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Kuwait visa - beware!

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by m_alamin_we, Aug 26, 2020.

  1. m_alamin_we

    m_alamin_we New commenter

    Anyone thinking of teaching in Kuwait should be aware that you may not get a visa if your degree does not match the post you're applying for. I have a BEng, MSc and PhD in electronics engineering but was denied a visa by the Ministry of Education for a teacher of physics role. They wouldn't even consider me for a general science role. I have taught physics in the UK and have no issues with subject knowledge. I was told by my school that 3 other teachers were denied visa. I don't know which roles they applied for. To be fair to my school they tried to convince the Ministry but to no avail. I wish I knew about this or did more research. I learned it the hard way. Hope others don't have to.
  2. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

    Do you have a teaching qualification?
    taiyah likes this.
  3. m_alamin_we

    m_alamin_we New commenter

    I do- PGCE +QTS
  4. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    It could be a Nationality issue, but in Kuwait you never Know!

    Give me a PM in a week as I my hear of schools who would bend over backs wards to attract a PhD qualified Physics teacher!
    m_alamin_we likes this.
  5. norwichred

    norwichred Occasional commenter

    Errrr, firstly no visas are being issued for ANYONE at the moment. So how could teachers have been turned down? That’s the first thing.

    Secondly that’s been the issue in Kuwait for a number of years now. It is easily possible to get round it. All the school does is technically employ you in a job your degree is in but you actually do the job they want you to do. Yeah your job title doesn’t match the job you’re doing but.............

    It sounds to me like the school is telling you porkies. Would love to know which one it is (don’t say, you’re not allowed)
  6. m_alamin_we

    m_alamin_we New commenter

    It's the entry visa which wasn't granted.

    I really hope it wasn't the school messing around. Hard to know what to believe.

    It's one of the academies. Not The Scottish one.
  7. alannotrealname

    alannotrealname New commenter

    but you can give a clue......
  8. norwichred

    norwichred Occasional commenter

    There ARE no entry visas being issued. Full stop. It is impossible to get into the country unless you already have a civil ID card which can only be given to you if you’ve already lived there. I have one and even then I still got stuck in the UK for two weeks.

    Even my wife and kids can’t get back in and are stuck in Europe.

    They’re telling you porky pies I suspect.

    Online learning has just been extended until at least November, and for that time the ministry have reduced fees schools can charge by 20%. There’s been a bloodbath with many many teachers losing their jobs.......
  9. m_alamin_we

    m_alamin_we New commenter

    I need to investigate this somehow. I'm still part of the new staff email group and I have received welcome emails sent to all new staff. It detailed plans for flights, PCR tests etc and about what happens when they arrive in Kuwait. Unless the school has gone all in on the deception it seems some new staff may be joining them?

    I am going to contact more people in Kuwait and contact the embassy in the UK and the Ministry of Education in Kuwait.

    If it turns out the school lied, is there anything that can be done?
  10. norwichred

    norwichred Occasional commenter

    This is Kuwait mate. At the most you would have an offer letter, not a contract (that’s not signed until you get here) so short answer is no nothing can be done.........

    As for the new staff. Quite simply not yet (unless there’s something I don’t know which is possible). There was a plane load of Somalians who came in the other day to teach in governmental schools but that was part of the existing contract the two countries have to provide teachers.

    It is quite possible that some, or most, of the new teachers in the group You mentioned already have residency and are transferring from one school to another. They would have no trouble getting back in. As I said if you have residency you can get in via Turkish airlines or Kuwait airlines from London. Residencies have been extended for three months so they can be transferred from one employer to another.

    But other than that simply no way. The MoE has lobbied the MoI to issue a new type of commercial visit visa especially for teachers which would allow them to bring the new teachers in as tourists and then convert them to residency whilst they are here. The reason for this is because no new residencies are being issued and therefore no new work visas.

    They may have submitted your case to the ministry in advance, it’s possible, but I wasn’t even aware that the ministry was evaluating new teachers for employment at this stage....

    Sorry I’m not much help :(.
  11. m_alamin_we

    m_alamin_we New commenter

    Thanks for all the info.

    I was given an offer letter and then a contract which I signed and returned.

    Probably not much I can do but I'll try.
  12. norwichred

    norwichred Occasional commenter

    I really don’t want to be rude but you cannot have had a contract! It’s impossible. They’re not legal unless in Arabic and signed inside the country.
    I think.

    You’re making me doubt myself now!
  13. m_alamin_we

    m_alamin_we New commenter

    All I can tell you is that the school called it a contract. It had 'contract' written on the document and it was in both Arabic and English. The school had signed and stamped it. The recruitment agency who I used asked to be informed of when I signed the contract.

    I can remember the video meetings with all the new staff. Other than one person who was already in Kuwait, the rest, about 5/6, were new and had never been to Kuwait. I was told there would be approximately 15 people flying in on the same flight from London.
  14. m_alamin_we

    m_alamin_we New commenter

    I just heard from another science candidate who got his entry visa approved few days ago.
  15. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Contracts are not legal in many countries till you have obtained your work visa. If you read your "contract" carefully you will see this written in it, "if for no matter what reason you are refused a visa this contract is null and void". This is a standard clause but some of the "nicer schools" will offer you a months salary and a free air ticket back home.

    Also unless you have residence in a country you can not take legal action against a national citizen. It is possible to take legal action if the school is registered in a western country or the principal is a UK citizen and their name is on the email and contracts. If a UK employment agency was involved in the process you may have a claim against them, especially if a large number of people have had the same experience.
  16. m_alamin_we

    m_alamin_we New commenter

    I did read the contract and I did see that clause. I was very aware of all the requirements. The contract is not the issue. From what I read here itI thought there was a small possibility that the school could be lying about the visa because no new visas are being granted. However, now that I know others in my school have been granted entry visas recently, it seems to me that the school isn't lying.
    I can understand why they would reject my application for a physics role on the grounds that I don't have a physics degree. I don't agree that an engineer can't teach GCSE/A level physics. Anyway, what I want to know is why they rejected me for a general science role. The school told me they even tried to get me in as a maths teacher as I had lots of maths units in my undergraduate degree.
    I doubt I will get any info from the MOE but i want to raise the issue here, with the school and the MOE so that maybe it reduces the chance of it happening to someone else. Also because I am very curious.
    The principal told me that he would make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else in his school.
  17. m_alamin_we

    m_alamin_we New commenter

    Thank you to everyone who provided info. I know a bit more about Kuwait. From reading other posts I realise the risks can be just as big, if not bigger, than the rewards of teaching in the Middle East.
  18. desertestrella7

    desertestrella7 New commenter

    We have new teachers coming in on some kind of special tourist visa that the Ministry has approved for key roles (ie teachers). They haven’t left the UK yet but are still coming once the paperwork has been approved. The school is keeping them updated on the progress but have no say in when it will be completed.
    The requirements for teachers here to have a degree that matches their teaching subject has been in place for about 7-8 years or so now. It doesn’t matter that you have a PGCE, QTS and experience teaching that subject, it’s your degree that they want to match what you teach. I’ve worked with UK qualified maths & physics teachers whose degrees were in Engineering etc who were accepted before but knew that if they ever left Kuwait, they’d never get back in again. Hope it gets sorted soon for you.
    m_alamin_we likes this.
  19. norwichred

    norwichred Occasional commenter

    So the tourist visa entry route has been approved?
  20. truth_seeker12

    truth_seeker12 Occasional commenter

    Unfortunately, you did not sign a real contract so they are able to do as they want. It is most likely that they did not continue with your employment as they realised that there will be less students or any other financial reason. It's how it works in the ME. However, most countries are moving towards the requirement of the degree to match the PGCE. PhD will give you a higher salary if you work for government schools so maybe aim for one of those.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020

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