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In order to live and work in Kuwait, expatriates have to obtain a residency visa (iqama). This visa can only be issued on the basis of a valid employment offer from a private company or a Kuwaiti government organization. The Kuwaiti employer then applies for the iqama on behalf of the expatriate employee.
You are then issued a so-called “No Objection Certificate” (NOC) with which you can enter Kuwait. You will be issued the actual residency visa once you have entered Kuwait. In order for the residency visa to be issued, an extensive medical certificate is necessary, including testing for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and tuberculosis.
Once the residency visa is issued, you can apply for a Kuwaiti Civil ID (bitaqa-almadaniyah). This application has to be submitted within 30 days of receiving the residency visa.
Once he has successfully obtained residency, a male expat can act as a sponsor for his wife and children to live with him while he is working in Kuwait. This possibility, however, is restricted by certain salary requirements — only expatriates who earn at least 650 KWD per month (450 KWD if you’re working in the public sector) may bring their families with them.
The procedure for dependent visas is similar to that of residency visas. The actual visa is issued upon arrival in Kuwait. Furthermore, dependents have to undergo the same medical examinations.
In a patriarchal twist, female expatriates cannot sponsor their husbands. Sons above the age of 21 cannot be sponsored, either, although this rule does not apply to adult daughters and parents. Also, any dependents who would like to take up employment in Kuwait will need a separate work visa with a Kuwaiti sponsor.