WORKING ABROAD / SEP. 14, 2014
version 2, draft 2

How to Get a Work Visa in Kuwait

In order to work in Kuwait travelers will need to obtain a work visa. There are a variety of requirements that travelers must fulfill in order to gain entrance to the country. Government regulations require that applicants have a valid passport including unused pages so that the visa can be issued. The passport must have at least six months of validity. This article will address the basic procedures for applicants and discuss the online resources for how to apply for the work visa.

Requirements for Obtaining a Visa

The following is a listing of the general visa requirements that applicants need to fulfill in order to enter the country of Kuwait.

  • Complete a visa application
  • Include two passport photos
  • The original national passport
  • A copy of the national passport
  • The original valid resident visa
  • Authorization letter stating health insurance coverage
  • Confirmation of travel reservations and hotel bookings
  • Copy of latest monthly bank statement
  • Reference letter from applicant’s employer
  • Reference letter from college or university (for students)
  • Payment of visa fees that are due

Information about Obtaining Visas

There are 34 countries that Kuwait permits nationals to enter and reside in the country without undergoing major formalities. The nationals from the following countries benefit from this new decision from the Ministry of the Interior:

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

Nationals from all other countries have more formalities to deal with; however, they can begin the process through the Kuwait Airways offices. The Ministry of the Interior has an office in the airline facility and applicants can also access them online. According to regulations, those nationals are subject to “strict rules of entry and registration as foreigners” directly under sponsorship of a Kuwaitis national or as a “dependent foreigner.” Applicants can download the Kuwait visa application.  

The following is a listing of the various types of visa where visitors can gain entry into Kuwait for a short period of time:

  • Visit Visa
  • Tourist Visa
  • Transit Visa

Applicants seeking to work in Kuwait would fit into one of the following types of visa categories:

1. Business Visa – This type of visa is for anyone who is interested in doing business or involved in any type of commercial activities while in the country. These visas are not for salaried employees, but rather business people. In addition to the visa requirements previously mentioned, business travelers also need to have a copy of the invitation letter from their sponsor or mention the purpose of their visit in a letter.

2. Multiple Entry Visa – This visa is for an applicant who plans to make multiple trips to Kuwait during a one year period for business reasons. For example, individuals traveling for business sponsored by the Ministry of Defense may utilise this visa. Depending on your nationality, you may be permitted to enter multiple times with a visa which would be valid for up to ten years.

3. Employment Visa – Individuals seeking to work in Kuwait need to obtain the work visa and residence permit which is granted under Articles 17 of the Immigration Regulations (for public sector employees) and Article 18 (for private sector employees). Applicants must have confirmation of an employment offer before they will be granted a residence permit. The employer is the one who will seek that permit from the Ministry of Social Affairs & Labour Affairs. A copy of the applicant’s passport will need to be included with the application. A background check will be done on the applicant and the subsequent NOC or No-Objection Certificate from the General Administration of the Criminal Investigation Ministry of the Interior will need to be obtained. After this process is completed, the applicant can then seek to obtain a work visa. The individual will need to include all the pertinent documentation, including:

  • The work permit
  • The residence permit
  • Medical certificate
  • Good conduct certificate

Fingerprint and security clearance will also need to be completed. The country has fingerprinting departments located in Khaed Ibn Al Waleed Street, Sharq, Al Gazali Street, and Farwaniya, Ahmadi and Jahra. Applicants will need to register at one of these departments and produce the following:

  • Applicant’s passport
  • Copy of the passport
  • Applicant’s photographs
  • Letter from the Ministry of Social Affairs & Labour

Once the applicant registers and produces the required information, The Criminal Evidence Department at the Interior Ministry will issue the security clearance certificate in approximately one week’s time.

If you are seeking to work in Kuwait, you need to first work on fulfilling the visa requirements and then ascertaining which of the work visas categories you are in. Fingerprinting and security clearance will also need to be completed in order to get your security clearance certificate.

 

Photo Credit: travel.nationalgeographic.com

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