The crappy kuwait system

I planned to put up this post the day the incident happened, which was 5 days back. Forgot my wordpress password though and left it. And as I’m too lazy to change all the sentences to past tense, pls read it as though the thing happened today. Thanks!

I got up real early this morning to get ready to stand in line at the visa office for the sake of obtaining a visit visa for my mother. Mind you, this is the last stage in the process of running around, getting signature and translation into Arabic and what not. So I stood patiently (number 7) in a line of others who like me, had to wake up early to get in first and get the visa stamped. After half an hour of waiting, the doors were opened. We were rudely asked to go upstairs. Yalla Yalla Yalla.

To understand the rest of the process is left to the confused expat – get the token and wait. Wait for how long and for whom? No clue. God forbid if you ask someone a question, you’re given a dirty look and only a quarter of the info that you require. If you dare ask another question, then tell me something, why in the world are you in Kuwait??? You should be in “Who Dares Wins” instead, earn some money and become famous. Asking a question to the mudhir(a.k.a the “Manager”) here will get you none of it. The Mudhir asked something in Arabic to me, Mario understood it meant that only I was allowed to stay in the waiting room whereas he had to get out and wait. Hmm, something spoken so rudely in Arabic does sound rude in English too. I wait alone.

Sat patiently in line and went when my token number was buzzed.

Here’s the dialogue. It’ll be helpful to know that the guy behind the counter speaks only Arabic with a few English words and I speak English, knowing only a few Arabic words. Also it’s sometimes not too helpful to know that the face is the index of the mind. I think these were the thoughts going through his mind when I came up to the counter.

“I got up early this morning to allow some no good expat come into this country. That too, this expat girl is the sponsor. Pathetic.”


I signed hurriedly and showed him.

Quickly looking through the papers, “Marriage copy?”

Oh no, Mario’s waiting down with it, thought it was not required. I’m sponsoring Mum, not Mario. Anyway, I run down, get the copy from Mario and the original just in case Mr Happy Pants wanted to see that too. Mario tells me he has to go to work as it’s late for him today. I say a hurried bye and run up to the counter.

He gives one look at it and asks, “His civil id?”


I show a sign of frustration. He gives me back my papers rudely and calls the next.

I run down thinking I could catch Mario before he left. Alas! Too late.

What a way to start my morning. And what a way to start tomorrow. I’ll be seeing hero tomorrow again. All for the sake of a one month visa. No wonder, no one likes to come to Kuwait on visit, it’s just not a friendly Arab state.

So all you working Indian ladies out there, please note the following to be done for visit visas:

1.      Go to the Indian embassy with a copy of your passport and of relative (you’re sponsoring) along with a filled in affidavit form to establish the relationship (should be in English and Arabic).

2.      Get a token number and wait in line

3.      When your number is buzzed, go up to the respective counter, he’ll go through your papers and ask for KD6.600. Pay it and he’ll give you a receipt along with a time to collect the stamped affidavit.

4.      Wait in the section for the collection of affidavits and at the allotted time, the guy will call out your name. Collect the affidavit.

5.      Then go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Liberation tower) on the 2nd floor with this affidavit. Get a token number and wait in line. When your number is buzzed, go to the counter and get the thing stamped. Then they’ll usher you to the room where the Mudhir sits, he’ll sign on the stamp and then you’re good to go.

I did all the above on Thursday afternoon. Indian embassy at 2.30, and then after 5pm to Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Docs required at the visa office:

1.      Your original passport and passport copy

2.      Relative’s passport copy

3.      Original salary certificate (green paper) and a copy

4.      Your civil id copy

5.      Original affidavit (establishing the relationship stamped at the Indian embassy) and a copy

6.      Original marriage affidavit and a copy

Now, all the copies need to be taken to the office behind the visa office (this is for Salmiya; the visa office is situated near City Centre) and the paperwork is to be done. Some typing etc in Arabic in a form. Then with this paperwork and the copies of the docs listed above stapled together, go to the visa office, get your token number and wait till your number is buzzed.

Hopefully, you get a nice guy at the counter.

The visa office in Salmiya opens at 7.15am but it’s best to go atleast by 6.30/6.40 so that you’re one of the first standing in line to get in.


Update: Got my Mum’s visa thankfully!



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One Comment on "The crappy kuwait system"

  1. Name is Bond
    19/10/2009 at 1:00 pm Permalink

    Good to see you blogging again!!
    In Kuwait anything and everything is possible as well as impossible!

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