Kuwait Visa – Requirements, Fees, Application and Types
Many people have wondered if a Kuwait visa is hard to get. Still, the only answer that should satisfy this query is that more foreign nationals than Kuwaiti citizens populate Kuwait. The current population record shows about 4.2 million people live in Kuwait. Out of this number, foreign nationals make up about 2.8 million, while about 1.85 million are citizens of Kuwait.
Kuwait is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and this is because it has an abundance of natural resources, including oil. As a result, it ranks in the top 10 when measured per capita. This is why foreign nationals, especially young professionals, are attracted to the country.
There are various types of visas available to foreign nationals who want to visit Kuwait, but each type aims to develop the nation’s already developed economy. This article will discuss Kuwait Visa – Requirements, Fees, Application, and Types.
About Kuwait Visa Types
Like most countries, Kuwait imposes restrictions on foreign nationals who wish to enter the country. This is because foreigners tend to overstay or disregard their visa, obtain employment with a tourist visa, or stay back after their short stay expires. Sometimes too, visas are imposed on certain countries because Kuwaiti citizens must get visas to enter these countries. However, Kuwait gives certain foreign nationals free passage into the country for short-term stays.
Kuwait visa types are fashioned in such a way that each holder coming into the country will significantly add to Kuwait’s economy. For this reason, Kuwait does not issue retirement visas.
Types of Kuwait Visas
Kuwait visa types are broken into various categories, depending on their purpose and length of stay. Here are some popular ones.
#1 Kuwait Tourist Visa
This is issued to citizens who wish to visit Kuwait for sightseeing. While it is possible to obtain this type of visa online (eVisa) or on arrival (VoA), certain foreign nationals can enter Kuwait for tourism without a visa. They are citizens of Kuwait’s regional neighbors, known as the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council).
- Saudi Arabia
- The United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Apart from those mentioned above, foreign nationals who reside in any of the countries above can enter Kuwait for a short time with their GCC resident permit. However, other foreign nationals must obtain a VoA or an Electronic Visa for tourism.
#2 Kuwait Visit Visa
A Visit Visa is for visitors with family or friends in the country. The visa must be sponsored by a Kuwait company or a foreign national who resides in the country. The visit visa is processed at the embassy in the applicant’s country of residence. Here are the categories of Kuwait Visit Visa:
2a. Kuwait Business Visa
Foreign nationals who want to visit Kuwait for business must obtain this visa. Examples of business activities are meetings, fairs, events, e.t.c. The applicant must have a sponsor to be eligible for this visa type. Usually, the sponsor is the Kuwait organization that will host the applicant.
2b. Kuwait Visit Visa for Relatives
A Kuwait resident can invite immediate family members or relatives from other countries to visit. However, the Kuwait resident must present proof of relationship, sponsor’s civil ID, and proof of salary.
2c. Kuwait Multiple Entry Visa
With a Kuwait Multiple Entry Visa, you can enter the country multiple times within a year. This type is for people who visit Kuwait frequently for business. However, the sponsor must be the Kuwait Ministry of Defense.
#3 Kuwait Residence Visa
A residence visa for Kuwait is called an iqama. It enables foreign nationals from GCC citizens to live in the country, but this visa type requires a sponsor. There are three types of residence visas:
3a. Residence Visa for family
Once a foreign national has residency in Kuwait, they can invite his family members (wife and children) to the country. The legal resident must send an invitation letter to the family members and proof of relationship and salary. Also, he must earn a monthly salary of at least 450KD to show that he can care for his dependants. For example, a man and his wife who work in Kuwait can sponsor their children because their monthly salaries are more than 350KD combined.
3b. Work Visa
Foreign nationals obtain Work Visas in the public and private sectors. However, it can only be obtained when the applicant has received an employment letter. With the work offer, the applicant can apply for a residence visa for work. The Kuwait employer sponsor must apply for a work permit from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour. When processed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will send a copy of the permit to the Kuwait Embassy, where the applicant resides, to complete the application process.
3c. Residence Visa for Domestic Servants
Domestic servants are issued residence visas if a foreign national employs them in Kuwait. The foreign national will sponsor this visa, and the servant must be between 20 and 50 years old. Also, a male sponsor living alone is not permitted to bring a maid to Kuwait. Bear in mind that domestic staffs are not in any way related to the foreign nationals who are sponsoring them.
3d. Visa for Study
This visa is for foreign nationals who want to study in a higher institution in Kuwait. In this case, the sponsor will be the educational institution where the applicants will receive their education. The Study visa is on the condition that the applicant has secured admission to a Kuwait university.
#4 Transit Visa
This applies to people who pass through the country’s Airport to get to a third destination. It is valid for three to seven days. However, the applicant must have a visa and a confirmed flight ticket to the third destination. In addition, the applicant must secure a new entry visa if the transit visa expires without being used.
Requirements for a Kuwait Visa
Here are some of the requirements for a Kuwait Visa:
- A completed visa application form
- Two recent passport-sized photos
- A valid passport
- Medical travel insurance
- Proof of sufficient funds
- Proof of accommodation
- Marriage and birth certificates (if required)
- Proof of salary
- Proof of admission into a Kuwait university
How to apply
Apart from a Kuwait Tourist Visa that you can process online, there are specific Kuwait visa applications that you must complete at a Kuwait embassy.
Step 1. Download and complete the application form
Step 2. Submit the Visa Application Form at the nearest Kuwait Embassy in your country of residence.
Step 3. Pay the appropriate application fee.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the conditions for a Kuwait Residence Visa for Family?
Certain conditions affect your application for a Kuwait Residence Visa for Family:
- A wife who lives in Kuwait cannot sponsor her husband.
- You can be a sponsor for your parents and adult daughters, but you cannot be a sponsor for your sons who are over 21 years old.
- Your dependants cannot work with a Residence Visa for Family until they convert it to a work visa.
What happens if a tourist gets a job offer while in Kuwait?
A foreign national who receives a job offer while in the country with a Tourist Visa must leave the country and return with the appropriate visa, this time, a work visa. This is because specific requirements make each visa type different from the other.
What is the cost of a Kuwait Visa?
A tourist visa to Kuwait costs 3KD, and a family visa costs between 100KD and 200 KD per person. A domestic servant visa costs KD200. A family visit visa costs 3KD.
Can I extend my Kuwait Visa?
You can apply for a visa extension before your visa expires. You can do this at the Kuwait Immigration Department.
Why was my Kuwait Visa application rejected?
There are lots of reasons why your Kuwait visa application may be rejected. Some of them are insufficient information, insufficient bank balance, incorrect information, or lack of proof of accommodation. However, these are the most popular reasons for rejection, and once you pay the fees, you will not get a refund, no matter the outcome of the application.
Apart from an electronic visa, all Kuwait visa types require a sponsor. The sponsor can be a Kuwait business organization, a hotel or resort, a foreign national who resides in the country, or a Kuwait university. While it seems as if Kuwait is liberal with its expatriate residents, it is strict about the conduct of people living on its shores.
It is in your interest to learn about the norms guiding residency in the country so that when you apply for a Kuwait visa, you will already know what to expect. Therefore, endeavor to read more content on Kuwait to prepare for an experience of a lifetime.