Gulf Labour Markets, Migration, and Population (GLMM) Programme

An international independent, non-partisan, non-profit joint programme of a major Gulf think tank and a globally renowned academic migration centre.
The programme provides data, analyses, and recommendations contributing to the improvement of understanding and management of
Gulf labour migration, population, and labour markets, engaging with and respecting the viewpoints of all stakeholder.

Kuwait: Residence permits by type/purpose of permit and sex of holder (2017)

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reference number of permit purpose of permit type of permits Males Females Total
22 residence Dependent permits 200,327 340,577 540,904
23 Study 632 229 861
24 Self residence permits 1,171 1,215 2,386
17 work Governmental sector permits 69,955 40,290 110,245
18 Private sector permits 1,323,096 119,512 1,442,608
19 Business 339 20 359
20 Domestic help 337,009 340,583 677,592
TOTAL 1,932,529 842,426 2,774,955

Source: Ministry of Interior
1. Definitions

Ministry of Interior’s (Directorate of Migration’s) records of residency permits granted to foreign residents by type/ purpose
of permit, sex and regional origin of holder, for the years 2010 to 2017.
Data presented in the table are stock data: all the non-national residents holding a residence permit on December 31st, the given year. 
The present figures include permits delivered for all purposes of stay in Kuwait:

1- Labour in all sectors: governmental (n°17); private sector (n°18); business (n°19) and domestic  (n°20) sectors
2- Residence: as family dependent (permit n°22); studies (n°23) and self-residence (n°24).

Residency procedures do not apply to GCC nationals and to Bidouns (stateless residents of Kuwait).
The table thus excludes the Bidouns, the non-Kuwaiti GCC citizens and those in irregular situation.
Holders of permit n°14 (temporary residents) are not included here. 

Dependent permit: spouse, children or elderly dependent relatives can join visa holder (sponsor) in Kuwait,

if the expatriate has obtained a residency and meets the salary requirements.
A working wife cannot sponsor her husband as a dependent. Sons over the age of 21 years cannot be sponsored as dependants,
though adult daughters and parents may be permitted. Dependent family members are not allowed to work on a Dependent Visa.
Every foreign resident including new born babies must hold a residency permit.
Self residence permit: Expatriates may sponsor themselves under article 24 of the regulations and obtain a residence for two
to five years under several conditions, among which: being aged 60 and more, having worked no less than 25 years in Kuwait,
owning a capital of 10,000 KD at least; holding a certificate of good conduct, effectively reside in Kuwait, etc.)
This form of residence can be renewed upon expiry. Self-sponsored expatriates may sponsor their wives and children.
Permits 17, 18, 19 and 20 are only granted after Ministry of Labour issues a work permit.

2. Institution which provides data 

Central Statistical Bureau (CSB), Ministry of Planning.

3. Period of data coverage

December 31st, given years.

4. Data availability 

The present data is taken from the “Migration Statistics” reports, published annually by the CSB.

The report (in Arabic and English, PDF format with Excel tables) is available on CSB’s website
(Population Statistics, then Migration Statistics)

Date of access: January 2019.

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