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Visa Requirements to Work in Kuwait

All members of the GCC are entitled to work in Kuwait automatically without having to go through any formalities. If you have been a resident of Kuwait for twenty years or more you can sponsor yourself if you can prove you are financially able to do so. Otherwise there are then thirty four other countries that are also entitled to entry Visas when they arrive.

These countries are the following: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Spain, The Vatican, Singapore, South Korea, UK and USA.

For the above listed countries the following procedures must be gone through before a Visa for a visit can be obtained.  Visas and entry permits are normally due to be used within ninety days of being issued and are usually for a maximum thirty day stay in Kuwait. In order to enter Kuwait you must have somebody who is willing to sponsor your visit and this person must either be a Kuwaiti person or business or a resident of Kuwait who is related to the visiting person.    

If you want to apply for a Visa for a person to visit for business purposes then you will require the following:

  • You will need to have a Visa application form and a security form completed by your Sponsor
  • Your Passport and 1 photocopy
  • Sponsor’s passport and 1 photocopy
  • Sponsor’s civil ID and 1 photocopy
  • Sponsor’s work permit for Private employees
  • An up to date salary  from the sponsor’s employer
  • Documented proof  for family members

Also it is normally expected that the sponsor of a relative must be earning more than 450 KD’s per month if he has a government related job and at least KD650 per month if he works for  a private enterprise. The person seeking the sponsorship must then go to the Kuwait embassy and have their passport approved before traveling to Kuwait or else it can be faxed onto Kuwait.

If a visitor outstays their Visa then they will be fined KD10 a day for every day after their Visa has expired. They must pay the fine at the Department of Shuwaikh before they can leave the country. An extension to a Visa can often be obtained but it must be applied for before the original one is due to expire.

In summary the following is the process required before entry to Kuwait when Employment is endorsed:

1.  The sponsor will receive a Work permit for the employee and he will then send it to the employee who needs to get it verified by the local Kuwait embassy. The employee also needs to get a medical certificate from a doctor which will be recognized by the Kuwait Embassy. If no embassy is available then the sponsor must get the paperwork verified by the Ministry of Interior in Kuwait and forward it onto the employee.

2. If the new employee is currently on a Visit Visa then he will need to go home to obtain he medical certificate or obtain it in Bahrain.

3. Further tests will be carried out at the Ports and Borders Health Division in Shuwaikh and a Medical Examination will be carried to ascertain whether the employee might have any of a number of infectious diseases.

4. Then you need to get your residency certificate and security clearance this will include having your fingerprints taken at a designated fingerprinting department.

5. Next the residence application can be submitted and a residency permit issued.

6. After this you will want to sort out the paperwork for spouses and dependent children if applicable. In summary women can be sponsored indefinitely by a male spouse but male children can only be sponsored until the age of twenty one. All family members will also have to undergo similar clearance procedures. A sponsor must also have a minimum salary of KD 250 per month although there is a list of professions available that waive this rule.

7. Every resident will also require a Civil ID Card and this must be obtained within thirty days of receiving your residency permit. It will then be valid for two years. You will need to apply for this from the Public Authority for Civil Information office and they can give you details of all the documentation you will require. The processing will take approximately ten days.

The regulations are subject to change and it is recommended to check for latest updates from your local Visa Section of the Kuwait Embassy in the country where you currently reside.