Other Residence Visas

Besides work, dependent and domestic iqamas, expatriates may obtain other kinds of residence, such as a student residence, or a three month residence for medical treatment.

An expatriate may be granted temporary residence under article 14 of the immigration regulations in special cases where he does not need or cannot get ordinary residence. This allows him to stay for up to one year. Though it is usually only given to visitors with personal emergencies such as illness. Temporary residence may also be given to expatriates who have resigned but who need to remain in Kuwait for some time in order to settle their financial affairs or a court case. In mid 1998 the Immigration Department announced that it would consider granting two month temporary residences to the immediate relatives (father, mother and sisters but not brothers) of resident expatriates who are in Kuwait on visit visas (which cannot otherwise be extended). The cost of a temporary residence is KD10. A temporary residence is cancelled if the holder leaves the country.

Expatriates ?who have spent long years in Kuwait? may sponsor themselves under article 24 of the regulations and obtain a residence for two to five years, provided they can support themselves financially and can produce a certificate of good conduct. This form of residence can be renewed upon expiry. Self-sponsored expatriates may sponsor their wives and children.

Exit Permits

Expatriate employees of ministries and some other government institutions must obtain exit permits before they can leave Kuwait.

Absence Abroad

A residence visa is cancelled if the holder is absent abroad for a continuous period of six months. The only exceptions are for those who (a) are studying abroad, (b) are receiving necessary treatment abroad, or (c) are required by virtue of their work to be abroad, provided permission in all three cases is obtained before leaving Kuwait.

For a student studying overseas, application for permission is made to the immigration office in the applicant's residential area. An official letter from the child's college stating that he or she is studying there, authenticated by the Kuwaiti embassy in the foreign country and attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kuwait is required. A typist outside the immigration office will type a letter of application in Arabic, which must state the reasons for the application. Other documents needed include copies of passport and civil ID plus four passport sized photographs.

The permission is given in the form of a letter. The permission must be shown to the immigration officer both on departure from Kuwait and on return. The permission is valid for the remainder of the holder's residence and can be used for several entries and exits. It does not need to be renewed until residence is renewed.


To take up a part-time job, a government employee must get permission from his employer, i.e. ministry or other public body. Expatriates working in the private sector must get permission from the Ministry of Social Affairs & Labour.

Permission from that ministry is obtained from the assistant under-secretary's office in the Ministries Complex in Kuwait City on Mondays and Wednesdays only. The applicant must submit a letter requesting permission, which must state the place of work, the monthly salary and the reason why a part-time job is needed. This letter must be supported by a letter of permission from the applicant's sponsor plus copies of the applicant's civil ID, passport and current salary certificate. The permission, if granted, is valid for one year but it can be renewed annually.

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