Are you looking for Kuwait visa?

How to get a visa for Kuwait: visa types available

by Juan José Herranz | December 1, 2020
Get your visa to travel to Kuwait

Kuwait stands out for its architectural modernism, its film skyscrapers and the beautiful towers of Kuwait. This architectural modernism is primarily due to the invasion by Iraqi forces. The city was bombed and badly damaged, but it has gradually been rebuilt to become a landmark in architecture today.

Are you travelling to this fascinating modern country? Here we have prepared all the information you need to go to this Arab country.

Do I need a visa to travel to Kuwait?

Yes, except for GCC nationals, any foreign tourist wishing to enter Kuwait will need to apply for a visa, either via the internet, on arrival at the airport, or at consulates and embassies. You can apply with to ensure that the whole process will go smoothly.

Some nationalities can apply on arrival at Kuwait International Airport. These include citizens of 52 countries. However, you may risk suffering long queues at immigration posts to get your visa.

Types of visas for Kuwait

There are two types of visas, each with different subtypes, and your choice will depend on the purpose of your trip and how many days you are planing on staying:

Visitor's visa

  • To visit a family member.
  • To undergo medical treatment.
  • For business visits or meetings.
  • For tourism.

Residence visas

  • Work visa for a temporary government contract.
  • Visa for domestic work.
  • Work visa for the private contract.
  • Family residence visa.
  • Student visa.

man with a camel in the desert

How do I apply for a Kuwait visa?

If you are going to stay in the country for less than 90 days, you can apply for a single entry and exit visa. This type of visa can be applied for in-person at the embassy, online, or on arrival at Kuwait International Airport.

These visas are for tourism and do not allow you to work in the country. If you intend to work or live in the country, you must go to the nearest consulate or embassy to seek further advice.

Who needs a visa for Kuwait?

All foreign tourists who wish to enter Kuwait with an ordinary passport must apply for a visa, except GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) nationals. If your nationality is on the list of eligible countries, you will be able to apply for a visa online, at an embassy or at the airport when you arrive. The process for getting the document will depend on the requested visa.

To check if you are a national of an eligible country for the visa, please consult our eligibility checker.

What are the requirements to apply for a visa to Kuwait?

The requirements and documentation for a visa to Kuwait will depend on the visa you are applying to.

Visa for a family visit

  • Fill in the corresponding form.
  • Attach a photocopy of the passport, valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry to the country.
  • Demonstrate the family relationship with certificates issued by the country.

Visitor's visa for medical treatment

  • Fill in the corresponding form.
  • Attach a photocopy of the passport, valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry to the country.
  • Attach a letter from the Ministry of Public Health confirming the medical treatment to undergo.

Visa for business visit

  • Fill in the corresponding form.
  • Copy of passport with a minimum validity of 6 months from the date of entry to the country.
  • Documentation from the company you are going to work with.
  • Copy of the academic title of the activity to be carried out.

Tourist visit visa

  • Fill in the corresponding form.
  • Copy of passport with a minimum validity of 6 months from the date of entry to the country.
  • In case of a tourist visit organised by hotels, the form must be attached with the signature of the person who authorises it.

Work visa for temporary government contract

  • Documentation issued by the Department of Government Contracts and Projects of the General Authority for Manpower.
  • Declaration of the financial guarantee of the company or legal entity, indicating the number of workers and the amount of the guarantee.
  • Fill in the corresponding form.
  • Copy of passport with a minimum validity of 6 months from the date of entry into the country.
  • Current salary certificate from a foreign sponsor, if working in the government sector, or a copy of the work permit if working in the private sector.
  • Copy of our sponsor's civil identification card.
  • Copy of the signature of the legal entity.
  • Copy of the identity of the valid representative, issued by the General Directorate of Residency.

Visa for domestic work

  • Be the wife of a divorced foreigner or the widow of a citizen who has children.
  • Be a Kuwaiti woman married to a non-Kuwaiti.
  • Be a Gulf expatriate whose family is from one of the GCC countries (provided it is a stable country).

Visa for government work

  • Contribute a book from the government agency.
  • Corresponding application form.
  • Copy of the sponsor's passport provided that it is valid for a minimum of 2 years.
  • Copy of the signature of the authorised person.

Visa for private work

  • Visa application form.
  • Work permit issued by the General Authority of Manpower.
  • Copy of a valid signature.
  • Copy of the sponsor's passport provided that it is valid for at least 2 years.

Family or dependent visa

  • To obtain one of these visas, you must not have a salary of less than 450 Kuwaiti dinars or be in one of the excluded employment categories.

Student visas

  • Proof from the Kuwaiti educational institution indicating the student's admission.
  • Fill in the corresponding form.
  • Attach a copy of the passport valid for no less than 2 years, at the time of starting the corresponding studies.

The Kuwait Towers in Kuwait City

Can the Kuwait visa be changed once it has been processed?

It is currently not possible to amend the Kuwaiti visa application if it has already been processed. If a modification is needed, you will have to wait until the visa expires before processing a new visa with the relevant amendments. Alternatively, you can contact the nearest embassy for information on how to proceed with the cancellation of an invalid visa.

Please note that if the information on the visa does not match the information in your passport, your entry to the country might be refused and you might not be allowed to apply for a new visa.

How much does a visa to Kuwait cost?

Visas for Kuwait are exempt from government fees. However, you may be charged a processing fee of 3KD (about 8 USD) upon arrival in the country for obtaining the visa at the border.

How far in advance do I need to apply for a Kuwait visa?

Processing times for tourist visas are usually very quick, taking no more than 2-3 working days for the visa to be approved. At certain times of the year, it has been known to take slightly longer.

Please note that once you receive your approved visa, you will have 30 days to enter the country. As such, you will need to be clear about the date of entry so that it does not expire. Once in the country, you can stay for a maximum of 90 days with a tourist visa. This visa does not allow you to work or reside in the country as these would require alternative visa types. In this case, you must contact the corresponding embassy, which will offer information about how to proceed with applying for a visa more specific to your needs.

Kuwait City sunset

What are the Kuwait's entry borders?

The main entrance for tourists to the country is through Kuwait International Airport, located in Farwaniya, about 16 kilometres from the city.

There are also a couple of land border crossings into the country if you're travelling by car. One is Nuwaisib Port, and the other is Kuwait's Salmi port borders, which can be reached if you're coming from Saudi Arabia.

Do I need any vaccines to travel to Kuwait?

It is not compulsory to be vaccinated to enter Kuwait. However, it may be advisable to be vaccinated against tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis, triple virus (measles, rubella and mumps) and hepatitis A. If you intend to reside in Kuwait for a prolonged period, the Kuwaiti authorities will require a blood test and medical certificates.

Note that they do not grant residence permits to people suffering or having suffered from certain contagious diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis or hepatitis. The same is true for international students who will be studying in the country.

What is the currency of Kuwait?

The Kuwaiti Dinar (KD) is the country's currency. You can exchange your currency at banks or regulated exchange offices.

In city centres, there are various types of regulated shops for exchanging the main currencies and regional currency. The dinar is no longer pegged to the US dollar, but this hardly affects exchange rates. Credit cards such as Visa and Amex can be used almost anywhere in the country and major banks accept most foreign cards.

You can also get cash from various ATMs around the city. You cannot import or export more than 3000 KD in a local currency, foreign currency or gold unless you first declare this to the government authorities.

Kuwait City seafront with Kuwait towers and fireworks

When is the best time to travel to Kuwait?

If you want to avoid the country's high temperatures, the best months to travel are from February to May and from October to December. In recent years, these months have been recorded as the most stable months with the most pleasant temperatures in the country.

February coincides with Kuwait's Hala Trade Festival. It is like a giant 'Black Friday', where shopping centres hold an endless number of draws with highly valuable prizes. The festival coincides with the country's national day on February 25th and Liberation Day on February 26th. During these days, the sky is lit up by colourful fireworks and all over the city art exhibitions, sports, carnival and performances make these days magical.

Is it safe to travel to Kuwait?

There is intense surveillance as far as terrorism is concerned. Following the attack of a mosque in 2015, precautions and security measures have stepped up in the country. Following the Gulf War, the country attempted to remove all anti-personnel mines. However, unknown objects should not be collected from the desert, and it is recommended that people stay on fixed routes and do not leave the road.

As for public safety, there is no need to worry. Incidents are infrequent and foreigners are rarely affected. It is advisable always to keep an eye on your belongings, just as in any country you visit. Although Kuwait is a Muslim country, its inhabitants are generally tolerant, but it's advisable to follow the dress code  to avoid clashes with more conservative locals.

Important tips for travelling to Kuwait

  • One of the more surprising aspects that you may notice upon entering Kuwait is the absence of people of Arab origin, as 70% of the population are immigrants. However, this does not mean that the customs have changed and you must respect the dress code.
  • The consumption, possession and sale of alcohol is prohibited.
  • Taking pictures or videos of public buildings, including embassies and strategic facilities such as military and industrial zones or border posts, without the appropriate permits, is prohibited. Failure to comply with this regulation may result in being arrested.
  • During Ramadan, it is strictly forbidden to eat or drink in public during the day. Note that this includes chewing gum.
  • In Kuwait, you can visit one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world. Al Hamra Tower is the tallest tower in the world, with 195,000 square meters of office, commercial and leisure space.
  • You should consider also visiting the Al Hashemi II, which holds the Guinness record for being the largest wooden ship in the world.
  • One of the biggest attractions of Kuwait and a must-see is the Music Fountain. With 220 fountains distributed in 3 huge pools, this is one of the largest fountains in the world and water rises to the rhythm of the music in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.