What are the different types of visa sponsorships in Kuwait?

In Kuwait, there’s a Temporary Visit Visa, known as “Commercial Visit Visa (14C)”, which enable the visitor to conduct work for a limited period of time. However, if the visitor will need to be working in Kuwait for a longer period of time (more of a permanent nature, he will processed for a Work Visa, known as Visa 18. Additionally, there are other types of visas for Family Sponsorship, Home Maids and Ministry of Defense visas


What is the eligibility for getting a sponsorship visa in Kuwait?

If a candidate succeeds in obtaining a valid employment offer from a Kuwaiti employer, the latter will begin the procedures of sponsoring the former in Kuwait, with a Visa 18 (Permanent Work Visa). However, if the expat will only be visiting for a temporary period of time, he will be also sponsored by a Kuwaiti entity for a temporary Commercial Visit Visa, known as 14C.


What documents are required to obtain a sponsorship visa in Kuwait?

Usually, ID documents, educational qualifications, medical check and police clearance, in addition to recent photos, are the minimum documents required for a Kuwaiti company/sponsor to begin the procedures of sponsoring an expat whether on a temporary basis (visa 14C), or on a permanent basis (visa 18).


How will KRH help in obtaining, approving and processing the above documents for sponsorship?

KRH has a full-fledged department with highly experienced staff that undertakes the process from A-Z. Once KRH Sponsorship team is informed of a visa requirement (whether a temporary Visa 14C or a permanent Visa 18), they will communicate with the candidate to guide him/her every step of the way, until the visa is issued and sent back to the candidate, to carry with him/her prior to boarding the flight to Kuwait.


What are the stages of obtaining a sponsorship visa (from application to meet and greet)?

The steps are:

  • Communicating with the candidate to obtain the list of documents
  • Applying for the Non-Objection Certificate (known as NOC1)
  • Once NOC1 is issued, it is then sent to the candidate and to KRH’s Travel Agency
  • When the candidate’s flight is determined, the meet and greet service takes place by the person/team that will have custody of the candidate’s onboarding process.


What is a work visa and an iqama?

  • A work visa allows a candidate to work legally in Kuwait. It varies in validity from 1 to 3 years.
  • An Iqama in Kuwait, is known as the “Civil ID”, which is both a Plastic Card and a phone application that has the main information of the resident and the validity of his/her residency.


What is an employment offer to obtain a work visa?

  • An employment offer is the initial offer that the employer extends to the candidate who has proven to have the adequate skills, qualifications and past experience required for a certain position. 
  • The employment offer should include basic information such as full name of the candidate, position title, basic salary, date of employment begin, number of work hours, other benefits such as housing, transportation, airline tickets, etc.


What are the requirements from both sides (the employer and the employee) to obtain a sponsorship?

  • The employer should have in place, a valid Labor file that has position slots that are relevant to the positions being hired. 
  • The employer must also have a clear record with the Public Authority for Manpower “PAM”, to assure the Labor file is open and ready to receive new candidates.
  • A third and core requirement for each Labor file, is a bank guarantee that is paid in full by the employer prior to using the labor file to ensure all employees who will be placed against slots in that file, will be returned home safely at the end of their employment. That bank guarantee is reimbursed to the company once the file is closed and all employees who were assigned to it are legally cleared from the file.
  • The employee needs to have:

o   Educational qualifications required for the position applied for

o   ID documents

o   Clear Medical records

o   Police clearance from the home country

What is the role of the Ministry of Social Affairs & Labor in obtaining a sponsorship?

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor undertakes the following responsibilities:

  • Ensure the labor files granted to employers match the actual requirements of the business contract undertaken
  • Ensure candidates placed against slots in the labor file are adequately qualified and correctly assigned
  • Oversee the entire process of deployment until the employee is in Kuwait and is legally working with a valid Work Permit.
  • Protect the rights of both employees and employers by overseeing any litigation between the two.
  • Ensure the safe exit of each employee prior to closure of any labor file

What is the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in obtaining a work visa?

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will attest employees’ and expats documents as needed once they arrive and are in need of doing so, provided that an attestation from the expats’ respective embassies is obtain first.
  • Prior to arriving in Kuwait, the Kuwaiti embassy interacts with candidates in their respective home countries to facilitate the obtainment of work visas in Kuwait.

 What is the role of the Kuwaiti Embassy in obtaining a work visa?

When a candidate has obtained an employment offer, the Kuwaiti Embassy must check the following for correctness and accuracy:

  • The work offer
  • The candidates medical record from his/her home country
  • The candidates police clearance certificate from his/her home country

Once that is checked and verified, it is mailed back to the candidate to continue the processing of his/her visa.


What is the role of the Ministry of Interior in obtaining a work permit and NOC?

  • Once the candidate arrives to Kuwait, he/she will undergo another series of medical check “administered by the Ministry of Health” and a new capture of  his/her fingerprints to both have it in the system, and check if that person has any previous issues, from a previous residency or employment in Kuwait.


What is an NOC?

  • It is Non-Objection Certificate issued by the Public Authority of Manpower to denote the Ministry’s approval for the expat to come to Kuwait and occupy the position being processed for a Permanent Work Visa, known as Visa 18.


Medical Examinations before entry to Kuwait?

  • Medical examinations before entry to Kuwait usually test diseases that can be detected by blood analysis, urine analysis and chest X-ray. This could include, but is not limited to, Virus C, HIV, Pregnancy for females, TB and others.