* This article is based off the process to obtain a dependent visa for a spouse.
This article will layout the process to transfer a title 18 Work Visa to a title 22 Dependent Visa. This is another process that’s way more difficult than it should be. One of the main challenges I faced with this process is most of the staff for all the places we needed to go didn’t speak much English. So it is highly recommended if you do not speak Arabic to have someone with you that can speak Arabic. We had a Kuwaiti friend and a taxi driver that helped us when we had difficulties due to the language barrier. Also my wife can speak a little Arabic that helped somewhat when we didn’t have someone with us who speaks it fluently. Another challenge we faced is getting the runaround due to the lack of set procedures for this process. As a result, many times we ended up bouncing from room to room, or one building to another, before we actually got the assistance we needed. Hopefully this article will minimize much of that stress for you.
As always, remember to stay patient with their customer service, or lack thereof, throughout this process. Also remember, your mileage may vary slightly as there is no set procedure that every department follows.
*IMPORTANT: Make sure you go to all locations as early as possible. Most offices opens at 8 or 9AM and the managers whose signatures you will require will end their day about an hour before close of business. Immigration closes most services at 11AM. Shouns usually opens at 9AM and closes around 2PM. All of the offices are closed on the weekend, Friday and Saturday.
Required Supporting Documents:
- Marriage certificate
- At least 3 copies of each supporting document
- A lot of free time
- Current Sponsor (releasing company) will provide:
- Etimad Tawquia
- Signed release paper
- Gaining Sponsor (husband)
- Copy of Civil ID (front and back on same side of one paper)
- Salary Certificate (must have income of at least 250KD)
- Kuwait bank account with KNET (Recommend Gulf Bank)
- About 300KD cash for other processing fees
- Sponsee (Spouse transferring visa)
- Copy of Civil ID (front and back on same side of one paper)
- 2 Civil ID photos (blue background)
*Keep the terms sponsee, current sponsor, and gaining sponsor in mind as described above.
Transfer Visa Process
At Immigration (or Jawazat, pronounced jah-wah-zad)
The first thing you will need to do is go to the typing section of the sponsor’s immigration office to have the application typed in Arabic. The Immigration you go to is based on the residence of the sponsor. This is where the sponsor’s visa is processed. You will attach the 2 civil ID photos to the top left of each page. This application will need to be signed by the current and gaining sponsors. The typist can tell you where to sign. Also, when you take this application to the current sponsor, request the Etimad Tawquia document for the sponsee as well as a letter of release from the company. It’s also a good idea to gather all of the other supporting documents as listed above. Once your visa transfer application has been signed and you have all of your supporting documents, go back to the immigration office.
Now, for the rest of this process I will explain it through my experience at the Immigration in Ahmadi. Other immigration areas may vary in their layout but the process should be pretty much the same.
I included some images below of the Ahmadi Immigration layout to help locate the different areas.
At the Ahmadi Immigration, on the ground floor, take a number from the front service desk directly in front of you as you enter the building, then have a seat in the reception area behind that front service desk. Once your number is called you will take the packet to the respective station. They should stamp and sign it. Then you will have to take the packet to their manager in the small office to the left of the reception area. This will make sense once you’re there and see other people going through the process. Sometimes the manager is floating around in the reception area so you don’t have to go to his office. After you’re done with that, they will tell you to go to the kitab (which is Arabic for secretary) upstairs.
Once we went upstairs (2nd floor of Ahmadi Immigration) the first office we went to was the “Head of Support” located in the back of that floor. Next, we went to the typist room (last door on the left in the same area as the Head of Support office) to have him type up a form. Then we took our packet, with the paper from the typist, to what they call room 1, which is really station 1 in the big room labeled “Director of Department”. Lastly we took the packet to room 4 labeled “General Record” for final stamp and signature. Room 4 was also helpful for directing us where to go when we weren’t sure of the next step. After this they will tell you to go to the Shoun, pronounced Sho-on (I’m not 100 percent sure of the spelling), of the sponsee. The Shoun you go to depends on what’s stated on the sponsee’s current civil ID which is basically what governorate their residence was when their civil ID was processed. If the sponsee is on a government working visa (more to come on this in a later article) they will go to the Shoun in Al-Dajeej in Farwarniya. The purpose of going to the Shoun is so the sponsee’s current civil ID from the current sponsor can be cancelled.
At the Shoun
As with Immigration, the first section you will visit at the Shoun is the typist. They will type two letters for you that will later have to be fingerprinted by the sponsee and signed by a manager. My wife was on a government visa so she we ended up having to bounce between 2 separate buildings for this part. We actually got the two papers typed at the Shoun in Rawda before we actually found out there was another location for government work visas. So I’m not sure where the typing section is at the Shoun in Farwarniya. Then we took those papers to the secretary upstairs of the Shoun for government visas in Al-Dajeej to have them signed.
The next step is fingerprinting that can be done in a criminal investigation building. Our taxi driver that was helping us with the language barrier issue at the time recommended the fingerprinting office in Sharq since their process is faster. The results from the Sharq location can be checked online by Immigration after a couple days. We first had to go to the 2nd floor for a signature. There’s a service desk specifically for women and the other one I’m assuming is for only for men. Then we took that back to the last window on the 1st floor. They will digitally scan your fingerprints and take your picture, then stamp and sign your paperwork. You may be able to do this fingerprinting step before starting the Shoun process or before starting with Immigration. I believe the only place these fingerprints will be checked is at Immigration once you’re ready to finish the visa transfer.
Final Step at Shoun
After the fingerprinting at the criminal investigation department, we went back to another Shoun building in Al-Dajeej (or it could have been a building completely separate of the Shoun) to have the two papers that was typed by the typist fingerprinted and signed by the sponsee and signed by a manager. Following that we went back to the first building and took the papers back to the secretary and manager upstairs to have the manager sign the typed papers, followed by a stamp from the secretary. Then we went into another room as directed by the manager, which I believe is the records room, where the staff there will do some more signing and stamping before making copies for their records. My wife also signed their log book. Then we took our super signed and stamped packet back to the ground floor to a section to have her current civil ID cancelled by the Shoun. At this station, they will review the packet and sign before directing you to go to the cashier for a 1KD fee that can only be paid by KNET. Why it can only be paid by KNET, I have no idea. After making the payment you will take the receipt back to the station where they will take everything they need to cancel the civil ID. They will print out a document which basically states they will cancel the civil ID to show to immigration. Once you receive this document take it back to the cashier for them to stamp and sign. Now you are finished with the Shoun. (Insert smile here)
Since you will more than likely not have time to go to Immigration on the same day as the Shoun to complete the transfer process, now is a good time to get the required insurance. For the insurance we went to the location in Hawally near 4th Ring Road. I can’t remember the exact documents they needed other than copies of civil IDs. Just have the complete packet with you when you go. This process is very simple and costs 40KD + 4KD for processing fee. After paying, they will give you 2 receipts. They will both be stamped and signed on the ground floor. One they will keep and the other you will take with you when you go back to Immigration. I believe it’s only good for one year. This step will only take about 15-20 minutes and can be done at any time.
Final step at Immigration
The documents you will need for the final step at Immigration is everything the Shoun did not take plus the cancel work visa document you received from the Shoun and the receipt for the insurance. Back at the Immigration you will once again take a number from the front service desk, take a seat, and wait to be called. Once your number is called, the staff will write something on the packet followed by the manager’s stamp and signature then tell you to go to the cashier to pay the visa fee of 100KD. Maybe he will just point and say something to the effect of go there, pointing to behind the main reception area. Just remember the next step after getting his signature is to go to the cashier to pay the fee. After you pay the cashier you will go to the “Civil Information” section near the entrance to have a hole punched in the current civil ID and receive a red stamp on your packet. The cashier should tell you what exactly needs to have the red stamp. Make sure you tell them exactly what you need to avoid getting the runaround. After getting the hole punched and the red stamp, then you will go back to the area near the cashier. In the Ahmadi Immigration, this section is the big area behind the main reception area. Take a number at the service desk for that area, be seated, and wait for your number to be called. They will then take all of your paperwork and the sponsee’s passport and stamp the passport with the new title 22 dependent visa. Once you receive the new visa, you are finished with Immigration. Congratulations! The hard part is over. (Insert another smile here)
The last thing is to wait for the new civil ID to be ready for pickup at the PACI office in South Surra about 1 week later. Click below for more details about picking up the new civil ID.
Links for more information and locations of Immigration and Shoun offices coming soon.
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