Complex Made Simple

Kuwait’s new visa policies and a visa con act caught up with criminal

Kuwait has started issuing online tourism visas to citizens of 53 countries and some professionals residing in the GCC, according to local media

The single-entry visa allows travelers to enter Kuwait for touristic purposes for a maximum stay of 90 days Kuwaiti labor authorities have halted transfer of commercial visit visas to work permits A former Kuwait resident and visa con artist was recently arrested in Egypt, and sentenced to 5 years in prison

Kuwait has started issuing online tourism visas to citizens of 53 countries and some professionals residing in the GCC, according to local media.

As of November 24, 2021, tourism visas to Kuwait have been issued via the website of the Interior Ministry to a number of global citizens and GCC professionals who have residency for more than 6 months and who hold professions as per the below.

  • Consultants
  • Doctors
  • Engineers
  • Lawyers
  • Judges and members of public prosecution
  • University teachers
  • Press and media staff
  • Pilots
  • System analysts & Computer programmers
  • Managers
  • Businessmen and businesswomen
  • Diplomatic Corp
  • University Graduates
  • Owners, Managers and Representatives of Commercial Companies and Establishments
  • Saudi Premium residence holders

How to Apply for a Kuwait online visa

Those eligible to apply for an online visa are required to complete the online visa application form by entering their personal information.

Applicants need to have a passport valid for at least 6 months from the arrival date.

The Kuwait online visa is a single-entry visa that allows travelers to enter Kuwait for touristic purposes for a maximum stay of 90 days. Visitors cannot use the visa to enter Kuwait more than once. Applicants are notified of their visa acceptance or rejection via email.   

Applicants to the tourism visas can also pay the required fees online.

This comes over a year after the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior announced it had stopped issuing entry visas for all nationalities because of COVID-19 concerns. For the same reasons, health authorities agreed in June 2021 to issue entry visas for medical, nursing, administrative, and technician staff working in private sector hospitals only.

Latest visa restrictions

Kuwaiti labor authorities have halted transfer of commercial visit visas to work permits, as part of efforts to head off a new wave of COVID-19, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported recently.

Kuwait’s Public Authority of Manpower (PAM) stopped issuing work permits for foreigners arriving in the country on commercial visit visas, daily Al Rai reported.

The sources said that related transactions applied to PAM via its website will be completed if made before the latest decision.

Former resident visa con artist caught

An Egyptian who fled Kuwait was recently arrested in one of the governorates of Egypt and was sentenced to 5-years in prison with hard labor.

The court forced him to compensate his victims financially. Investigations revealed that the accused had professionally brokered to sell visas and bring workers under the sponsorship of fictitious companies. He later fled back to his country after the COVID-19 crisis but was arrested there when hundreds of workers whom he conned had filed lawsuits against him.

Investigations found that the accused possessed bank balances exceeding 400 million Egyptian pounds ($25.4 mn) which he obtained through fake visa trades. He also owned real estate in various parts of Egypt.

He worked for the benefit of fictitious companies whose owners were also convicted in several cases following the COVID-19 crisis. The victims revealed that the accused was residing in Al Jahra, a town located 32-km west of Kuwait City, from where he conducted his illicit business of conning hundreds of his countrymen by promising to provide jobs for them in Kuwait at a cost of KD 1,500 (nearly $5,000) per visa.

The broker received 30% of the visa-trade proceeds, and the rest went to the owners of fictitious companies who were disavowing workers upon their arrival in Kuwait.

Since the time of his arrest, reports continued to pile up against him, all of which were related to human trafficking, fraud, selling of fake visas to Kuwait, and establishing partnerships with Kuwaitis who own fictitious companies.