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Around 8,000 British nationals live in Kuwait and a further 10,000 visit each year. Many people move to Kuwait because of the economic prosperity and a very good standard of living, and many expats can find a great job in Kuwait. Almost everyone is attracted by the high salaries and no taxes to be paid. The reason for Kuwait’s success is the oil industry. Income from oil gives Kuwait the chance to invest in the public education system and development in all sectors so it has a prosperous infrastructure. Moving to Kuwait after Brexit has not changed anything.
Many expats are moving to Kuwait to find a job in the country’s oil industry. Kuwait has a financial sector that is rapidly growing and places for work in the marketing, sales, and other business structures. But, be aware that Kuwait government has plans to cut down the huge number of expats moving to Kuwait so it is best to move to Kuwait sooner rather than later.
If you have a degree in the right field then your dream job awaits you in Kuwait. But you should try and move to Kuwait as soon as you can to avoid future entry restrictions on the number of expats moving to Kuwait.
Your employer needs to apply for a work visa (iqama) – you can be jailed if you work without the proper visa.
Some jobs may require a UK criminal records check (known as a DBS check).
There is no income tax on salaries or wages paid in Kuwait – we recommend you get professional advice on paying tax in Kuwait. Many people move to Kuwait for the high wages and low taxes. It can be a good life in Kuwait.
Everyone who is Moving to Kuwait needs to have a visa or entry permit. The most visitors in Kuwait are sponsored by a Kuwaiti citizen or Kuwait company. So, their sponsors are responsible for them. When an expat comes for work, his sponsor is the employer in Kuwait.
Visitors staying for a short period of time in Kuwait can stay for up to 30 days on a short stay visa. If you wish to find work in Kuwait or live in Kuwait then you will need a long stay visa. A visitor visa is not sufficient for Moving to Kuwait for work.
Before you move to Kuwait, check if the residents of your country need a visa before traveling to Kuwait. You can visit Embassy’s website for visa types to travel to Kuwait.
If you want to move to Kuwait for a job, you need to have a residency visa. You can get this by being sponsored by a private company or a Kuwait government organization gives you a valid employment offer.
From the 10th March, 2019, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior implemented a new system of residences regarding the cancellation of the residence permit printed on the passport for all categories/types.
The Kuwaiti ports will allow the civil ID card holder to enter Kuwait, the normal residence data will be confirmed by the civil identity card. See the UK Government entry requirements for Kuwait advice page as well as visa types for Kuwait.
Usually when applying for residency, you will need a UK criminal records check (known as a DBS check).
This type of visa is issued toexpats with a family in Kuwait. When a family member gets a residency, he can become a sponsor to his wife and kids to come to live and work in Kuwait. This is possible just for expats who earn at least 650 KWD per month. When the family arrives in Kuwait, they need to undergo the same medical examinations. If you want more information about visas for Kuwait, it is the best to check the Kuwait Ministry website.
The standard of healthcare and hospitals is very high in Kuwait and in line with that of European and American Hospitals
Kuwait and the UK do not have reciprocal healthcare agreements. You should buy comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you move to Kuwait.
You will need your Kuwaiti civil ID (or your passport if you’re on a visitor visa) to access healthcare.
You should check your prescriptions are legal in Kuwait – you may need to get permission from Kuwaiti authorities to bring your medicine into the country.
You should also carry a doctor’s note for any prescription medicine.
In the summer its very hot due to the country being surrounded by desert. Temperatures of up to 50 deg c in the shade are common. But in the winter temperatures can drop to freezing so be prepared.
Most houses in Kuwait are quite large.
Big apartments in Kuwait have a maid’s room with separate bathroom. It is because Kuwaitis have a room for visitors and place where they socialize with their guests.
At the moment, foreigners have restrictions on buying property in Kuwait. If you want to own a house or an apartment in Kuwait, you need to fulfill certain conditions. Before the law allows you to buy a house in Kuwait, you can however rent it.
There is a wide variety of housing types in Kuwait, Big and Small to suit all needs.
Rental prices vary from about 600 USD per month for a small one bed apartment to 2000 USD a month for a larger 3 bed apartment. Prices will be a lot higher in key areas.
If you’re applying to live in Kuwait, you won’t be able to drive unless you have a Kuwaiti driving license.
You should apply for a Kuwaiti driving license after you receive your residency permit.
Your eligibility to obtain a Kuwaiti license may be affected by your residency or employment category, annual salary, degree certificate and time spent in Kuwait.
Transferring your UK driving license into a Kuwaiti one might be a possibility as well. Obtaining a driving license for your spouse may be difficult or even not possible.
Always check directly with the local Kuwait authorities for an updated list of requirements before proceeding. Visit the UK Government page on Notarial and Documentary services guide and follow the steps for Legalizing UK issued documents.
Once your DVLA license has been notarized in the UK, legalized at the FCO, and attested at the Kuwaiti Embassy in London, you can take it to the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs for an attestation. Then, translate your license to Arabic.
Take your driving license and translation along with any other required supporting documents to the Kuwaiti Traffic Directorate. A list of the required supporting documents, approval, and conditions are all provided by the Kuwait Traffic Directorate .
Following the attack on the coalition base at Taji in Iraq on 11 March 2020, and subsequent US airstrikes, tensions may be raised across the region. There is a possibility of an increased threat against Western interests, including against UK citizens. You should remain vigilant and keep up to date with the latest developments, including via the media and this travel advice.
You must carry your passport or a Kuwait civil identification card at all times. See Local laws and customs
Take care if you plan to travel to conservative areas such as Jahra. There are high levels of crime, particularly robberies, in Jleeb Al Shuyoukh. See Local travel
Following maritime restrictions issued by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior in 2011, you should also take care when sailing in Kuwaiti waters. See Sea travel
Terrorist attacks in Kuwait can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism
You can contact the emergency services by calling 112 (fire, police and ambulance).
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
Kuwaiti laws and customs are very different from the UK – breaking the law can result in severe punishment, including the death penalty.
Kuwait is a Muslim country. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend other cultures or religious beliefs, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas. See Travelling during Ramadan
Carry your passport or a Kuwait civil identification card at all times.
Entry to and photography near government, military and industrial and other restricted areas (e.g. near borders and oil fields) is forbidden.
In public, you should dress and behave modestly. Women wearing shorts or tight-fitting clothes, in particular in downtown or conservative areas, are likely to attract unwelcome attention.
The importation or possession of narcotics, alcohol, pork products or obscene material is a crime and can lead to imprisonment.
Possession and abuse of drugs can lead to a prison sentence of between 5 and 10 years, and a heavy fine. Bail is not usually given and even if found not guilty you can expect to spend several months in detention while the case progresses through the judicial system. Penalties for drug trafficking include the death sentence.
Drunken behavior in public or driving under the influence of alcohol is punishable by a fine or imprisonment, and/or deportation and the withdrawal of your driving license.
Sexual intercourse between men and imitating the appearance of the opposite sex are punishable by law. See the UK Government information and advice page for LGBT travellers before you travel.
Intimate displays of affection between men and women are also frowned upon.
Co-habiting of unmarried partners in Kuwait is illegal. If you wish to live with your partner in the same house, you need to be married.
Bouncing cheques is illegal and the law does not provide for offenders to be released from custody on bail. Post-dated cheques can be banked immediately.
If you’re involved in a commercial dispute with a Kuwaiti company or individual, you may be prevented from leaving the country pending resolution of the dispute.
The British Embassy can’t intervene with labour disputes.
Islam is an important part of everyday culture and life in Kuwait. So, when you are relocating to Kuwait, you need to remember that you will hear the phrase Inshallah — if God wills it. You will hear it every day. Also, don’t forget that alcohol is illegal in Kuwait.
When you move to Kuwait you should respect Islamic traditions but in the same case, you can live in your own international way.