COVID-19 Information

(Updated August 1, 2020) 

Flights Departing Kuwait:  

  • Kuwait International Airport re-opened on August 1 at 30 percent capacity, and there are multiple outbound flights from Kuwait with connections to the United States.
  • Passengers traveling to the United States do not require a PCR test to depart Kuwait. However, all passengers must register with the Kuwait Mosafer application.
  • All passengers, including minors, are required to wear a mask and gloves upon arrival at the airport and must arrive at least four hours in advance of their scheduled flight.
  • Any changes regarding the airport status will be sent to Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) registrants, posted on the Embassy website, and amplified by the Embassy’s social media platforms.

Health Guidelines for Arriving Passengers:

  • As of August 1, visas will not be issued upon arrival at the airport. Visas are also not available electronically in advance, as they have been in the past.  It is the Embassy’s understanding that U.S. citizens with valid residencies and visas may enter Kuwait.
  • Arriving passengers must obtain a negative PCR test result administered by a health clinic within 96 hours of their start of travel to Kuwait and bring the results in English with them. No translation is required.
  • Passengers arriving must register with the Shlonik application prior to boarding the aircraft and must home quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Kuwait.
  • A random PCR test will be conducted on ten percent of passengers of each flight upon arrival.
  • U.S. citizens without valid visas wishing to visit Kuwait will need to obtain visas or other approval in advance of travel from a Kuwaiti embassy or consulate. Please visit the Kuwaiti Embassy’s website for contact information of the nearest embassy or consulate.
  • Non-Kuwaiti passengers traveling from the following countries are prohibited from entering Kuwait until further notice: Armenia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Hong Kong, Italy, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Kosovo, Lebanon, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Nepal, North Macedonia, Panama, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Spain, and Syria. This also applies to any individuals who have been present in these countries in the two weeks prior to their travel to Kuwait. 

Country-Specific Information:

  • A nationwide 6-hour curfew from 9:00pm to 3:00am is in effect during Phase Three of Kuwait’s five-phased reopening plan. Please read the FAQs below for more information about current restrictions.
  • People who are found in violation of the curfew order may face imprisonment and fines. Foreign nationals found in violation of the curfew order may also risk deportation.
  • The use of face masks is mandatory in all public spaces. Individuals who are found in violation of the law will be imprisoned for up to three months and/or fined up to 5,000 KD.
  • The Government of Kuwait has reported more than 67,445 confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders, with more than 8,765 active cases. On April 9, the World Health Organization classified the COVID-19 transmission status in Kuwait as “clusters of cases.”
  • The Ministry of Health is randomly testing citizens and residents daily as part of its measures to curb COVID-19. Detailed instructions will be sent to those selected for a COVID swab via text message. The testing is not mandatory.
  • Government offices and private businesses with no more than 50 percent staff, banking, financial, and construction sectors, retail stores, shopping malls, public parks, restaurant takeout services, hotels, and resorts have reopened as of July 28. Taxi services have also resumed with only one passenger allowed per vehicle.
  • Public schools, universities, and colleges are closed through the beginning of August. Public transport bus services are suspended. Many types of social gatherings, including weddings, receptions, and public and private diwaniyas, are banned.

Consular Operations:

  • Limited appointments are available for urgent notarial services only. Visit our website to schedule an appointment.
  • The processing and shipping of new, full-validity passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBAs) have resumed on a limited basis. Visit our website to schedule an appointment. Customers should expect delays when applying for non-emergency passports and CRBAs.
  • U.S. citizens with expired U.S. passports who wish to return to the United States or want a valid travel document, and families with newborn U.S. citizens without passports may visit our website to schedule an appointment for an emergency passport, which can be issued within 24 hours if all requirements are met.
  • Due to reduced staffing for social distancing at the Embassy, all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments remain temporarily suspended. Official government and emergency visa processing will continue to be available.

Entry and Exit Requirements:

  • Kuwait has closed its land border with Iraq.
  • Saudi Arabia has restricted land border crossings to Kuwait to commercial traffic only.
  • The Ministry of Interior has announced that Article 22 (dependent) and Article 24 (self-employed) visa holders can renew their resident permits online. Residents may also extend their temporary residence visa (Article 14) online for three months for a 3KD fee.
  • Tourist visas and residencies of foreign nationals have been automatically extended through August 31, 2020. No action nor payment needs to be taken for the extension to be applied.
  • The Government of Kuwait has extended the amount of time foreign nationals with valid Kuwaiti residencies are allowed to remain outside of Kuwait to one year.
  • Department of Defense contractors are not authorized to enter Kuwait. This restriction is in place until further notice, per the Foreign Clearance Guide.
  • The CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to all global destinations, including Kuwait. For more information, see here. 

Quarantine Information:

  • All passengers arriving in Kuwait from any country must home quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
  • The government of Kuwait has announced that it will not allow the repatriation of remains of foreign nationals who die of COVID-19. Instead, foreign nationals will be buried here in Kuwait. For more information, see here

Local Resources:

  • View Embassy Kuwait’s Most Recent Alerts and Messages
  • The government of Kuwait has a website dedicated to information regarding COVID-19 in Kuwait.
  • The Kuwait Ministry of Health provides updates in Arabic and English on its Twitter feed.
  • The Kuwait Directorate General of Civil Aviation provides updates on COVID-19 related flight restrictions in Arabic and English on its Twitter feed.
  • The Kuwait Ministry of Health has a hotline if people have questions related to COVID-19: +965-2497-0967. There is also a hotline number if you are in Kuwait: 151
  • The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens to rely on information from credible government news sources. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • I am traveling to Kuwait starting on August 1. Can I obtain a tourist visa upon arrival?

As of August 1, visas will not be issued upon arrival at the airport. Visas are also not available electronically in advance, as they have been in the past. It is the Embassy’s understanding that U.S. citizens with valid residencies and visas may enter Kuwait.

  • How can I obtain a visa in advance to visit Kuwait?

U.S. citizens without valid visas wishing to visit Kuwait will need to obtain visas or other approval in advance of travel from a Kuwaiti embassy or consulate. Please visit the Kuwaiti Embassy’s website for contact information of the nearest embassy or consulate.

  • How long is Phase Three of Kuwait’s five-phased reopening plan expected to last?

Each Phase is expected to last for three weeks. However, the Government of Kuwait has indicated that Phases may last shorter or longer depending on local health conditions.

  • What should I do if I have a medical emergency?

If you have a medical emergency and are experiencing non-COVID symptoms, please call 112. Please call the Ministry of Health at 151 or 2497-0967 if you are experiencing a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. U.S. citizens seeking medical treatment during curfew hours must request a permit online to visit hospitals at curfew.paci.gov.kw.

  • I have a flight scheduled to depart during the curfew. Are flights operating?

The airport opened on August 1. However, as the situation may change with little or no notice, passengers on flights departing during the duration of the curfew are recommended to contact airlines for confirmation of their flight status.

  • Do I need to obtain a PCR health certificate if I am departing Kuwait?

Passengers departing Kuwait must obtain a health certificate issued either by a medical lab approved by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health or at the airport medical laboratory only if the country they are departing to requires a COVID-19 test. The United States does not require a COVID-19 test for arriving passengers. Please check with your airline for other specific guidance.

  • I am transiting through Kuwait. Do I need to obtain a PCR health certificate?

All passengers transiting through Kuwait must ensure that a PCR test is completed at least 96 hours in advance of commencing the travel that will transit Kuwait.

  • Can a family member or friend drive me to the airport during the curfew hours?

It is our understanding that one person can take passenger(s) directly to the airport as long as they have a copy of the ticket of the traveler. The driver should allow additional time for possible stops by relevant authorities and should be wearing a face mask while outside the home.

  • Can I still depart Kuwait on an expired tourist visa?

Tourist visas and residencies have been automatically extended through August 31, 2020. This extension is in addition to the extension that was granted to individuals in Kuwait whose visitor visas expired between March 1 and May 30. No action nor payment needs to be taken for the extension to be applied.

  • Will I be required to self-quarantine when I arrive in the United States?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all travelers returning from abroad to stay home for 14 days from the time they return home from international travel. It is recommended you check your state’s requirements for any additional guidelines. 

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