All visitors to Kuwait, except passport holders of the Gulf Cooperation Council States, require visas.
Kuwait visit visas are issued for periods of up to 3 months for citizens of 34 nations, including: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, The Vatican, United Kingdom and United States of America.
All applicants must possess a valid, up-to-date passport and a return or onward ticket. A visa fee is applied and varies depending on the nationality of the passport holder. Visas can be obtained upon entry at the Kuwait International Airport. Citizens of other nations may apply through the Kuwait Airlines offices in their respective nations. These offices will process applications through the Ministry of Interior on behalf of the applicants. Visitors entering on a visit visa are prohibited from engaging in employment.
Foreign Personnel: Visas and Residence Permits
Anyone wishing to live and legally work in Kuwait will need to apply for the following:
- Work permit, to be applied to and issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour.
- Work Visa, to be applied to and issued by the General Department of Immigration.
Employers are required to give priority of employment to Kuwaiti nationals in accordance with the policy known as “Kuwaitization” and as stated in Law No. 19 of 2000. This law stipulates that ministerial resolutions will determine the minimum quotas of Kuwaiti nationals corresponding to each non-governmental sector that must be employed by a business. Any business that fails to employ the minimum quota of Kuwaitis determined for its sector shall face financial penalties. Employers must register all their employees with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour, and foreign employees must be registered and receive a valid work permit, upon which a residence permit is obtained.
Cost of Employment
Cost of employment in terms of salaries, wages and benefits in Kuwait depends on the background and level of competency of the employee. There are no officially mandated national pay scales and there is no national minimum wage. Salaries and benefits are determined by market forces.
Termination of Employment
A contract entered into for a period of definite duration automatically terminates at the end of the prescribed period, unless the parties continue to abide by its terms and conditions after its expiry. A contract entered into for a period of indefinite duration is terminable by either party giving no less than thirty days’ written notice. An employer is allowed to pay an employee three months’ salary, or an amount which equates to the contractual notice period, in lieu of providing a notice. Both the employer and the employee are entitled to terminate a contract of employment if the pre-conditions set out in the Labour Law are satisfied.
Upon the termination of employment, an employee is granted a lump sum payment known as the end of service indemnity. The indemnity is calculated with regard to an array of variables, which includes factors such as the length of service and the level of remuneration.