The State of Kuwait is a country situated at the tip of the Persian Gulf, in Western Asia.
Travellers who come to Kuwait need to get a visa or e-visa unless they come from one of the visa-exempt countries. Nationals of some countries are eligible to obtain a visa on arrival or to get electronic entrance permission (eVisa). There is also a shortlist of states in which citizens can enter Kuwait carrying only passports. Read our article to find more about:
- Kuwait visa policy
- visa-free regime to Kuwait
- Kuwaiti eVisa system
- Kuwait tourist visa
and get an answer to the following questions:
- What is a tourist visa to Kuwait and what you are allowed to do holding it?
- What are the conditions to obtain a Kuwait visa?
- Which are the requirements for a Kuwaiti tourist visa?
- Which documents do you need to apply for a Kuwaiti visa?
- How long does it take to get a visa to Kuwait?
- Which visas are suitable if you want to stay longer in the country?
- What are the most commonly made mistakes of applicants resulting in visa refusal?
Travelling to Kuwait without visa and passport
If you are a citizen of one of The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf aka Gulf Cooperation Council, you can go to Kuwait only with your national ID card. A passport is not needed to cross a Kuwaiti border. GCC is a political and economic union of six Arab states of the Persian Gulf: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
You can also enter visa-free the State of Kuwait if you are a holder of an official or diplomatic passport of one of the following countries:
- Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan
- Bangladesh, Bulgaria
- Cyprus, China
- Honduras, Hungary
- India, Ireland
- Malta, Mongolia, Morocco
- Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal
- Romania, Russia
- Serbia, South Korea, Switzerland,
- Tajikistan, Turkey
- Ukraine, United Kingdom
You can travel without a visa also if you are a citizen of Armenia, Estonia, France, Greece, Italy, Iraq, Mexico, Poland, Spain or Uzbekistan and you hold a diplomatic passport.
In every other case, you need to apply for a Kuwaiti visa or get it at the port-of-entry.
Kuwaiti tourist visa on arrival or eVisa
Citizens of some countries and territories may obtain a visa on arrival to Kuwait if they come by air. This is also possible for these nationals to get an eVisa before arrival, they can apply for it via the Internet. A tourist visa on arrival is the equivalent of the eVisa and this is valid for 3 months. Check if your homeland is on the list of these countries:
- All European Union countries
- Andorra, Australia
- Bhutan, Brunei
- Cambodia, Canada
- Hong Kong
- Laos, Liechtenstein
- Malaysia, Monaco
- New Zealand, Norway
- San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland
- Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States
- Vatican City, Vietnam
Kuwaiti eVisa is an option you can choose if you want to have this entrance authorization in advance, otherwise, you can get a visa on arrival (but only if you come by plane). Remember that if you do not have an eVisa, you will probably have to wait in a long immigration queue at the border. That is why getting an eVisa in advance is recommended.
If you are travelling by land or sea, you have to apply for a visa in advance from one of the Kuwaiti diplomatic missions.
Your eVisa to Kuwait will be valid for up to 30 days and a single entry. E-Visa processing time takes 2-5 days.
In order to get a Kuwaiti eVisa, you have to answer some questions and enter the basic contact information and passport number. You need to provide a digital copy of your passport too. Make sure that the scan is clear and the passport is valid for at least 6 next months. Once you complete your online application and attach the scan of your passport, you receive the Kuwait eVisa at your email address. You will be asked at the airport to show the Kuwait eVisa together with your passport.
The immigration officer can ask you also about the back ticket or other evidence of return or onward travel, as well as about a sponsor’s letter and hotel confirmation. Be prepared for this sort of question and have all your documents ready.
Kuwaiti visa at the embassy
If you are not eligible for eVisa and visa at arrival, you have to apply for a Kuwait visa in person in the nearest Kuwaiti government diplomatic mission - the embassy or the consulate-general.
Search for the nearest embassy and go there at minimum 1 month in advance because the visa processing time is around 2 weeks or more.
In an embassy you can submit an application for any type of visa - the centrance permit can be granted for different periods of permitted stay and for a variety of purposes. You can apply for:
- Tourist visa
- Work visa
- Study visa
- Business visa
- Transit visa
In any case, you are obliged to make a visa appointment in the Kuwaiti embassy or consulate-general. You will be informed if the date of your interview is confirmed. At this moment you have to print and complete an application form and bring it to the appointment.
According to the visa type you have selected, you will need to provide some additional supporting documents.
Kuwait Visit Visa
In order to obtain a Kuwait visit visa, you must have a Sponsor. It may be a Kuwaiti company or your relative that is a resident staying in the State of Kuwait but not a citizen. You can choose between applying and obtaining this type of visa in the Kuwaiti diplomatic mission before the intended travel and getting a copy of the visa sent by your Sponsor.
Your Sponsor from Kuwait can use a copy of your passport in order to obtain the visit visa in Kuwait.
At this moment a copy of the visa can be sent (via fax or email) to the visitor to enable them to travel to Kuwait. At the Kuwaiti airport, in the arrival hall, you can find a special counter where Sponsors can deposit the visa papers for their incoming relatives. You just have to pick up the original documents at a similar special counter inside the immigration area. Keep in mind that a copy of the visa is not enough and the original documents are required to be granted entry to the country.
Kuwaiti Visit Visa for Business
To obtain the Kuwait visit visa for Business you also must have a sponsor which can be a company or person. You are required to provide the embassy or consulate with the following documents:
- Kuwait visit visa application and security form completed and signed by your Sponsor in Kuwait
- A copy of your passport
- A copy of the Sponsor’s signature as registered for business purposes
- A copy of the invitation letter from the Kuwaiti Sponsor indicating the purpose of your visit.
Visit Visa for Relatives
If you have family members or relatives residing in Kuwait, you can visit them with a Kuwait visit visa for relatives. You just need to be able to prove your relationship with Kuwaiti residents.
However, some required documents for a family visit visa are required - they are as listed:
- A document proving your relationship or kinship
- A copy of your valid passport
- Original and copy of the civil ID of the Sponsor
- Recent salary certificate of the Sponsor if she/he is not a Kuwaiti citizen
What do you have to do in order to get a Kuwaiti visit visa for relatives? Firstly, go to the Kuwait embassy or consulate-general in your country and submit the required documents for a family visit visa. Then, complete the application form and pay the visa fees.
Your visit visa will be valid 90 days from the date of issue but you can stay in Kuwait only for up to 30 days during this period. If you want to extend your stay, you can do it but you will have to pay KD 10.00 (US$ 33) per day. If your Kuwait visit visa is expired, you will not be allowed to leave the country until you pay the total amount.
Extending a stay in Kuwait
After 30 days you may decide that you want to stay longer in Kuwait for countless reasons!
In such a case, it is necessary to apply for a Kuwait visa extension. You have some different ways of doing it. If you stay outside the country, you can do it via the Internet, so the easiest way is to leave Kuwait for a while and then come back. The best solution to fly to Bahrain and back again in a single day as the flight takes only 40 minutes. I
If you want to extend your stay while already staying in Kuwait, the process is much more complicated. Getting a visa extension in Kuwait is possible but it is not as easy as applying for the first visa. Guests in the State of Kuwait can apply for a 30 days extension of their stay in Kuwait online. In such a case a visa application must be submitted to the Immigration Department in Shuwaikh before the original visa expires.
The office in Shuwaikh is open during normal working hours and you can pay your fines in advance if you know how long you need to stay.
What to visit in Kuwait?
The State of Kuwait - the country located in Saudi Arabia and Iraq - is one of the least visited countries in the world. Travellers who come here are not tourists, they are mostly foreign specialists in their fields: managers, engineers, doctors, teachers, etc. But this does not mean that there is nothing to see in Kuwait! Nothing is farther from the truth!
Before the discovery of large oil reserves there, this was one of the poorest countries in the world. Now it is called the “Hollywood of the Gulf”! Kuwait is considered as a big Islamic culture center, rich in oriental architecture, which the greatest example is the Grand Mosque - the largest mosque in the country and one of the most famous places to visit in Kuwait. Discover this 141-foot central dome and interior full arcades of pillars, and pointed arches that will amaze you.
Do you like shopping? Do it in Kuwaiti style and visit Souq Al-Mubarakiya - the oldest Kuwait market where you can find a real treasure - from traditional food, Arabic costumes and Persian silk carpets to impressive golden jewelry and authentic Arab antiques. You can get there some beautiful souvenirs and also visit 2 mini museums: Sheikh Mubarak Kiosk and Kuwait’s first Islamic pharmacy.
If you are eager to see breathtaking, lunar landscapes and ready for a real desert adventure, take a trip to the desert. The best time for a Desert Safari is between October and March. Don’t worry, you will have all-inclusive: food and transportation. You will enjoy camel rides, dune bashing and quad-biking. When the sun sets you will be served a traditional Kuwaiti dinner and tea in “one million stars restaurant” - under a canopy of the night sky of the desert! And then you will have the opportunity to sleep in an authentic Bedouin tent.