Job Seeker Visa For Kuwait: A Simple Guide

Kuwait, with its fusion of tradition and modernity, offers a plethora of job opportunities.

But before you delve into its dynamic job market, there’s the crucial step of securing a job-seeker visa.

Join us as we navigate the dunes of Kuwait’s visa protocols.


What Is A Job-Seeking Visa For Kuwait?

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Kuwait offers visas such as residence visas and work permits to foreign workers/employers seeking jobs in Kuwait. Work visas/permits also known as iqamas in Kuwait are granted for both public and private sector employees, under articles 17 and 18 of the immigration regulations.

At first, an employment offer needs to be accepted, in order to obtain a Kuwait residence visa on a work visa.

This visa is usually a sponsorship visa in which a Kuwaiti employer sponsors the visa for the applicant. The applicant must apply for a job in some company or institution in Kuwait before applying for the visa.

If the company accepts him, they offer him a letter of acceptance which helps the applicant with the visa.

For this purpose, the applicant is required to obtain the necessary information from the embassy or consulate. The applicant must obtain all the necessary permits or documentation for the required purpose.

The minimum wage in Kuwait is 75 KWD (Kuwaiti dinar) or USD $250.  

The Kafala/Sponsorship System

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Kuwait along with all other GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries offers sponsorship or a “Kafala” system. The Kafala system makes the employer or the company the Kafeel of the employee

This system gives the employer or the company the complete legal and financial responsibility of the employee. The employer obtains and provides the work permit, residence permit, and NOC to the employee. 

Thus, the legal status of the employee depends on the employer, and without the employer’s permission, the employee cannot enter or leave the country.

The private sector is governed by the country’s labor law. If the employee is working in the private sector, they are entitled to receive rights provided by the labor law of Kuwait.

In terms of work, the employee is protected by what is mentioned in the work contract between the employer and the employee.

The contract is enforced by the civil law of the country. Thus, the employee can file a lawsuit against the company or vice versa if it goes against the contract in any way.

The article provides information about the document requirements for the private sector below.

Process To Apply For A Job Seeking Visa

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There are two main steps in order to secure a work permit in Kuwait, which are as follows:

  • The applicant must obtain an offer of employment.
  • The applicant must gain a sponsor (kafeel), who will apply for his work permit and residence visa (iqama).

The process to apply for a job-seeking visa or a work visa for Kuwait involves a secure job offer first of all, from either a government or private sector employer/company/organization, etc. The Kuwaiti employer will be doing most of the paperwork, and sponsorship required for the job visa in Kuwait.

The employer in Kuwait must apply for a work visa, also known as a work permit in Kuwait, on behalf of the applicant. This will involve gaining approval from the government authorities in Kuwait.

A Kuwaiti work visa along with a residency visa is required to secure a job and enter Kuwait.

Documents Required For Job-Seeking Visa In Kuwait

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Certain documents are required for a work permit in Kuwait. Some of the documents required are mentioned below.

  • A Passport of at least 2 years of validity.
  • Passport-size photograph, with either blue or white background.
  • Medical certificate that proves him medically fit and stable.
  • HIV/AIDS test with negative results.
  • Police certificate that proves him innocent with no participation in any criminal activity.
  • Educational background showing his primary and secondary education and other qualifications or degrees he has received so far.
  • Attested experience certificates of the work they applied for in Kuwait.
  • A complete visa application that will be issued by the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Kuwait.

All the documents must contain accurate and correct information. Any wrong or inaccurate information might lead to refusal.

Copies of these documents are sent to the employer. The employer being the sponsor applies for the work permit needed by the employee to enter Kuwait for employment purposes.

Requirements For The Job-Seeking/Work Permit Visa In Kuwait

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After submitting all the documents, the applicant will receive an NOC (Non-Objection Certificate). This certificate grants entry to Kuwait. 

After entering Kuwait, the applicant receives a residency visa as soon as possible. The applicant must apply for the Kuwaiti civil ID within 30 days of receiving their residency visa.

A copy of a work permit is sent to the embassy of the applicant’s/employee’s home country by the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Kuwait. The employer/company must send a copy of the work permit to the employee so that he can take it to the embassy.

If the applicant is from a country where there is no Kuwaiti embassy, then the employer must send the work permit and NOC to the Interior Ministry of that country.

Requirements For Private Sector Employment In Kuwait

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The labor law for the private sector of Kuwait holds certain requirements for the employer. It states that the employer must keep a file for their foreign employees containing certain documents. The documents required by the employer of the private sector, for their foreign employees, are as follows:

  • A document of Work contract.
  • A copy of the work permit of the employee.
  • The Civil ID/NOC of the employee.
  • Documents containing policies related to annual or sick leave.
  • Documents related to company policy for sickness or work injuries etc.
  • Documents about the company’s policy of Bonuses/penalties for their employees.
  • Policy for Overtime hours of the employees in the workspace.
  • End of service date of the foreign employee.
  • The reason for quitting/leaving the job.
  • Copy of the receipts, proving every document or tool provided by the company for the job are duly returned by the employee back to the company at the end of service time.

The employer must also provide medical insurance to all the employees including the foreign employees.

Certain Steps For Work Permit Application In Kuwait

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To apply for a work visa or an employment visa or a work permit in Kuwait, certain steps are to be followed.

  • The employer/company in Kuwait applies for the work permit of the employee/applicant at the Foreign Affairs Ministry. The employer submits all the required documents and the passport copy etc. 
  • Upon receiving the work permit, the employer sends the work permit along with the NOC to the employee.
  • The employee after receiving these documents undergoes a medical test in their country. The medical center should be recognized by or affiliated with the Kuwaiti embassy or consulate.

After following all the steps, the employee or the applicant is ready to leave for Kuwait. Upon entering Kuwait, the applicant receives a residency visa, which provides a long stay in Kuwait.

The residence permit and ID are the proof of legal status in Kuwait and are necessary.

Legal Working Hours In Kuwait

In Kuwait, the legal working hours are 8 hours a day or 48 hours a week for an adult worker. The worker is permitted for a 1-hour break after 5 consecutive hours of work. 

The work hours are reduced during the holy month of Ramadan to 36 hours a week. During summers outdoor work is prohibited between 11:00 am to 4:00 pm except for workers in oil or gas-related jobs.

Overtime Working Policy

For overtime work, the employer provides some kind of compensation to its employees. If the employer is making the employee work on an off day, the employee is entitled to at least 150% of the daily wage

The employer must benefit the employee in some way by making him/her work overtime. If the employee is working overtime or spending more than 8 hours a day then he/she is entitled to 125% of the daily wage.

Overtime in Kuwait has certain limitations, which are 2 hours a day, 6 hours a week, and 180 hours a year. It should not exceed more than 90 days a year. Every employee possesses the right to refuse overtime work.

Sick Leave Policy

In Kuwait, employees are entitled to certain annual sick leaves. However, a medical report is required if the employee is taking sick leave.

 If an employee takes sick leave, he/she is paid fully for 15 days, more than 15 days cause a reduction in his salary.

The employee is paid 75% for an additional 10 days, 50 % for an additional 10 days, and 25 % for an additional 10 days. After that, the employee is not paid if he/she takes leave for an additional 30 days.

Fee Requirements For Job-Seeking/Work Visa

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The fee requirements for the work/employment/job-seeking visa of Kuwait vary for different countries. The application fee is generally KD 10. To give a general rough idea of the fee, USD 175$ is charged for a work visa to US citizens.

For different countries, the work visa fee varies between KD 45.32 to KD 112.32, depending on the validity of the visa i.e. validity between 3 months to 6 months respectively.

Processing Time For Job-Seeking/Work Visa

The visa processing time for a work visa in Kuwait is usually between 3 weeks to 4 weeks. However, the visa processing time varies for different countries.

Work Visa Validity And Stay

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The Kuwait work visa provides a stay for up to 30 days after entering Kuwait. A single-entry work visa is valid for up to 90 days or 6 months, depending on the fee paid for the validity period, in Kuwait.

Visa Extension For Job-Seeking Visa/Work Permit

The work permit can be extended for Kuwait by applying for an extension of a residency permit before the previous one expires. The extension can be provided for a period of 3 months generally, in Kuwait.

Reasons For Rejection Of Work Permit In Kuwait

There might be several reasons for a work visa/permit rejection in Kuwait. Some of the main reasons are the following:

  • Inaccurate application forms will lead to rejection.
  • Incorrect or mismatched information provided in the documents or application form can also cause rejection.
  • If the applicant did not properly follow the requirements of Kuwaiti immigration, then that might lead to rejection too.
  • Any criminal record found can also cause rejection.
  • False or inaccurate documents also lead to rejection.
  • A passport without the required validity, which is up to 2 years for a work permit, can also cause rejection.
  • Any damaged document or passport will also lead to rejection.

There might be other reasons for being rejected and for that, the applicant must contact the Kuwaiti embassy or consulate.


With the sands of the Kuwaiti desert beneath your feet and this guide in hand, your career aspirations in Kuwait are set to soar.

Now that you’re well-versed in the job-seeker visa, the Arabian nights and career delights are just a horizon away.

Kuwait Conquered!

But wait! There’s lot more that you might be interested in following:

  • Tax System In Kuwait
  • Types Of Visas In Kuwait
  • Income Tax Brackets In Kuwait