exactly which documents you require and ensure you’re able to provide all of these before beginning to process your application. This could save you a lot of money and disappointment if you’re unable to complete the hiring process.