Assessing travel and visa obligations in Kuwait

When traveling to Kuwait, your nationality and the types of activities you will conduct during your trip will determine whether you may travel lawfully as a business visitor or if work authorization will be required. Please seek advice from your immigration counsel if you are uncertain about the specific types of activities that constitute business or work.

Traveling for business

What types of activities may I engage in as a business visitor?

As a business visitor to Kuwait, you may engage in the activities below. While this list is not exhaustive and other activities could qualify as business, you may:

  • Attend business meetings
  • Buy goods for sale outside the country
  • Tour a company facility
  • Attend conventions or trade shows


If I qualify as a business visitor, do I need a visa for Kuwait?

Foreign nationals traveling to Kuwait to engage in business activities are generally required to obtain a Commercial Visit Visa, also known as a Business Visitor Visa, from a Kuwaiti Embassy or Consulate prior to travel.

Nationals of select countries may be eligible for a Visa on Arrival (also called Article 14-Visa or Visa-14) for business purposes. Additionally, some nationals may be eligible to obtain an e-Visa online prior to departure.

Nationals of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states are eligible for a visa waiver and are not required to obtain a Commercial Visit Visa to engage in business activities in Kuwait. Please consult with your immigration counsel before traveling to determine eligibility for a Commercial Visit Visa, e-Visa or visa waiver.

Working in Kuwait

What types of activities require work authorization?

Foreign nationals may generally be permitted to engage in short-term technical activities and other hands-on work, such as systems installation and repairs, with a valid Commercial Visit Visa. Additionally, U.S. nationals intending to perform short-term technical activities on a military base may be eligible to obtain an e-Visa or Visa on Arrival. Please consult with your immigration provider before traveling to confirm eligibility for a short-term work authorization exemption.


If I am traveling to Kuwait for work, what type of work authorization do I need?

Requirements for work authorization depend on your qualifications, on the nature and duration of your work and on whether your employer has an entity in Kuwait. All foreign nationals intending to engage in work activities must obtain a Work Visa and Civil ID card.


Is it possible to be exempted from work authorization requirements?

Nationals from GCC member states are not required to obtain work authorization to work in Kuwait. However, registrations or other formalities may be required for these nationals to work and or reside in Kuwait.

What else should I know?

Inevitably, the legal and strategic considerations impacting visa selection, as well as visa waiver and work authorization eligibility, entail the careful consideration of many factors. We recommend that you consult with your immigration counsel before taking any course of action.


Copyright ©2024 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. Government immigration agencies often change their policies and practices without notice; please consult an immigration professional for up-to-date information. This document does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. BAL maintains comprehensive immigration information and processing specifics for our clients.