With the continued easing of restrictions related to COVID-19, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) will resume the issuance of a Kuwait visit visa.
A little over a month ago, on February 14, many public health measures implemented to curb the transmission of COVID-19 were lifted. One of which was the ban on foreign travel. As announced by Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid, this applies to all travelers, regardless of vaccination status. This means that individuals coming from abroad can now enter Kuwait.
Then, earlier this month, the Kuwait Ministry of Health (MOH) discontinued the daily publication of new COVID-19 cases and deaths on their official social media accounts. As of March 20, 2022, there are 199 new COVID-19 cases, 0 deaths, and 305 recovered cases in the country.
Given this situation, the General Department of Public Relations and Security Media announced that the MOI will start catering to individuals applying for a Kuwait visit visa once more.
What is the Kuwait Visit Visa?
The Kuwait visit visa is issued to any individual going to the country for business or personal reasons. Travelers must either be sponsored by a company in Kuwait or a relative residing in the country.
What are the Requirements for a Kuwait Visit Visa?
Only individuals who are sponsored by a business or family member in Kuwait can apply for the Kuwait visit visa. When this condition is met, an applicant must prepare the necessary documents to proceed with the application.
Individuals obtaining a Kuwait visit visa for business purposes should prepare the following requirements:
- Completed Kuwait visit visa application and security form, which must be filled out by the sponsor in Kuwait
- A copy of the applicant’s passport
- A copy of the signature of the sponsor, as registered for the purpose of business
- A copy of the letter of invitation to the business; it should state the applicant’s purpose for coming and must be written by the sponsor
There are different documents needed for individuals who plan to go to Kuwait for the purpose of visiting family members in the country. They should prepare the following requirements:
- Proof of relationship or kinship
- A copy of the applicant’s valid passport
- An original and a copy of the civil ID of the family member residing in Kuwait
- Recent salary certificate of the sponsoring family member, if of foreign nationality
Any immediate family member or relative, as long as proof of relationship can be presented, is eligible for a Kuwait visit visa.
How Do I Apply for a Kuwait Visit Visa?
The Kuwait visit visa can be applied for by the visitor himself or by the sponsor, in lieu of the visitor.
To do so, applicants should head to the nearest Kuwait embassy in their home country. They can submit the required documents and have their visa processed there. When approved, their valid passports will be stamped prior to leaving for Kuwait.
On the other hand, if the sponsor were to submit the application, they should obtain a faxed copy of the visitor’s passport. They can submit this together with the other required documents listed above at the relevant offices in Kuwait. Once processed and approved, the sponsor can get the original copy of the Kuwait visit visa of the visitor. This should then be faxed to the visitor prior to leaving for Kuwait.
The sponsor should meet up with the traveler upon arrival at the airport. The visa papers should be deposited by the sponsor at the special counter designated for such documents in the arrival hall.
In order to acquire the original documents, the traveler must head to a similar special counter located in the immigration area. Once obtained, the traveler can proceed with the necessary procedures to formally enter the country.
The estimated processing time for a Kuwait visit visa is 2 working days. It would take much longer if the hotels were to arrange the visit visa for business travelers. Seven working days will be needed to process the application.
How Much is the Cost of the Application for a Kuwait Visit Visa?
The application fee for a family visit visa is KD 3. This is a flat fee and does not change regardless of any other conditions.
Kuwait visit visas applied for business purposes have different rates depending on the sector where the sponsor works. At least KD 450.00 per month must be paid if the sponsor is employed by a government institution. It goes up to at least KD 650.00 per month if the sponsor is working in the private sector.
How Long is the Validity of the Kuwait Visit Visa?
Upon issuance of the Kuwait visit visa, it is valid for 90 days. Because of this, travelers can enter Kuwait at any time within 3 months.
However, the Kuwait visit visa only entitles the holders to a single entry. As such, it is already invalid should the traveler enter the country again after leaving. This is applicable even if it is still within the 90-day validity period.
After arriving in Kuwait, an individual can only stay in the country for no more than 30 days.
How Can I Extend My Kuwait Visit Visa?
Visitors who intend to stay in Kuwait beyond the allowable period must submit an application for such an extension.
They have the option of applying for a two one-month extension of their current Kuwait visit visa or a temporary residence permit. Documents must be submitted to the Immigration Department in Kuwait before their visa expires.
Another option for visitors who want to extend their stay is to apply for another Kuwait visit visa outside the country. They can head to Bahrain and have their documents processed by the relevant institutions there. A one-day trip would be sufficient to complete the application.
What if I Stay in Kuwait Without a Valid Visa?
Visitors will be fined KD 10.00, or around USD 33, for each day that they stay in the country without a valid visa.
These fees should be paid in the immigration department in Shuwaikh prior to leaving the country. There is no option of paying at the airport.
The fines can also be paid before the expiration of the Kuwait visit visa, if the visitor expects that an extension will occur.
No one can leave the country if there are still fines that need to be paid. So, visitors must make sure to head to the office during official government working hours before their scheduled departure.
Can I Obtain a Multiple Entry Kuwait Visit Visa?
Only foreign visitors sponsored by the Ministry of Defense in Kuwait are eligible to apply for a multiple entry visa. This is advantageous for travelers who regularly go to the country since it removes the process of applying for a visa on every trip.
At the same time, travelers of American nationality can be granted Kuwait visit visas that entitle them to multiple entries. It is valid for a period of 10 years upon issuance. Because of this, they can travel to the country without any limits on the number of visits.
Are There Other Requirements Before Traveling to Kuwait?
Six weeks before traveling to Kuwait, visitors should consult with their doctors regarding their immunization status. This provides them with ample time to complete the required vaccinations, should they have no records of such.
All visitors, regardless of their country of origin, should be vaccinated against the following diseases:
- Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR)
- Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap)
There are also other vaccinations that are only recommended, depending on where the visitor plans to stay and what activities they will do. These include vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B, Rabies, and Typhoid.
Furthermore, the entry form to be filled out at the airport requires information on the specific location where the visitor will be staying. If there is a change of address from what was initially declared, visitors must inform the immigration department within 48 hours of doing so.
Similarly, hotels must relay the time of check-in and check-out of foreign visitors to the Ministry of Interior.
COVID-19 Travel Regulations
Travelers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can enter the country without additional requirements. They are not required to present a negative result of a COVID-19 test or undergo home quarantine upon arrival.
For travelers who are partially vaccinated, they must undergo a 7-day quarantine period when they land in Kuwait.
Unvaccinated travelers can still enter the country under certain conditions. They need to undergo a COVID-19 PCR test 72 hours before their flight. A negative result must be presented at the relevant checkpoints. Moreover, a 7-day quarantine period is required.
Can I Work in Kuwait with a Visit Visa?
Visitors with a Kuwait visit visa are not permitted to seek employment in the country. A residence visa and a work permit would be needed to legally work in Kuwait.