Kuwait Family Visas Back, But 65% Rejected on Day 1: New Rules Explained

The wait is over, but the path to reunion is narrow. Kuwait's two-year family visa freeze has thawed, but stricter conditions leave many applications in limbo. With a staggering 65% rejection rate on day 1, understanding the new rules, exemptions, and careful planning are crucial for success.
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As you may be aware Kuwait’s two-year suspension of family visa applications for expatriates ended on Sunday and the country resumed issuing family visas for reunion. However, celebrations were muted as strict new conditions led to a staggering 65% rejection rate on the first day.

While hopes were high for reunions, many families faced disappointment due to limited scope, higher salary requirements, and mandatory university degrees.

Limited Eligibility and High Bar

Only applications for spouses and children are currently accepted, leaving parents and siblings in limbo. Additionally, the minimum monthly salary requirement has jumped to KD 800 (approx. USD 2,630), and applicants must hold university degrees relevant to their work.

This combination creates a significant hurdle for many families, particularly those with lower incomes or non-degree holders.

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Exemptions for Specific Professions

While most applicants face the university degree hurdle, 14 professions, including judges, doctors, and engineers, are exempt. However, they still need to meet the salary requirement. This creates a two-tiered system, potentially raising concerns about fairness and accessibility.

Application Statistics and Revised Criteria

The initial rush to apply for family visas on the reopening day resulted in a flood of 1,800 applications. However, a significant majority—approximately 65%— of family visa applications were met with rejection, totalling 1,165 failed applications. This high rejection rate underscores the stringent nature of the revised criteria.

The updated conditions now demand a higher monthly salary of KD 800, coupled with the mandatory university degree requirement for all applicants.

Furthermore, employment in a field aligned with the applicant’s area of study specialization has been made obligatory, further narrowing the eligibility pool.

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Document Attestation Procedure

To ensure the authenticity of qualifications, the attestation process for university degrees remains rigorous. Applicants must undergo verification by the issuing university, followed by attestation by the Kuwait embassy in their home country, and final approval from the foreign ministry in Kuwait.

Day 1 Rejections Highlight Challenges

The high rejection rate on the first day underscores the challenges families face under the new system. Incomplete applications, ineligibility due to profession or income, and potential issues with degree verification could contribute to this figure.

Moving Forward: Careful Planning Needed

While the resumption of family visas brings hope for many expatriate families seeking reunification, the high rejection rate on the first day serves as a reminder of the strict measures in place.

The ministry’s emphasis on maintaining standards and streamlining immigration processes underscores Kuwait’s commitment to ensuring a robust and regulated visa system. As families navigate these revised criteria, it remains to be seen how the process will evolve in the coming days.

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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