Living Guide – Kuwait

 Living Guide for Kuwait

Cost of Living :

An idea about cost of living in Kuwait.

If you want a Single / 2 BHK apartment in a decent place to live then you need to be ready to spend around the below amount for the family. If the company will provide the Free accommodation its not applicable. For the Bachelors you may get in very nominal charges.

KWD (Per Month) For 2 Persons

150 -250 House Rent
50 – 75 Groceries+ Misc exps.
100 Car Hire / OR Loan installment + Petrol
5 Land Line Rent
5 Mobile Rent OR Prepaid Card
10 Electricity
10 Internet at home
5 Television Channel Connection

Obtaining Family Status :

Getting a Family Visa (Article 22) in Kuwait is a two way activity. First phase in Kuwait and the second phase in India.

A minimum of KWD 250 is required as the salary. The visa can be applied for direct relatives such as parents, spouse, and children.

The Visa is valid for 90 days before entry, otherwise automatically canceled.

Documents required In Kuwait

1. Family Affidavit to be prepared (not the relationship affidavit) and get it attested at the Indian Embassy. Ensure that you enter the Wife’s name and the children’s name in the affidavit. The cost of the affidavit is 6.600 KWD

2. The Visa application to be prepared and submitted to the VISA office(Application has to be submitted at your local immigration dept. 7 am – 12 pm) along with the following documents

a) Civil ID Copy,

b) Passport Copies of the applicants,

c) work permit (green/shoon paper),

d) Affidavit prepared,

e) Marriage Certificate (f bringing wife),

f) Birth Certificate (if children are there).

g) house rent contract copy and original as well.

Note :

Keep both originals and additional copies of the above.

  • Spouse’s name need not be in applicant’s passport for visa, though it is recommended.
  • 3 KD stamp to be bought and given to the concern officer for affixing it on the visa.
  • Upon receipt of the VISA, all the documents to send this to India.

Visa Processing In India

  • Prepare the following items before you go to the Kuwait Embassy / Travel Agent.
  • Police Clearance Certificate – (PCC) – to be received from the nearest Regional Passport of the home down / your passport issuing Office.

2. Original Visa Documents (received from Kuwait)

3. Medical Examination to be done by Kuwait Embassy Paneled Clinic. If you are processing the Visa for a child then you will need to produce the vaccination chart (which includes the history of vaccinations given including the polio vaccine). Reports to be collected with the prescribed format.

4. Upon completion of the above formalities Visa to be endorsed by Kuwait Embassy, either you may go the Embassy or submit through the recognized Recruitment Consultant approved by Govt.

After reaching Kuwait

1. To be undergone for the medical (blood test, x-ray) and make medical insurance. No fingerprints for dependent visa

2. Prepare the medical insurance. Insurance fees for one year – KD 30 for children and 40 for wife. Ensure that you take the paper (the receipt) along with the health card.

3. Prepare the application from the typing center for making the residency. Submit the application along with the paper you received from the insurance office. 1st year fee for residency is KD 100 and the subsequent years will be charged KD 10 per year. You will need to keep minimum 2 (4 on safe side) passport size photos with blue background

4. Residency should be completed within 60 days of arriving in Kuwait or fine of KD 2 per day

Renewing Residency

1. Renewal can be done 3 months to 1 day before expiry at your local immigration dept (7-12) or at Liberation Tower (4-6 pm)

2. For renewal of children’s residency for 2 years, wife must also have 2 years residency. If not, renewal is only 1 year.

Visiting Visa :

Citizen of other GCC states have a right to enter and live in Kuwait without undergoing any particular formalities.

Kuwait will grant 34 nationalities entry visas upon arrival, according to a new decision from the Ministry of Interior (Feb. 2004). Among those that will benefit are nationals from the

USA, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Spain, Monaco, the Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, South Korea, China.

Other countries can obtain visas through Kuwait Airways offices as the airline has an online facility to process the visa through the Ministry of Interior.

But all other nationals are subject to strict rules of entry and registration as foreigners under the sponsorship of Kuwaitis or Kuwait companies or as dependents of foreigners under who already enjoy residence under Kuwait sponsorship. There are two basic types of visa, a visit visa and a residence visa.

A foreigner whose country without a visa abolition treaty with Kuwait, i.e. a treaty permitting Kuwait to enter their country without a visa, may be granted reciprocal rights in the Kuwait. These persons however may require an entry permit. Entry permits are acquired in the same way and under the same procedures as visit visa.

International airline have been instructed by the Kuwaiti authorities not to board passengers for Kuwait unless they have valid visas or entry permits.

Application for a Visit Visa

Visit visas and entry permits are valid for entry within 90 days of issue and then for a stay of up to 30 days only after entry, A visit visas costs KD 3/- . Entry permits are free.
A visit to Kuwait must be sponsored by a Kuwait individual or company, or a resident foreigner who is relative of the visitor while he or she is in Kuwait.

To obtain a visit visa for a business, visitor, a Kuwait sponsor or company will require:

  • Visa application and security from completed by the sponsor
  • Copy of the visitor’s passport
  • Copy of the sponsor’s signature as registered for business purposes
  • Copy of the letter of invitation from the sponsor to the business visitor stations the purpose of the visit.
  • To obtain a visit visa for a relative, a resident foreigner will require:
  • Visa application and security form completed by the sponsor
  • Copy of the visitor’s passport
  • Original and copy of the sponsor’s passport
  • Original and copy of the sponsor’s civil ID
  • Original and copy of the sponsor’s work permit (Private sector employees)
  • Recent salary certificate from the sponsor’s employer
  • Authenticated proof of the family relationship

Usually the sponsor of a relative is expected to be earning at least KD 450 per month if he works for the government and at least KD 650 if he work in the private sector.

Normally a visitor goes to a Kuwait embassy to have his visa processed and passport stamped before traveling to Kuwait. However a Kuwait sponsor can use a faxed copy of the visitor’s passport to obtain the visa in Kuwait. The sponsor then faxes a copy of the visa to the visitor (to enable him to travel to Kuwait) and meets him at the airport with the original visa. The sponsor deposits the visa papers at a special counter in the arrival hall and the visitor must pick these up at a similar counter inside the immigration area in order to complete entry formalities.

Either way, obtaining a visit visa takes about two working days, Hotels can also arrange visit visas for business but they take about a week to do so, naturally enough, expect the visitor to stay with on arrival.

Extension of Visit

The fine for staying more than 30 days on a visit visa is KD 10 a day. A visitor whose visa has expired is not allowed to leave until the fine has been paid, The fine must be paid at the immigration Department in Shuwaikh during government working hours and not at the airport. Fines however may be paid a few days in advance and, unless this is done, the flight out is invariably missed.

An expatriate may obtain two one-month extension to a visit visa or temporary residence provided application is made to the immigration Department before the visa has expired. A pleasant solution for visitors wishing to extend their stay is to obtain a second visit visa in Kuwait, travel to Bahrain on a morning flight and re-enter Kuwait in the evening round trip ( 40 minuets flying time ) only costs around KD 45.

Transit Visas

A transit visa, valid for a maximum stay of 7 days, can be obtained from a Kuwait Consulate abroad or from a Port Authority in Kuwait. The fee is KD 2. The applicant must have a valid visa for his next country of destination and, unless he is working on a ship or airline, a confirmed onward ticket. Bonafide international truck drivers and their helpers may obtain multiple entry transit visas.

Employment

A person in Kuwait on a visit visa may not take up employment, for which he or she must have a work permit and a residence visa.

New Born Baby Birth Certificate & Residence Procedures :

The following should ensure prior to the birth of the baby

In order to obtain your baby’s Kuwait birth certificate and to have your baby’s passport stamped with a residence visa, you should produce your original marriage certificate attested by the concern Ministry in your country / the country where the marriage has taken place / Marriage Affidavit issued by your embassy in Kuwait.

It has to be attested at the embassy of your country in Kuwait as well. Then it has to translate into Arabic and finally it has certified by Ministry of Justice Kuwait. Once all the above has completed, it has to be submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait for further certification

It will consume more time, need to get this ready even before the delivery of the baby in Kuwait

Getting the Birth certificate of the Infant born in Kuwait(from the ministry of health registry office)

Birth Certificate for the baby born in Kuwait should be applied within 10 days of birth

Receive pink form from the hospital, it will give more information about your child
Submit the pink form at the Registrar of Births and Death as per your locality. If you are not sure about the office to go, ask the hospital to tell you the name and location of the registry office you need to visit.

The following documents are needed when you submit the application for the birth certificate:

  • The pink form given to you by the hospital
  • both parents’ passports
  • photocopies of the visa pages and photo pages of both parents’ passports
  • both parents’ civil IDs
  • photocopies of both sides of both parents civil IDs
  • an attested and certified Arabic copy of your marriage certificate/affidavit
  • Submit written note of child’s first name in Arabic.
  • They will give you a date to collect the certificates. Collect the certificates on the date mentioned
  • The birth certificate has to be attested on the last inside page at Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), which will cost you KD 5. The MoFA in Shuwaikh is located beside KUNA and operates between 7 am – 12 pm and the MoFA in Liberation Tower operates between 4 pm and 6 pm
  • Getting the passport in Kuwait

The next step is to get the passport for your child. You will have to the procedures at the respective embassies. Since they are not generic procedures for all, it will be addressed separately.

Obtaining the residence for your child in Kuwait

The residency of your child should be processed within two months of the birth.

To obtain the residence and civil ID for your child, you will need to follow the normal procedure of making the family visa in Kuwait

 Civil ID (Iqama / Work Permit) Status :

Once an expatriate has obtained his residence then he must obtain a Civil identity (ID) card (bitaqa-almadiniyah or bitaqa for short), no matter what type of residence he is on. Civil ID cards are issued by PACI, (the Public Authority for Civil Information). After his first card has been issued, the holder’s civil ID number remains the same even if he changes his sponsor or leaves and comes back several years later on a different residence visa.

The civil ID card shows the holder’s civil number, full name, date of birth (which is also included in the algorithm for the ID number), local address, blood group, sponsor’s name, type of visa, etc, and date of expiry of the card. When ever the card expires or an expatriate changes sponsor, renews his residence or changes his address, his civil ID card must be amended accordingly.

Photographs
Whether applying for the first time or replacing a civil ID card, four photographs, showing the face without spectacles, are always required for those over 11 years of age. Photographs are not needed for elderly Kuwaiti females.

Civil ID Registration Procedures

To register for a civil ID for the first time, the documents required are:

  • passport
  • copy of passport pages showing personal details and residence stamp
  • security clearance (fingerprint) form (those over 16 years)
  • original birth certificate (if born in Kuwait)
  • blood group certificate (those over 5 years)
  • proof of house address (e.g., rental agreement and rent receipts)
  • declaration signed by sponsor

For a first time domestic servant’s civil ID all the above documents, except the first, are needed. For the first civil ID of a baby born in Kuwait, just a copy of the baby’s birth certificate, and a copy of the sponsor’s passport (showing personal details, residence stamp and the addition of the baby) or the baby’s own passport (showing personal details and residence stamp), are required.

To have an amended card issued following a change of address, the current card plus proof of the new address (e.g., rental agreement) must be submitted. To replace a lost card, a photocopy of the lost card and the expatriate’s passport is required.

First time applicants for a domestic servant’s civil ID, and applicants for the first civil ID of a baby born in Kuwait, can buy the application form and special envelopes from “Express-Envelope” machines located in Coop supermarkets (250fils), follow the instructions and submit their applications in these special machines.

PACI LOCATION
The Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) is located at South Surra, Ministries Complex off the Sixth Ring Road, opposite the building of the Ministry of Water and Electricity (MEW).

Charges, Time Limits & Penalties
The charge for a civil ID card is KD2 when it is first issued and each time it is renewed. The charge is paid when the card is collected. There is a fee of KD10 to replace a lost card.

An expatriate must apply for a civil ID card within 30 days of getting his residency, and must renew his card within 30 days of renewing his residency. For an expatriate child born in Kuwait, the time limit for first registration is 60 days from the date of birth. In all cases the penalty for late applications is a flat fine of KD100 irrespective of the length of the delay, though in practice PACI only levy a one-off fine of KD20.

Collection of Civil ID Card
It takes about 10 days for a first time civil ID card to be processed. Expatriates can ascertain the status of cards under process through PACI’s computerized telephone answering system by calling 889988 (1for replies in Arabic and 2 for replies in English) and keying in their civil ID number (for renewals) or the serial number on the outside of the envelope in which the application was submitted.

The civil ID card can only be picked up in person at the PACI offices in South Surra from an electronic dispensing machine. The actual machine to be used is ascertained by dialling the above telephone numbers. Two dinars plus the old civil ID card (if held) must be fed into the machine to obtain the new card.

PACI Introduces ‘Smart System’ for renewal of ID-Cards
The Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI)introduced the electronic renewal system for ID-cards in June 2004 which eliminates all the paper work. All you have to do is call 889988 and enter your civil ID number and your card will be renewed automatically within 24 hours.

This service is available between 14:00 and 22:00 hours. The service does not cover: change of address, change of photos, lost or damaged IDs and the first time registration.

A person on dependent visa (Article 22) is not entitled to employment. Article 22 cannot be transferred to work visa (Article 18). However, exception are allowed provided the dependent is well qualified or completed one year. Article 18 to 22 is transferable

Banking :

In Kuwait there are 10 locally incorporated commercial banks and 7 branches of foreign banks operating within Kuwait. Three out of the ten Kuwait banks follow the islamic banking methods

Kuwait’s banking sector has been witnessing impressive year-on-year growths due the country’s booming economy. This has resulted in the expansion of most banks in terms of branches and automated teller machine installations to reach a wider audience. Competition has also increased availability of flexible housing loans and Islamic banking schemes that meet public demand for Shariah-compliant financial products.

All commercial banks and financial institutions are governed by the Central Bank of Kuwait. Whilst the number of banks operating in the Kuwait has remained the same for some time, the banks have notably expanded in terms of the number of branches.

Working Hours

Most banks operate five days a week, Sunday to Thursday, from 8:00 to 14:00 while a few others are also open on Saturdays from 8:00 until 12:00. Many of the banks operates in the evening shifts as well. To locate your preferred bank’s branch or ATM closest to you, visit our interactive location maps or the respective bank’s local website.

Residents / Visitors can also avail 24- hour telephone banking services by dialing their respective bank’s toll free number.

If you are visiting Kuwait during the month of Ramadan, it’s wise to call up the bank to confirm their operating hours. Some banks open one hour later during Ramadan compared to their normal opening hours, while a few others operate shorter hours at daytime and re-open in the evenings after the iftaar.

The Central Bank of Kuwait is in charge of issuing or declaring public holidays for all banks. With the exception of two Eid holidays, all other occasions listed are celebrated with a day off.

Holidays

1. New Year’s Day
2. National Day
3. Liberation Day
4. Mouloud – (Birth of the Prophet)
5. Al-Esra Wa Al-Meraj – (Ascension of the Prophet).
6. Eid al-Fitr – (End of Ramadan).
7. Eid al-Adha – (Feast of the Sacrifice).
8. Islamic New Year

Cards and Currency Used

Nearly all major retail establishments in Kuwait accept credit card payment; however it is advisable to carry some loose local currency, in Kuwaiti Dinar, to use at smaller local convenience stores. There are numerous money exchange bureaus and ATM machines located conveniently around the city. Look for internationally recognized logos like ‘VISA’, ‘MasterCard’ or ‘Plus’ on your bank card to ensure it can be used at check-out counters. International Credit cards like American Express, MasterCard and Visa are most commonly used in Kuwait.

Links and addresses of the Banks in Kuwait

E Services

Will update shortly

Indian Schools :

  1. Al Amal Indian School –25712971
  2. Al Rashid Indian School –24728124
  3. Carmel School – 24727226, 24728119
  4. Delhi Public School – 23983595, 23986147, 23982706
  5. Gulf Indian School – 23918210, 23918214
  6. India International School  -23728702
  7. Indian Central School – 24315260, 24330244
  8. Indian Community School – 25624405, 25624267
  9. Indian Community School – 25629583, 25633570
  10. Indian Community School- 25613344
  11. Indian Community School – 24717192
  12. Indian Educational School – 24340882
  13. Indian English Academy School – 25612405
  14. Indian Integrated School – 24315968
  15. Indian Public School – 25630249, 25630342
  16. Jabriya Indian School – 25340836, 25340837
  17. United Indian School – 24331460, 24310510

Mobile Services :

Kuwait cell phone services are being offered by three cell phone service providers namely Wataniya, Zain and Viva. Kuwait operates the cell phone services in GSM 900 /1800 frequencies. So you need to have the unlocked GSM handsets which can operate at the 900 / 1800 frequencies.

Short term travelers to Kuwait should try to get prepaid lines from their originating country, though not many countries have this service. There are some providers in the USA who provide the Kuwait cell phone connections. I am not sure how they are getting these connections as it requires the identification documents.

If you are landing in Kuwait without a cell phone service, then you should try to get the connection from the counters of the cell phone service providers in the Kuwait Airport. You will see these counters right at the arrival terminal area of the Kuwait Airport.

Initial credit of a new cell phone connection in Kuwait varies depending on the service and initial payment you are making. A cell phone connection in Kuwait will provide services like SMS text messaging, voicemail and a local cell phone number in Kuwait. All the cell phone service providers provide customer service 24 hours a day, which will give you assistance with any unexpected issues or questions about your cell phone calls.

One can recharge the connection by using the cellphone recharge cards available in the local shops, normally called, bakkalas. The recharge coupons start from 1 KD to 10KD and the validity varies from 5 days to 6 months.

The cellphone service in Kuwait does not have any yearly contracts or credit check involved.

Transferring the Employer

Yet to update

Transferring the Vehicle Owner Ship:

Transfer of vehicle is the very easiest way in Kuwait. You will require to go to your respective muroor office. Mine was at Maidian Hawally and below is the steps require to complete the transfer.

Opposite maidian hawally muroor office, there is a typing center. Give the old dafther (vehicle registration document or card) and civil Id of both parties and tell him you need the forms for transfer of vehicle. The cost of typing and stamp is KD 8.500.

Take all the forms to the muroor and as your enter the office, give all the forms along with the civil id of both parties for verification. The documents will be verified, signed and given back to you for your signatures along with a token. Wait for your turn.

Once your turn comes, go to the respective counter and give the forms. They will check for any pending fines from the previous owner and print the new dafther (registration document). If there are any pending fines, it shall be paid on the spot.

Take it back to the first counter where you had given the documents for verification, the officer will sign the document and put a stamp on the dafther. End of official work.

Do not forget to check the accuracy of information on the new registration document.

As you come out of the muroor, on the right there is a small counter. Give the registration document there and they will laminate the same for you. The cost for lamination is 0.250 fils.

Important Contacts :

will be updated shortly