Whether by desire or by choice, Kuwait’s tourist or business visa policy is not so stringent that it forbids, or rarely permits an extension. In fact, Kuwait visa renewals are granted on the same basis that the original visas were granted. Unlike other countries, their protocol does not get stricter the longer someone wants to stay.
So, why stay in Kuwait an extra week, if given the opportunity? There are several reasons. First, the cost of living is relatively low, so staying at a nice resort or frequenting an interesting nightclub may not weigh down heavily on the traveler’s purse. But this entry focuses more on the renewal application process, rather than the many things to do once actually arriving in Kuwait, but to throw out an interesting starting point, go to the ‘Musical Fountain Park,’ in the center of Kuwait City. This park is bustling at any time of the day with a blend of locals and expats, musicians and performers alike, with both modern and traditional influences in culture, music and style. For many, it has been the best place to catch first impressions of Kuwait City, which can be rare and exciting. They’ve returned to suggest that laying low in this central hub for a bit will feel like a synecdoche of encounters to come, in retrospect.
Tourist Visa Renewal
Travelers who applied for a tourist visa in Kuwait likely applied through the Kuwait eVisa procedure online, and this same system conducts the visa renewal application process. Thus, the same information is required, just an updated version of it.
While the procedure for renewal is as smooth for tourist visas as initial applications, there are a greater number of ways to invalidate a tourist visa than with statuses in similar countries. For example, many countries successful yet eager to spark a growth in tourism will allow visa holders multiple entry. This way, one can return without any extra hassle which might be an invaluable leniency depending on the nature of the visit. However, Kuwait policy is that once the tourist has entered the country on one visa, they cannot use it to enter the country again. Thus, they have to renew the visa, which usually takes up to three business days to process. Erring on the side of caution, if it starts to become clear that your stay will be longer than you had originally anticipated, it is more prudent to apply for the renewal before the visa is expired. Since it usually takes three business days to process, that mount of time should be set as the minimum when thinking about when to start applying for a visa renewal.
The other, even more common situation which causes someone to apply for a visa renewal occurs when they make mistakes in their visa application and the information does not match. The immigration office will then make you apply for a renewal instead of let you into Kuwait, depending on the significance of the errors, the process to renew could take less or more time than usual. Therefore, it is best to just get the application right the first time.
Renewal for Business or Work-Stay Visas
There is a large and industrious expatriate community in Kuwait, and many of them live there on over temporary government visa. Thus, Kuwait visa renewal is required for each individual expat on a semi-regular basis. If a person is on an extended stay in Kuwait, they are likely eligible for a Civil ID visa, either as a visitor on a long-term business trip, long-term work contract, or marriage to a spouse in Kuwait.
If a Civil ID visa renewal is required, you can call the government and attempt to work on a renewal that way. Sometimes, they will ask for more information and deny permission to renew a civil ID visa over the phone. By this route, call 1889988 with the appropriate country code. Then select 1 for Arabic or 2 for English; if neither of the languages are useful, press 0 and attempt to meander the way through a translation with a live operator. In any case, the operator then explains the process and delivers the next instructions: enter the civil ID number into the keypad on the phone.
Another way to obtain a renewal of the Civil Id card is to apply via Kuwait’s government website, under ‘Civil ID renewal.’ This page will also guide the applicant through understanding if they are banned from reentering Kuwait and for the reason the ban was put in place. If no bans have been processed or charged against the applicant, they then simply enter their Civil ID number to submit the renewal request. Generally, with no outstanding civil issues cited against the applicant, a renewal is granted. At times, the site goes down because of system infrastructure issues, or just general crashes. This is why both phone and website methods are available to the applicant, and both are relatively fast and straightforward processes.
If the request is granted in either manner, the physical copy of the renewed visa needs to be picked up physically from the Civil Information Headquarters, which is located in Zahra, inside the Checkers’ Building. Enter the ground floor, and make way to the reception hall to speak with a clerk about obtaining the renewed visa. After a short process of finding the physical copy, a renewal fee of KD5 is issued to the applicant, which is a mandatory fee in order to complete the process.
Receiving a new Civil ID visa card from Kuwait is process that is arranged by setting up an appointment. Therefore, the applicant needs to arrive at the proper location on time; otherwise the clerk may not have the correct documentation available, or if they do, they may charge a late fee of an additional KD5.
The applicant must have the new ID at the scheduled time if it is indeed granted, or else an additional fee will be charged to the applicant. Show up, and show up on time. Depending on the request of the extension, this also applies to smaller visa renewals, or even two-week tourist visas.