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.
Nationals from several other countries, including Canada, Australia, US and the EU are eligible to apply for a Kuwait Visa online (eVisa). The online application process is quite simple and quick, as the applicants just have to answer a series of basic questions. Also, all expatriates residing in GCC countries, irrespective of their citizenship, can apply for eVisa Kuwait.
Prior to the introduction of eVisa system in Kuwait (before 2016), visitors had to visit an embassy or consulate, or line up at the border points to obtain a visa. With the eVisa now made available, this process is easier. However, other types of Kuwait Visa procedures are still available.
Upon submitting the Visa application form online, a copy of the visa will be sent to the applicant by email. For entering Kuwait, the visitor can show a copy of this visa along with their passport to the concerned authorities at the Kuwaiti border.
It should be noted that visitors who enter Kuwait are not allowed to work. If you wish to work in Kuwait, you should obtain a residence visa and a work permit.
Among the non-GCC countries, nationals of the below said countries will be granted visa on arrival in Kuwait, or they may take an e-visa prior to their arrival in Kuwait.
Such countries include All European Union nations, Andorra, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Georgia, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Japan, Laos, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Swaziland, Switzerland, Turkey, United States, Vatican City and Vietnam.
Kuwait Tourist Visa (e-visa)
This Kuwait online visa or eVisa enables you to visit Kuwait and travel around for touristic purpose. All foreign nationals and residents in GCC countries, irrespective of their nationalities are eligible to apply for a Kuwait eVisa. Those seeking a Kuwait Online Visa will have to complete an online application with their biographical information and valid travel document, passport information.
The processing time may be between one day and three business days. Once approved, the visitor will be sent an email of the eVisa, thereby saving him the hassle of going to an embassy or consulate to submit a visa application. The Kuwait Online Visa has a validity of 90 days and is a single-entry visa.
For online application, visit https://evisa.moi.gov.kw/evisa/home_e.do
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.
The Visit Visa can be sponsored by a relative or sponsor who is a resident foreigner staying in the country. Prior to travel to Kuwait, the visitor will have his visa processed and passport stamped at the nearest Kuwait Embassy. The sponsor in Kuwait can use the faxed copy of visitor’s passport to obtain the visit visa in Kuwait. A copy of the so-obtained visa can be faxed to the visitor to enable his or her travel to Kuwait.
Upon arrival, the sponsor can meet the visitor at the airport with the original visa upon entering the country. The original visa paper can be deposited by the sponsor at the special counter in the arrival hall, and the original documents can picked up by the visitor at a special counter in the immigration area. The original documents are necessary for completing the entry formalities.
On the whole, it may take two working days to obtain a Kuwait Visit Visa. The hotels can also arrange such a visa for business purpose, but, this may take about seven days.
Family Visit Visa
Immediate family members and other relatives residing in the country can visit family members who currently live in Kuwait. No eligibility or criteria is required for this. Proof of relationship alone is sufficient, and you can visit with your Kuwait Visit Visa.
- Proof of relationship
- Copy of visitor's valid passport
- Copy of civil ID of the sponsor
- Latest salary certificate of the sponsor
Procedure for family visit visa:
- Go to Kuwait embassy in your country and submit the necessary documents for family visit visa.
- Fill in the application form
- Pay the fees due. The family visit visa application costs at a fee of 3KD.
At least KD450 per month if the sponsor works for the government, and minimum of KD650 if sponsor works in private sector.
Business Visit Visa
In case you are visiting for a business purpose, you need to have a sponsor, or the hotel where you are staying can act as sponsor.
- Valid passport (an additional copy) with 6 months validity remaining
- Kuwait visit visa application with security form filled out by sponsor
- Kuwait sponsor or company
- Copy of visitor's passport
- Copy of sponsor's signature as registered for business purposes
- Copy of sponsor's letter of invitation for the business, stating purpose of the visit
Multiple Entry Visa
Those who obtain this visa can enter Kuwait multiple times during a period of one year. This type of visa comes in handy for those on business visit. However, the sponsor will have to be the Ministry of Defense. Americans are eligible to obtain multiple entry visit visa with a validity of 10 years and unlimited number of entries.
In most cases, vaccination certificates are not required to be granted entry into Kuwait. But, they are mandatory, in case the visitor comes from an area that is infected by viral disease like yellow fever or cholera. The certificates indicate that the visitor is healthy and won’t be transmitting any diseases. In case the visitor is from one of the infected countries, they might also be subjected to medical examination within a few days after their arrival. The visitor will also have to confirm the last country visited.
Validity of Kuwait Visit Visa
The Kuwait Visit Visas are valid for three months (90 days). Visitors can stay in Kuwait for upto 30 days after their entry.
Kuwait Visit Visa cost
The Kuwait Visit Visa costs KD3.00. Entry permits are however free.
Kuwait Visit Visa extension
With a visit visa, you are allowed to stay only up to a maximum of 30 days in the country. In case you extend your stay beyond the validity period of visit visa, you will have to pay a fine of KD10.00 per day after the expiry of the visa.
You will not be allowed to leave the country until you pay total fine. The fines are to be paid in the immigration department in Shuwaikh. The office is open during government work hours. You can also pay the fines in advance if you anticipate your stay extension.
For extending visit visa for a month or two, an expat can submit application to the Immigration Department prior to the expiry of Kuwait visit visa. Another solution for extending Kuwait visit visa is to obtain a second visit visa in the country. You can schedule a day-long travel to Bahrain. You can leave Kuwait in the morning and return in the evening. The flight duration from Kuwait to Bahrain is 40 minutes. This costs about KD45.00. Then seek a second visit 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.