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There are two basic types of visa, a visit visa and a residence visa.

A foreigner whose Country without a visa abolition treaty with Kuwait, i.e.a treaty permiting Kuwait to enter their country without a visa, may be granted reciprocal rights in the Kuwait. These persons however may require an entry permit. Entry permits are acquired in the same way and under the same procedures as visit visa.

Application for a visit visa

Visit visas and entry permits are valid for entry within 90 days of issue and thenfor a stay of up to 30 days only after entry, Avisit visas costs kd 3/- entry permits are free.

Avisit to Kuwait must be sponsored by a Kuwait individual or company, or a resident foreigner who is relative of the visitor while he or dhe is in Kuwait.

To Obtain a visit visa for a business, visitor, a Kuwait sponsor or company will require:
  • Visa application and security from completed by the sponsor
  • Copy of the visitor’s passport
  • Copy of the sponsors signature as registered for business purposes
  • Copy of the letter of invitation from the sponsor to the business visitor stations the purpose of the visit.
  • To obtain a visit visa and security from completed by the sponsor
  • Copy of the visitor’s passport
  • Original and copy of the sponsor’s passport
  • Original and copy of the sponsor’s civil ID Original and copy of the sponsor’s work permit (Private sector employees)
  • Original and copy of the sponsor’s work permit (Private sector employees)
  • Recent salary certificate from the sponsor’s employer
  • Authenticated proof of the family relationship

The fine for staying more then 30 days on a visit is KD 10a day. A visitor whose has  expired is not allowed to leave until the fine has been paid the fine must be paid at the immigration  Department in Shuwaikh during government working house.

Not at the airport fines however may be paid a few days in advance and, unless this is done, the flight out is invariably missed. An expatriate may obtain two one- month expansion to a visit visa or temporary residence provided application is made to the immigration department before the visa has expired. A pleasant solution for  visitors wishing to extend their stay is to obtain a second visit visa in Kuwait travel to Bahrain on a morning flight and re-enter Kuwait in the evening round trip (40 minutes flying time) only costs about KD 45.

Multiple entry visits , which allow holders to enter the country any number of times within a 12- month period, may be available to business sponsored by the ministry of defense.

American citizen (but not other westerners) can sometimes obtain multiple entry visity that are  valid for up to 10 years and allow an indefinite number of entries.

A transit visa, valid for a maximum stay of 7 days, can be obtained from a Kuwait consult abroad or from a  port authority in Kuwait the fee is KD 2 the applicant  must have a valid visa for his next country of destination and, unless he is working on a ship or airline a confirmed onward ticket bone fide international truck drivers and their helpers may obtain multiple entry transit visas.

A person in Kuwait on a visit visa may not take up employment, for which he or she must have a work permit and a residence visa

To live permanently in Kuwait expatriates other than GCC citizens must have iqama, ie a residence permit A person discovered without a valid iqama which are know colloquially by the article number in the immigration regulation the three main types are work visas domestic and dependent visas all of which require a sponsor an expatriate may however sponsor his own residence with or without or being permitted to work provided he has lived in Kuwait for many years and has substantial financial means

Work visas are  iqamas granted under articles 17 (for public sector employees) and 18 (Private Sector Employees) of the immigration regulations.To obtain residence on a work visa an offer of employment must first be accepted. The  Kuwait Sponsoring employer then applies for a work permit from the ministry of social affairs &Labor, for which the sponsor needs a copy of the employees passport showing sector employer must then ob-taint a no –objection  certificate (NOC)from the general administration of criminal Investigation at the ministry of  interior which he dose by submitting the employee’s personal details.If the employee is living in a country that has a Kuwait embassy the employer will send him a copy of the work permit which he must take to the embassy which will also have received a copy though the ministry of foreign affairs for endorsement?the employee must then apply for an entry visa for Kuwait, using the endured work permit.

Those sponsored by private sector com will require their NOCs and a copy of the employer’s authorized signatory as registered for business purposes An applicant is also  required to provide a medical certificate, obtained from a clinic recognized by the Kuwait  Embassy, stating that their general state of health is good and that they are free of specific epidemic diseases A good conduct certificate issued by the police in the last place of residence may be required for some nationalities.

If the employee is living in a country that has no Kuwait embassy then the sponsor will submit  the work permit and NOC to the ministry of the interior to obtain the entry visa. If an employee is on a visit visa to Kuwait when he accept employment then ,once the work permit and NOC are ready, he  must  leave Kuwait and return to their native country in order to undergo medical tests and have them endorsed at the Kuwait embassy there.

Once he has entered Kuwait the Employee must undergo local medical tests and obtain a fingerprint certificate before he can process his residence visa.

The actual application for  an iqama is made at the Immigration and passport department of the ministry of the interior in Shuwaikh (the jawazaaat or passport office)just off the airport road near the Q8 compound between the 3rd and 4th ring roads.

First time applicants for residence must submit the following documents in the from of both original and photocopies;

  • Declaration on the prescribed on the prescribed *WORK PERMIT*
  • Security clearance(fingerprint)certificate
  • Four passport size photography are also required

A maximum of five years residence may be granted the fee is  KD 10 per year.if the sponsor is a government organization then, by law, the employee must bear the cost. If the sponsor is a private company the cost is a matter of negotiation between the sponsors and the employee.

When  BABY IS BORN TO Expatriate in Kuwait the parents must obtain a dependent iqama for the child there is no minimum salary requirement and the father of child born in Kuwait can sponsor his infant’s residence irrespective of his salary level but first the parents must obtain an official birth certificate for the child to do so a notification of the birth, obtained from the hospital where the child was born the hospital will provide the address. Additional documents required the birth certificate include.

Application from duly completed of parent’s passport civil Ids, and authenticated marriage contract once a passport has been procured or the child has been added to its father’s passport the procedures.

Parents on domestic servant visas cannot keep their child in Kuwait and must  obtain an exit visa for the infant from the ministry of the interior for which the following documents are  required passport and civil ID s of both parent’s marriage contact translated into Arabic and  the child birth certificate

Resident  expatriates may sponsor one  full-time servant to care for their household A male  expatiates must have his wife must be living with him if the servant is a female. The age limits for maids are 20 to 50 years family members may not be sponsored on servant’s visas.

The sponsor is not  required to have a minimum salary and provided both husband and wife are working and the family includes children expatriate families are usually allowed to bring in a maid  the decision rests with immigration official who take into an entry visa for a charge of 500 files the following supporting documents are needed.

  • Salary certificated of sponsor and his wife
  • Copy of house rental agreement
  • Copy of sponsor’s and wife’s passport
  • Proof of ages of children (e.g, copy of local birth certificates or passport)
  • Copy of the sponsor’s and wife’s civil ID
  • Copy of the servant’s passport plus eight passport sized photography
  • Copy of the work contract for the servant

To travel to Kuwait, a servant may need to undergo certain formalities in his home country.

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