Effective February 26, 2018, the Ministry of Labour (MOL) requires work permit applications to be submitted using the sponsoring company’s KEP account.
Moreover, a secure electronic signature, linked to a qualified electronic certificate, must be used to sign the application form. The signature of the representative of the employer can no longer be used.
However, as of February 27, 2018, the new MOL work permit application system incorporating KEP is not fully operational.
What is KEP?
KEP (kayitli electronik posta) is a recently-introduced registration system for companies, introduced by the Telecommunications Authority, designed to receive and send official communications with the various government ministries.
What is the current situation?
MOL is aware of the problem and is purportedly working on a remedy. As of February 27, 2018, attempts to enter new work permit applications through the system have proven difficult and/or ineffective, causing confusion among companies and immigration agents who had been directed to immediately begin using the new system.
In response, MOL officials have indicated that temporary provisions are likely to be announced soon to reactivate and use the old applications system until the technical challenges with the new system can be remedied.
In order to use the new work permit system, companies must obtain a qualified electronic certificate from an authorized provider, and establish a KEP user account.
While technical glitches continue to occur, it is recommended that companies begin now to attempt to establish their KEP account and qualified electronic certificate to avoid potential delays in their work permit applications in the future. Even with the ongoing technical challenges, many companies have been successfully registering for KEP using the following procedure:
- Purchase a KEP account via a registered provider;
- Log into the KEP portal using the login credentials and designate a specific individual within the company to act as primary contact;
- The primary contact will then receive an activation memory stick containing an “electronic notification tool” from the Telecommunications Authority which must be loaded into the company’s computer system;
- Work permit applications may then be entered into the new KEP system and the company’s immigration agents may be authorized to act on behalf of the company; and
- If the registration and activation has been successful, the company should begin receiving notifications from the various government ministries.
Companies with questions about this procedure should reach out to their Immigration Specialists for assistance and the latest guidance.
Please note that this is general information only and not intended as advice on a specific matter. Please feel free to contact Fakhoury Global Immigration directly with questions exclusive to your situation. This news alert may have been prepared using information from Peregrine Immigration Management, which is licensed to Fakhoury Global Immigration.