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Immigration & Work Permits

Work Permits

Foreign workers are required to have the proper visas and work permits in Kuwait, as established by immigration laws.  Work permits must be secured for employees, and sponsored by a locally licensed and incorporated entity, which can be a problem for companies just entering the Kuwait market.  If you have yet to complete the incorporation process you can use an outsourced management company or GEO Employer of Record to sponsor the employee for the necessary permits.

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According to the Private Sector Kuwait Labor Law, each employer shall maintain a file for each worker wherein shall be kept copies of the worker’s work permit, work contract, civil ID, documents relevant to annual leaves and sick leaves, overtime hours, work injuries and occupational diseases, penalties imposed on the worker, end of service date and reasons behind, copy of receipts proving that documents he submitted to the employer such as documents, tools, certificates have been returned to him after the end of his service.

In order to live and work in Kuwait, expatriates shall obtain a residency visa (iqama), which can only be issued on the basis of a valid employment offer from a private company or a Kuwaiti government organization. The Kuwaiti employer then applies for the iqama on behalf of the expatriate employee.

The employee is then issued a so-called “No Objection Certificate” (NOC) with which he/she can enter Kuwait. The employee will be issued the actual residency visa once he/she have entered Kuwait. In order for the residency visa to be issued, an extensive medical certificate is necessary, including testing for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and tuberculosis.

Once the residency visa is issued, the employee can apply for a Kuwaiti Civil ID (bitaqa-almadaniyah). This application has to be submitted within 30 days of receiving the residency visa.

Documents required in order to get a Work Visa are:

– Valid Passport with a minimum of six (6) months prior to expiration date.

– One completed current visa application form as issued by Kuwait Ministry of Foreign Affairs

– One passport-size photo.

– HIV test (AIDS test).

– Health Certificate:  Obtained from the local doctor certifying that the patient is in good health and free from contagious diseases. Lab test results for the following: Hepatitis B & C, Malaria, Filariasis, Syphilis and Chest X-Ray for Tuberculosis

– Police Clearance of No Criminal Record obtained from the:  Federal Bureau of Investigation – FBI, and should be dated after the issuance date of the Work Permit.The Police Clearance has to be certified first by the U.S. State Department in Washington, DC (Tel: (202) 647-5002 or (800) 688-9889), then legalized by the Embassy with a $25.00 Authentication fee. The Authenticated Police Clearance should be presented to the Kuwaiti Authorities for residency purposes.

– The work permit.

FEES: Visa fee USD 175.00 along with USD 25.00 for the authentication of the Police Clearance.

Use the Shield GEO Employer of Record Solution

Once you get in touch with us, one of our consultants will take all the work off your hand, co-ordinate with our local partners to get all the required permits organised, provide the processing time, costs, document-checklist and keep you informed through the process. Contact us to know more.

Types of visas in Kuwait

Category Description of Visa
Business Visitors

General Requirements

– Valid passport with a minimum of six (6) months prior to expiration date.

– Two completed current visa application forms.

– Two photographs.

– Letter from the national firm requesting the issuance of a visa and guaranteeing the applicant while in Kuwait.

Fee: Approx USD 150.00 for single entry and USD 175.00 for multiple entries.

Persons Going for Employment

General Requirements

– Valid passport with a minimum of six (6) months prior to expiration date.

– Two completed current visa application forms.

– Two photographs.

If Government Contract: copy of Letter of Appointment from Kuwait.

If Private Sector: Work Permit issued by the General Department of Immigration Affairs in Kuwait. (If spouse or family members are accompanying applicant, Work permit, No Objection Certificate or Letter of Appointment must indicate that.)

Fee: Approx USD 150.00 for single entry and USD 175.00 for multiple entries.  Contact the Embassy for other nationalities.

Kuwait

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