Kuwait revises family and tourist visa regulations to stimulate growth

Kuwait revises family and tourist visa regulations to stimulate growth

THE Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior has introduced new conditions for the issuance of family, commercial, and tourist visit visas, in a significant move aimed at revitalising the commercial, economic, and tourism landscape.

Following directives from Sheikh Fahad Al Yousef, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, and Acting Minister of Interior, the Residency Affairs departments across all six governorates are now processing applications under these revised guidelines.

Salary thresholds to meet

The updated visa conditions specify that applicants must meet certain salary thresholds: a minimum of KD400 for sponsoring first-degree relatives such as parents, spouses, and children, and KD800 for other relatives. Additionally, the duration of stay for family visit visas has been set to one month, while tourist visit visas will be valid for three months.

Key requirements include the necessity for a round-trip flight ticket booked on national airlines and a written commitment that visit visas will not be converted into residence permits. Amid these changes, the Residency Affairs departments have seen a surge in visa applications, particularly in the Farwaniya and Hawally governorates, underscoring the demand and interest generated by the new policy.

Medical treatment for visitors

Furthermore, the Ministry has clarified that medical treatment for visitors will be available at private health centres and hospitals, with government hospitals reserved for those adhering to their visa stay period. Violations of stay periods will result in legal consequences and potential inclusion in a security control system.

The decision to revise visa regulations reflects Kuwait's strategic intent to stimulate its economic sectors and attract tourists from around the world. Tourist visas will now be accessible to individuals from 53 countries, either upon arrival or through an electronic system available on the Ministry of Interior's website.

Kuwait launches online part-time work permits

Following the introduction of a second job policy for private sector workers last month, Kuwait has launched an online service for obtaining such part-time work permits.

The Kuwaiti Public Authority of Manpower (PAM) announced the availability of the new service on Sahel, a platform for electronic government services. The step aims to address labour market needs and provide a convenient facility for employers.

The service costs KD5 for a one-month permit, KD10 for three months, KD20 for six and KD30 for one year, Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida reported. Kuwaiti workers are exempted from the fees.

In December, Kuwait said it would allow private sector workers in the country to take on a second part-time job with the approval of their original employers.

The policy went into effect last month. A related decree from the Interior Ministry has imposed a maximum of four hours per day for the second part-time job, requiring an additional permit from PAM.

However, the contracting sector, facing a labour shortage, is exempt from this time limit.

Authorities said the step aims to make use of manpower already present in Kuwait instead of recruiting labourers from abroad, thus helping address a demographic imbalance in the country and at the same time meet the job market needs.

Foreigners constitute around 3.2 million of Kuwait’s overall population of 4.6 million.

As part of its "Kuwaitisation" employment policy, the country is actively addressing its population imbalance by replacing foreign workers with its own citizens.

Kuwait reopens doors to expatriate families and tourists with visit visa

The Ministry of Interior of Kuwait has announced it will resume the issuance of visit visas for family, commercial and tourism purposes under new regulations starting Wednesday.

The decision comes in line with the directives of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, and acting Minister of Interior Sheikh Fahd Yusuf Al Sabah.

It aims to boost the commercial, economic, and tourism sectors in Kuwait, while also considering the social needs of expatriates residing in the country.

Applicants looking to obtain a visit visa must schedule an appointment through the Matta platform, as the residency affairs departments across various governorates are set to welcome them.

Family visit visa conditions

The visa can be issued to parents, spouses, and children of expatriate workers earning a minimum of KD400 (Dh4,770), and to other relatives for those earning at least KD800.

Applicants must adhere to specific terms and conditions, including:
Provision of round-trip tickets from national carriers.

A commitment not to seek residency conversion for the visitor.

Adherence to the visit’s duration.

Agreement that medical treatment for visitors will be undertaken at private hospitals and health centres, excluding government hospitals.

In case of overstaying, both the visitor and the sponsor will be registered in the security control system for legal actions as per the Foreigners Residency Law.

Commercial Visa

Issued to individuals with university or technical qualifications, upon request by a Kuwaiti company, aligning with the company’s activities and work nature.

Tourist Visa

Directly available at the port of entry or via an electronic visa on the Ministry’s website (www.moi.gov.kw) for citizens of 53 specified countries.

For GCC residents, tourism visas are issued to individuals in professions listed in Ministerial Resolution number 2030/2008 and its amendments, adhering to specified rules.

Through hotels and companies linked automatically with the system of the Residence Affairs General Department, under current regulations.

Here's the list of 53 countries eligible for a visa upon arrival:

Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bhutan, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States

Additionally, Vatican City is also included, making its citizens eligible to obtain a visit visa either directly upon arrival in Kuwait or through the electronic visa system, as per the updated regulations.