If you intend to visit Kuwait, you will likely need to apply for a visa. Fortunately, the Kuwait visa application is very simple and straight-forward for a large number of people, as it can be completed entirely online in a matter of minutes.
This article will detail who needs what type of Kuwait visa and how to apply for it.
Do You Need a Kuwait Visa?
Almost everyone who intends to visit Kuwait must have a visa. Only citizens of the following countries are excluded from visa requirements:
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
Although most people need a visa, citizens from a large number of countries can obtain their Kuwait visa after they arrive at the airport, or they can apply online before they travel.
Who Can Apply For a Kuwait e Visa or a Kuwait Visa on Arrival?
If you are from one of the following countries, you are eligible for the Kuwait eVisa or Visa on Arrival:
- An EU Member State*
- Cambodia (not eligible for the visa on arrival, only eVisa)
- Eswatini (not eligible for the eVisa, only the visa on arrival)
- Hong Kong*
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Vatican City
The Kuwait eVisa and Kuwait Visa on Arrival are valid for three months.
Anyone not listed above, or anyone who wants to stay in Kuwait for longer than three months, has to apply for a Kuwait visa at the nearest Kuwait Embassy or Consulate.
*COVID-19 UPDATE: Citizens of Italy and Hong Kong are temporarily not allowed to apply for Kuwait eVisa or visa on arrival as a result of measures taken by the Kuwait government to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Kuwait e Visa Requirements for GCC Residents
If you are a resident of a GCC country (Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates), then you can also apply for an eVisa to enter Kuwait by using your GCC residency card. The GCC card has to be valid for at least another six months.
To make use of the eVisa, you must be working in a GCC country in one of the following professions, or you must be the spouse/dependent of someone working in the following professions:
- Judges and Members of Public Prosecution
- University Teachers
- Press and Media Staff
- System Analysts and Computer Programmers
- Diplomatic Corps
- University Graduates – Owners, Managers and Representatives of Commercial Companies and Establishments
What Are the Kuwait Visa Types?
The main types of Kuwait visas are:
- Kuwait Tourist Visa. This is a short-term visa issued either online or on arrival to citizens of the countries listed above.
- Kuwait Business Visa. This visa is issued to business travellers who have a sponsor in Kuwait (the company they will visit).
- Kuwait Visit Visa. This type of visa is issued to foreigners who have a relative or friend in Kuwait that has invited them for a visit and acts as their sponsor.
- Kuwait Work Visa. To get a Kuwait work visa, you will need an employer who can apply for a work permit at the Ministry of Labor of Kuwait. The Ministry of Interior has to authorize the permit, and then you can apply for a visa at an Embassy of Kuwait.
- Kuwait Family Visa. The family visa for Kuwait is issued to the foreign family members (spouse and dependent children) of Kuwait residents.
- Kuwait Student Visa. For international students who have been accepted into a Kuwait education institution.
- Kuwait Transit Visa. You can apply for the Kuwait transit visa online or at an Embassy. You need a valid visa for the next destination and a confirmed onward travel ticket.
Applying for a Kuwait Visa
Depending on your nationality and how long you want to stay in Kuwait, you can apply for a Kuwait visa:
- On arrival, if travelling by air. You can get a visa on arrival if you’re travelling for short-term purposes, you don’t intend to work there, and you are from one of the eligible countries listed above.
- Online, through the official eVisa website, You can apply for the eVisa if you’re travelling for short-term purposes, you don’t intend to work in Kuwait, and you are from one of the eligible countries listed above.
- At a Kuwait Embassy or Consulate. You have to get a visa at one of the diplomatic missions of Kuwait if you are not from one of the eligible countries for the eVisa/VOA, or you want to stay in Kuwait for longer than three months.
Applying for a Kuwait eVisa
You can apply for a Kuwait eVisa through the website of the Kuwait Ministry of Interior (here). You just have to answer a series of questions, such as your personal and passport information and details about your trip. You also have to attach a scanned copy of your passport’s bio page and pay the visa fee with your debit or credit card.
Make sure that the passport has at least another six months validity.
The Kuwait eVisa application does not take long to complete – only a few minutes – and it is processed within three working days.
The Ministry of Interior of the State of Kuwait will review your application and if it is approved, they will send it to you by email. You have to print it out and bring it with you to show it to the Immigration officers at the port of entry in Kuwait.
When you arrive, you will have to pay a fee of KD 3 (USD 10) before entering the country.
Applying for a Kuwait Visa on Arrival
If you are from one of the eligible countries, you can also travel to Kuwait without a visa and apply for one after you arrive. The Kuwait visa on arrival is only available for those travelling by airplane. You will have to present your passport (with at least six months’ validity), your flight ticket, and pay the visa fee. You may also be required to present:
- Kuwait visa application form. Please check the website of the Embassy of Kuwait in your country for a downloadable application form.
- Passport-size pictures.
- Proof of accommodation and proof you can sustain yourself financially.
- Documents relating to your purpose of travel, such as a business invitation letter.
You will have to pay a fee of KD 3 (USD 10) before entering.
Applying for a Kuwait Visa at the Embassy
If you are not eligible for an eVisa or VOA, you have to contact the nearest diplomatic mission of Kuwait to apply for a visa. You will also need a sponsor who is a Kuwait resident to assist you with the visa application and issue an invitation. Depending on the reason you are travelling, this can be a friend or relative in Kuwait or a business partner.
Kuwait Visa Requirements
To apply for a Kuwait visa, you must have a passport, which has at least another six months of validity and at least two blank pages. If you are applying online, you have to scan the bio page of your passport and attach it to the application portal. If you are a GCC resident, you have to scan the GCC residence card as well. You also need a credit/debit card to pay for the visa fee.
Depending on the purpose of your trip, you may also be required to submit the following documents:
- Two passport size photographs with a white background.
- Return trip ticket.
- Proof of accommodation in Kuwait.
- Proof of sufficient financial means.
- Letter of invitation from your relative/friend.
- Letter of sponsorship from a business partner.
What is the Duration of a Kuwait Visa?
A Kuwait visa will allow you to stay in the country for up to three months. From the time it is issued, it is valid for 30 days. During those 30 days, you can use the visa to enter Kuwait only once and remain in the country for up 90 days.
If you leave, you cannot re-enter with the same visa even if your 90 days aren’t up. You have to re-apply for a visa.
If you overstay, you will have to pay a fine of KD 10 per day, which is about USD 30. You will not be allowed to leave the country until you pay the entire fine.
Can You Apply for a Kuwait Visa Extension?
You can apply to extend your stay in Kuwait at the Kuwait Immigration Department before your visa expires. The Kuwait visa extension will be for one month.