Kuwait Visa Information
A visa is required by all visitors to Kuwait, except GCC nationals, who have the right to enter and live in Kuwait without having to go through any particular formalities.
A foreigner or an expatriate whose country holds a ‘Visa Abolition Treaty’ with Kuwait (a treaty that permits Kuwaitis to enter their country without visa), may be granted reciprocal rights in Kuwait. However, nationals of these countries still require an Entry permit to visit Kuwait.
International airlines have been instructed by the Kuwaiti authorities not to board passengers to Kuwait, unless they have valid visas or Entry permits. An Entry Permit is acquired using same procedure as that of visit visa.
Among the non-GCC countries, nationals of the below said 34 countries will be granted visa on arrival. Such countries include USA, UK, Italy, France, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Sweden, Austria, Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Monaco, Spain, Iceland, the Vatican, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Andorra, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.
All other countries can obtain visas through the offices of Kuwait Airways, which has online facility to process the visa through Ministry of Interior. All nationals from these other countries are subject to stringent rules of entry and registration as foreigners, under the sponsorship of nationals or Kuwait companies, or as dependents of foreigners who already enjoy a residence under Kuwait sponsorship.
To obtain a visa, you need to have a sponsor, usually your employer, if you are working. In case you are visiting for a holiday or for business purpose, the hotel where you are staying can act as sponsor.
To activate this service, you need to fax your travel itinerary and passport details a few weeks in advance of your stay. If you are entering Kuwait by accepting a job, your sponsor will normally arrange the necessary visa and travel permit for you.
Note: A person on a visit visa to Kuwait is not allowed to accept an employment in Kuwait. To work in Kuwait he/she should have a work permit or residence visa.
Types of visit visa
There are two basic types of visas that can be classified as Visit Visa and a Residence Visa.
As for Visit Visa, there are several types of visit visas. The Kuwaiti embassies may issue a three-month visa, a six-month visa and multiple-entry visas, based on their applications.
A Visit Visa with validity period of 1 month, a Business Visa (validity of 6 months), Transit visa (validity of 1 week) and Tourist visa (valid for 3 months) and Residence visa (valid for 10 years, but, civil ID needs to be renewed annually).
Toursit Visit Visa
A Kuwait Tourist visit visa is issued for a limited time period of leisure travel, and no business activities are allowed during this period.
- Visa application form duly filled, along with necessary declaration
- Passport-size photographs
- Valid national passport and a copy
- Original valid visa & copy if you are a national of another country
- Latest bank statement and a copy
- Travel health insurance confirmation letter stating coverage
- Reference letter from your employer or educational institution
- Proof of travel / hotel reservation in Kuwait /airline ticket reservation for Kuwait and a copy
- Visa fee
Family Visit Visa
This is an entrance visa granted to relatives wishing to visit their family member in Kuwait.
- Proof of kinship
- Copy of the civil ID of the sponsor
- Copy of the visitor's passport, provided they remain valid
- Declaration that no request for transfer of visit to residence will be made
- Latest salary certificate of foreign sponsor
If you are a Kuwaiti national, visit the General Department of Immigration in any governorate and submit the required documents. If you are a non-Kuwaiti resident, visit the General Department of Immigration in your particular governorate and submit the required documents. Submit these, along with the duly filled service application form, and fee.
Business Visit Visa
Kuwait Business Visit Visa is granted to those seeking to engage for short term commerce in Kuwait.
- Valid passport (an additional copy) with 6 months validity remaining
- Fully completed Kuwaiti Business Visa Application Form
- Latest Passport-size photographs
- Valid resident visa and a copy
- Latest bank statement and a copy
- Proof of travel insurance coverage for trips and a copy
- Current bank statement and a copy
- Business references (letter from your employer, invitation from Kuwaiti company or organization)
- Proof of Kuwait hotel reservation and airline booking reservation for Kuwait.
Multiple Entry Visa
Multiple Entry Visit Visas permit holders to enter the country any number of times within a year, available to business sponsored by the ministry of defence. Multiple Entry visas are mostly valid only for business requirements. They have 12 months validity, but should be applied for in advance.
Other types of Kuwaiti Visas
Kuwaiti Transit Visa
Kuwaiti Transit Visa has a validity of three days to maximum of one week, for transferring through port in Kuwait to a third destination. It can be obtained from Kuwait Consulate abroad or from a Port of Authority in Kuwait. However, the applicant should have a valid visa for his next country of destination, and a confirmed onward ticket.
On-arrival visa for Kuwait
This visa is provided at a port of entry for visitors from the aforesaid 34 countries. The visitor should get this visa before they can seek to pass through immigration.
Student Visa for Kuwait
This visa permits its holder to study at an institution of higher education in Kuwait.
Kuwaiti Temporary Worker Visa
This visa is offered to people to work in an organisation in Kuwait.
Kuwait Marriage Visa
This is offered for a lengthy period prior to civil partnership wedding, based on proven relationship with a national or a resident of Kuwait.
Extension of visit visa
A fine of KD10 per day will be charged for staying more than 30 days on a visit visa. A visitor, whose visa has expired, will not be allowed to leave, until the fine has been paid. The fine should be paid at the Immigration Department in Shuwaikh during government working hours and not at the airport. However, fines should be paid few days in advance, else, you may not get the flight out.
To obtain a one-month extension of visit visa, an application should be made to the Immigration Department before expiry of the visa.
Kindly note: Visa rules are subject to sudden change without warning. Kindly contact the embassy in your country or the relevant authority in Kuwait, as that is the only source of information that can be relied upon. The validity period of a free visit visa on arrival is also subjected to change often.
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