Last update 18 March 2020Diplomatic missions
Level 3: Increased level of risk (recommendation not to travel in certain areas of the country unless necessary)
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Regular passport: visa not required
Diplomatic passport: visa not required
Official passport: visa not required
The State of Kuwait
Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in the State of Kuwait
Address: Kuwait, Jabriya, Area 11, Str.1 (H. 272) and Str.107 (H. 31); P.O. Box 12090 - Shamia 71 651
Telephone: +965 253 144 58; +965 253 144 59
Fax: +965 253 214 53
Out-of-hours hotline: +965 998 296 14
Office hours: 08:00 - 14:30 h
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: www.mfa.bg/embassies/kuwait
Embassy of the Republic of Kuwait in Sofia
Address: 1700 Sofia, Simeonovsko shose St. Residence № 15
Telephone: +359 2962 5689; +359 2962 5130; +359 2962 5209
Fax: +359 2962 4584
Office hours: 09.00 - 15.00
Consular section: 11.00 - 13.00 h
Office hours: 08:30 - 11:00 h
E-mail: [email protected]
Kuwaiti dinar (KWD)
Crime and safety
The level of criminality in the country is low. The few registered general crimes are perpetrated in most cases by foreigners. They are chiefly immigrants from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and some Arabian countries. Their number exceeds two million people.
Kuwait is among the countries in the region with high level of stability and safety. In the context of the socio-political developments in the Arab world during the past years, a new phenomenon has emerged in the Kuwaiti capital, i.e. public meetings and street processions, which are sometimes organized. As a rule, these events run a peaceful course, and are localized and limited in time by the police authorities. It is possible however, that sometimes they result in blocking the street traffic. Confrontations of participants in street events with the police are rare. It is important to avoid such events both because of personal safety and in order to prevent creating any preconditions for misunderstandings. The participation of a foreign national in such mass events in Kuwait is inadmissible and leads to extradition. Bulgarian citizens can keep informed about the latest developments in the country from the local English publications, which have internet versions, and from FM radio stations broadcasting in English.
Dangerous areas: The border regions, particularly near the border with Iraq, are risky for traveling. It is not advisable to use dirt roads because of danger from mines and unexploded bombs.
One should have enhanced attention in the residential areas populated mainly by underpaid workers from abroad and persons without citizenship, such as Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, some parts of Fahahil and Jahra.
Specifics of legislation and local norms
The legislation in Kuwait is secular with elements of the Sharia law. It is forbidden to bring in intoxicating substances, alcohol, pork and pork products. Publications and printed materials, which can be classified as pornographic, are forbidden. The violation of these bans can result in imprisonment.
The illegal possession of narcotic substances is punished with long terms of imprisonment and very high pecuniary penalties. Drinking alcohol in the open or going in public after using alcohol is prosecuted. The punishment is a fine, but it can go as far as imprisonment or extradition of the offender, if he is a foreigner. Driving after drinking alcohol is a severe offence and is very likely to lead to imprisonment.
Polygamy is on principle allowed, but is not widespread.
Cohabitation without official marriage is qualified as adultery and is prosecuted.
Considering the high general standard of living, lawyer’s fees are high. An ordinary single legal consultation on a civil or criminal case is 40 – 50 Kuwaiti dinars, while the minimum fee for undertaking the defence on lawsuits is about 500 Kuwaiti dinars.
In Kuwait and the other countries in the region, our compatriots should comply also with the Islamic norms of behaviour, in particular:
- Clothing, especially for women, should be in conformity with the local ideas of propriety (t-shirts with spaghetti straps, shorts and short skirts, low-cut necklines, transparent clothes, etc. are unsuitable);
- Expressions of intimacy with persons of the opposite sex in public places are inadmissible.
- During the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims observe strict fasting between sunrise and sunset, it is important not to eat food and to drink, and not to smoke in the open or before local citizens. This can be interpreted as disrespect to the norms of Islam and provoke sharp negative reactions, including complaint before the authorities and sanctions.
It is forbidden to bring in Kuwait explosives, alcohol, pork (including in the form of sausages), pornography, religious literature, narcotics, drugs like stimulants and tranquilizers (valium, diazepam, etc.).
At entering and exiting the country, the allowed amount of cash is no more than 5 000 Kuwaiti dinars (equal to 12 500 EUR).
If you want to bring in or take out an amount exceeding the equivalence of 5 000 (five thousand) Kuwaiti dinars, you will need to notify the competent authorities officially and specify the reason for carrying such an amount in cash.
You can access the customs requirements of Kuwait HERE.
The traffic on the roads in Kuwait is in the right-side lane. The country has well-developed and modern road network, but the traffic in the capital is extremely heavy and intensive. Powerful and large-size cars, predisposing to high speed, are very popular in Kuwait. Some highway sections allow maximum speed of 100 or 120 km per hour, but the maximum permitted speed on most roads is 80 km/hour. The speed limit in the residential areas is 45 km/hour. Due to the intensive traffic and the high speed, one needs to exercise special caution when driving on highways. Using safety belts is a must.
The authorities take stringent measures to stop violations on the roads and to limit the number of severe car accidents. Particularly heavy sanctions are stipulated for exceeding speed limits and crossing at a red light. Exceeding the maximum speed limit by 5 km/hour and crossing at a red light will almost inevitably entail high penalties. There are numerous cameras equipped with flash devices, which can photograph the offenders even in the darkest part of the night. The driving licenses are taken away for exceeding speed limits three times or crossing at a red light once. Details of the Traffic Law, and the penalties and punishments imposed in the country, can be accessed HERE.
Travel papers and visas
The healthcare is at very good level. Kuwait is the country with the largest number of hospital beds per capita. The majority of medical establishments are private and the services they offer are very expensive. Therefore, it is advisable for Bulgarian citizens traveling to Kuwait to make international medical insurance for the period of their stay in the country.
The Bulgarian passports should have validity of at least six months from the date of entry.
There is no need of preliminary vaccinations. The medical insurances are not mandatory so far, but they are advisable for the security of visitors.
The citizens of most EU countries, including Bulgaria, can be issued a visa at the airport upon entering Kuwait against 6 Kuwaiti dinars (18 EUR). These visas are issued for tourism or staying with friends or relatives. In case of traveling to Kuwait to work there, you should obtain a visa in advance from the embassy of Kuwait in your country of residence. The Kuwaiti visas are issued on separate forms and are not placed in the passport. They should be kept until leaving Kuwait.
The visa issued at the airport is usually a tourist visa, which has validity of three months. Overstaying can lead to administrative sanctions, i.e. penalty for each day of overstay of 2 (two) dinars. Note! It is possible when coming in the country for staying with friends or relatives to be issued a visitor visa, the length of which is 1 (one) month, while the administrative sanction for overstaying are 10 (ten) dinars for each day of overstay. The administrative sanctions are imposed as mandatory. Exiting Kuwait within the validity of the visa will give you automatically the right to obtain a new visa.
For a long-term stay in the country with the aim of working or joining a family member, one is required to have a conviction status certificate and a medical certificate that you are not carrier of the AIDS virus or of hepatitis В and С. It is possible to join a family member with the right of long stay, if such member is parent or husband. A husband however, is not allowed to join his wife who is staying and working for a long term.
The first condition for issuing a work visa is that the candidate has an appointment in Kuwait. The employer shall make representations to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait – Emigration Directorate, for granting the so called “Working Entry Visa”. Upon its receipt, he shall send a copy of it to the candidate. The candidate then shall submit the necessary documents in the Embassy of Kuwait in Sofia, including a copy of the “Working Entry Visa” he has received. The documents will be examined and the Embassy will confirm the issuance of the visa.
It is advisable to address the Embassy of Kuwait in Sofia for updates concerning the visa regime in Kuwait.
Bulgarian citizens applying to work in Kuwait should have in mind that the monthly salary of 1 300 – 1 400 US dollars (or about 350 Kuwaiti dinars), even with provided lodging at the expense of the employer, cannot secure a normal standard of living and does not allow for savings. It is important before signing the job offer and even more so – an employment contract, to examine carefully the clauses contained in them.
An important peculiarity, which is not explicitly legalized, but is applied in most cases, is the limitation for women to enter the country unaccompanied, i.e. foreign female citizens between the age of 30 and 35. This does not apply, if they travel with a family member.
The local laws and customs should be observed in Kuwait. It is advisable to familiarize with them in advance and to observe them strictly. The punishments for violating the law can be much more severe than the punishments in Bulgaria for the same violations.
If one is detained by the local authorities, he should request for contact with the diplomatic mission of R. Bulgaria in Kuwait.
You can receive financial assistance directly from the diplomatic mission in Kuwait, only if your friends or relatives deposit the required amount in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Financial-Economic Activities Directorate.
If your personal documents, cash, travel tickets, etc. have been stolen, you should immediately notify personally and in writing the closest police office and ask for a copy of the protocol for establishing the event. You should then contact the diplomatic mission in Kuwait and take steps for obtaining the necessary documents either to continue your journey or return to your motherland.
You should not take photos close to objects of national significance: the palaces of the ruling family, government institutions, military bases, oil fields and refineries.
Certifications and legalizations
The Embassy of R. Bulgaria in the State of Kuwait performs the following certifications and legalizations:
- Certification of signature;
- Certification of stamp affixed by MFA of Bulgaria;
- Certification of stamp affixed by MFA of Kuwait;
- Certification of stamp affixed by MFA of Bahrain;
- Translation and legalization of documents.
Preparation of Bulgarian identity documents
The Embassy in Kuwait has technical equipment for taking biometric data – fingerprints and digital photos, and accepts applications for issuing or renewal of Bulgarian identity documents – passports, identity cards and driving licenses.