Kuwait Visa: Types, Requirements and Immigration Rules for UK Citizens
Saudi Able Link is a specialised extension of Rapid Visas Ltd.. Since 2007, Rapid Visas has been serving a huge spectrum of clients in the UK, from individuals to Fortune 500 companies, in obtaining visas for more than 20 countries. We are also the top visa agency to extend passport services to individuals, assisting corporate customers in obtaining second UK passports and also helping in passport renewal and lost/theft cases. Our visa consultants are known for their prompt customer services, extensive knowledge and reliability. Our comprehensive pre-checking of documents, prior to submission of visa applications, ensures that visa approval rates are always high.
Saudi Able Link specialises in GCC visas. GCC or the Gulf Cooperation Council is a 6-country economic, political and military alliance in the Middle East. It is the fastest growing trade and investment zone for the UK in that region. Trade volumes between the UK and the GCC nations stood at $44.5 billion in 2016, and the UK has already approached the council for a free-trade deal. The countries comprising the GCC include Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Kuwait.
UK citizens can enter Kuwait or Kuwait City by obtaining an eVisa before travelling or by obtaining a Kuwait visa on arrival, which has a validity of 3 months. All types of Kuwait visas in the UK, apart from eVisas, are granted by the Kuwait Embassy in London. Saudi Able Link can provide expert guidance regarding all requirements to get a Kuwait visa, along with a range of associated services, such as document legalisation, visa medicals and so forth.
Kuwait Visa Requirements for UK Nationals
The State of Kuwait
Kuwait lies in Western Asia, bordering Iraq to the north and Saudi Arabia to the south. The capital and largest city of the nation is Kuwait City, considered the economic, political and cultural centre of the country. As of February 2019, the population of Kuwait stood at 4.7 million, of which 3.3 million are expats.
Statistics show that the population of expats has been on the rise in Kuwait, due to the launch of a large number of large projects. Traditionally, Kuwait has been an oil-dependent economy, backed by the world's sixth largest oil reserves. It has the fourth highest per-capita income globally. However, the country aims to diversify its economy and the promising “Vision 2035” initiative has helped the country jump higher in the World Bank Group’s ease of doing business index in 2019. The country reached the 66th position in the World Bank’s list of 190 countries. In 2018, it was ranked 46th in a similar index by the World Economic Forum.
Kuwait aims to develop its private sector immensely, as a part of the Vision 2035 program. The IMF estimates that this sector could employ up to 100,000 Kuwaiti citizens in the next 5 years. The Kuwait society is also more open, compared to other Gulf Arab countries. There is significant female participation in the workforce.
In 2019, the UK and Kuwait celebrated 120 years of prosperous trade and security relations. Bilateral trade between the two nations stood at $4 billion in 2018. The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) aims to strengthen investment relations even after Brexit.
Apart from that, tourism accounts for 1.5% of Kuwait’s GDP. The annual "Hala Febrayer" festival, which comprises many music concerts, carnivals and parades, attracts a huge number of international tourists each year. The Kuwait National Cultural District (KNCD) houses several museums, cultural centres and research libraries. It is among the largest cultural districts in the world.
General Types of Kuwait Visas from the UK
All travellers to Kuwait need to obtain a visa to enter the country, unless they belong to a GCC country or one of the countries that are visa exempt. To obtain a visa, travellers need to hold a passport with validity of at least 6 months from the date of entry into the nation. Kuwait has imposed a visa ban on citizens of Israel and Ethiopia. If a UK passport has a previous Israel visa stamp, the Kuwait Embassy in London could reject the visa application. In case of GCC citizens, the validity of GCC residency must be more than 6 months when applying for entry into Kuwait.
British citizens can travel to Kuwait on an eVisa or through the visa-on-arrival facility. The Kuwait eVisa allows UK nationals to stay in the country for a period of 90 days, from the date of issuance, on a single-entry basis. For this, the Kuwait government has introduced an online visa issuance system, where the Kuwait Embassy in London and Saudi Able Link have no role to play. The Kuwait tourist visa holder does not have rights to live or work in the country.
For visa-on-arrival, UK citizens need to have the following things in order:
- A passport that is machine readable and has validity for at least 6 months from the date of entry. One blank visa page is necessary.
- Proof of sufficient funds to cover the trip duration.
- Proof of tickets, confirming onward journey or return to the UK.
- Documents that prove the purpose of stay in Kuwait.
- Confirmation with the airline that boarding would be permitted without a visa, as visa policies are subject to change.
The general types of Kuwait visas that UK citizens can obtain are:
- Tourist Visa (eVisa)
- Business Visa
- Transit Visa (visa exemption for a period of 8 hours, spent in the airport’s international transit area)
- Work Visa
Traditional forms of visa, such as the Kuwait work visa and business visa, are issued by the Kuwait Embassy in London. For these types of visas, the applicants must have a letter of invitation, issued by the sponsor in the State of Kuwait, stating the purpose of the visit. This letter of invitation requires attestation from Kuwait’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, following which the Kuwait Embassy in London will also attest the document. Letters of introduction from UK-based businesses might also be required, requesting the issuance of a business visit visa and guaranteeing the applicant, while they are in Kuwait.
Kuwait Visa Immigration Rules and General Information
UK citizens seeking employment in the State of Kuwait need to obtain a Kuwait work visa and residence permit. For this, they need to sign an employment contract, directly with a Kuwaiti corporate entity. The duration of the visa will depend on the length of the principal applicant’s employment contract with the sponsor company, although at the discretion of the authorities. There are specific laws in place that govern the percentage of expat employees in Kuwaiti organizations. The initial period of visa could be for three years, which is renewable. However, the Kuwait work visa does not allow permanent residence.
According to the new regulations, that have come into force since July 2018, work permits are issued only for applicants above the age of 30, who hold either a bachelor’s, masters or doctorate degree. Citizens already holding a work permit prior to 2018 will not be allowed to upgrade their educational qualifications on file while remaining in the State of Kuwait. For that, they will need to exit the country and re-apply for a new work visa.
Nationals of GCC nations are eligible for employment in Kuwait without a work visa or permit.
Saudi Able Link offers guidance in all aspects of corporate immigration to the State of Kuwait. Get in touch with our experts at email@example.com for further queries regarding this.
Kuwait Visa Medical and Legalisation Services
To obtain a Kuwait work visa and residency permit in the UK, applicants will need to undergo certain medical tests, such as blood tests for the detection of HIV, Syphilis, Malaria, Hepatitis B & C and chest X-rays. Our experienced team can guide you through all the procedures that are part of the Kuwait visa medicals; from the correct test requirements to ensuring that the paperwork meets the standards specified by the Kuwait Embassy in London and the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) for legalisation.
Document legalisation and apostille stamping is a special requirement for Kuwait visa applications. These are necessary for UK-issued documents to be legally recognised in the State of Kuwait. Apostille is a form of document legalisation in a specific format, which makes them legally acceptable in 92 nations that follow the Hague Convention. Saudi Able Link has long-lasting relationships with consular and government officials, to take care of all your Kuwait document legalisation needs.
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