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Working in Kuwait

The oil wealth in Kuwait has lead to an explosion of development in Kuwait. Foreign workers are welcomed and given a fair treatment, but they are not allowed to become permanent residents.  Once their service period is completed, they are well rewarded, thanked and asked to go home.

There is a wide range of jobs one can do in Kuwait especially, but not limited to construction industry and petroleum engineering. Other options include tourism based jobs, IT and financial sector. Since there are numerous expatriates on short-term contracts in Kuwait, the opportunities for casual or temporary work is limited. Landing in Kuwait, and looking for short term employment is not really a good idea. It is best to secure a contract, complete the government required paperwork and then move to the country.

A large number of westerns have been travelling to Kuwait lately and have succeeded in finding short-term employment. Hairdressers and personal trainers are especially popular forms of temporary employment. However, western workers face stiff competition from Asian workers who are usually very eager to do the same jobs for significantly less pay.

Work permits are a must for all expatriate employees, and those are only issued when there is a firm employment offer. The employer functions as the sponsor and handles all the legal paperwork for the employee. Once the work permit is acquired, the next step is to obtain residency. Again the employer normally handles this. Once the expatriate’s paperwork is completed, he can then sponsor his spouse and children. If the dependents of the expatriate wish to work in Kuwait, they need to get sponsorship from a Kuwaiti national and then get their own work permits.

Kuwait’s government is financed by the country’s oil revenues. Taxes, the typical way governments earn income elsewhere, is not needed here.  Expatriates and nationals pay no personal taxes here. Foreign companies working in Kuwait pay a flat rate of corporate income tax, while Kuwaiti owned businesses do not even pay that.


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The International Wanderer aims to provide you with up to date and accurate information. However, content is submitted by writers/wanderers from all over the globe. Sometimes we will get it wrong. Furthermore, working holiday and other visa opportunities and requirements (or numbers allocated) may change. New working holiday agreements are constantly being negotiated between countries. We suggest that you contact the nearest consulate or embassy of the country you wish to visit to ensure you have the most recent and accurate information. For further information about this website see our Terms & Conditions.