Citizen of other GCC
states have a right to enter and live in Kuwait without undergoing
any particular formalities.
Kuwait will grant 34 nationalities
entry visas upon arrival, according to a new decision from
the Ministry of Interior (Feb. 2004).
Among those that will benefit are nationals from the
- New Zealand.
- The Netherlands.
- the Vatican.
- San Marino.
- Hong Kong.
- South Korea.
But all other nationals are subject to strict rules of entry
and registration as foreigners under the sponsorship of Kuwaitis
or Kuwait companies or as dependents of foreigners under who
already enjoy residence under Kuwait sponsorship.
An applicant for a visa
must be sponsored by a Kuwaiti individual or company. Technically
the visa application is made by the sponsor and the sponsor
is responsible for the visitor while he or she is in Kuwait.
A non-GCC national whose country has a visa abolition treaty
with Kuwait (such as the U.K.) which allows Kuwaitis to enter
their country without a visa, may be granted reciprocal entry
rights in Kuwait. However these nationals may reuire an "entry
permit; they may also require a sponsor.The cost of a visit
visa is KD 3. Entry permits are free. International airlines
have been instructed by the Kuwaiti authorities not to board
passengers for Kuwait unless they have a valid visa or entry
permit. There are two basic types of visas, a single visit
visa and a residence visa. Multiple entry visit visas were
available after Liberation, but these now seem to be restricted
to persons being sponsored by the Ministry of Defence. Visit
visas may be obtained from Kuwaiti consulates abroad on production
of a supporting letter from a kuwaiti sponsor. Or the Kuwaiti
sponsor can obtain the visa in Kuwait, using a faxed copy
of the visitor's passport. This will take about two working
days. The sponsor can then fax a copy of the visa to the visitor,
enabling him to travel to Kuwait. The entry will be stamped
in the passport on arrival, when the Kuwaiti sponsor presents
the original at the airport. The actual visit visa consists
of two sheets of paper. One is taken up on arrival. The other
must be retained to be handed in when the visitor is leaving.
Visit visas are valid for entry within 90 days of issue, and
for a stay of up to 30 days after entry. Visit visas cannot
be renewed and the visitor must leave the country once his
30 day stay is over. However, the visit visa may be extended
within Kuwait for more than 30 days which must be done at
the passport office. Visitors leaving after the visa has expired
will be directed to go to passport office to pay a fine of
KD 10 per extra day before being allowed to leave.
A transit visa valid for
a maximum stay of 7 days can be obtained from the Kuwaiti Consulate
abroad or from the port authority in Kuwait.
To live in Kuwait all
nationals with the exception of GCC citizens, must acquire resideence
visas. Those found without valid visas are fined and deported.
The three main types of residence visas are work, dependent's
and servant's visas.
Work Permits & No Objection
To obtain residence on
a work visa, an offer of employment must first be accepted.
The Kuwaiti sponsor who may be a governmental organization or
a prived company then applies for a work permit from the Ministry
of Social Affairs & Labour. To do this, the sponsor needs a
copy of the employee's passport. No objection certificates are
issued by the General Administration of Criminal Investigation
at the Ministry of the Interior. They are required by all employees
fo non governmental organisations or companies and and are obtained
by the sponsor on submission of the employee's personal details.
If the employee is living in a country that has a Kuwaiti Embassy,
the employer will send him a copy of the work permit which the
employee will take with a medical certificate to the Kuwaiti
Embassy for endorsement. The Kuwaiti Embassy will receive a
copy of the work permit through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Those sponsored by a none governmental organization or company
will require their NOCs wich must also be endorsed by the Embassy.
A good conduct certificate which is obtained from the police
in the last place of residence may be required by some nationalities.
Applicants are also required to provide a medical certificata.
The Embassy will then provide an entry visa for Kuwait. If the
employee is living in a country that has no Kuwaiti Embassy,
then the sponsor will submit the work permit and the NOC to
the Ministry of Interior to obtain the entry visa. If an employee
is on a visit visa to Kuwait when he accepts employment, then
once the work permit and the NOC are ready he must leave Kuwait
and return on the entry visa the sponsor obtains for him. This
can be a short round trip to Bahrain by air for a day (return
fare is about KD 60).
Medical Tests & Fingerprinting
Once he has entered Kuwait
on the entry visa, the employee is required to undergo medical
tests and obtain a fingerprint certificate before he can process
his residence visa. The medical test includes blood test for
serious infectious diseases and chest x-ray and a meningitis
vaccination is also given
Application for a residence
visa is made at the Immigration and Passport Department of
the Ministry of Interior.
documents needed are:
- Declaration & Undertaking
on the prescribed form duly completed and signed by the
- Work permit
- Mecial certificat
- Fingerprint certificate
- Copies of the above
documents plus 4 passport sized photographs.
The residence visa fees
is KD 12 per year. A maximum of five years residence can be
granted. It can bee cancelled if the holder is absence abroad
for a continuous period of six months.
Once residence procedures
have been completed, you are required to register for a Civil
ID card. This is compulsory and the cards, once issued, should
be carried with you at all times. Once the form has been completed,
you will need to submit it along with photographs and a photocopy
of the relevant pages of your passport to the Public Authority
for Civil Information.
Once he has secured his
own residency, the employee may sponsor his wife, children and
parents to live in Kuwait. adult sons cannot be sponsored in
this way but adult daughters can. A husband can sponsor his
wife but a wife cannot sponsor her husband as a dependent. When
a baby is born to expatriates in Kuwait, the parents must obtain
a dependent's residence visa for the child.
rules are changing very often, please check with the officials
for latest rules and procedures.