Kuwait becomes the first Gulf country to enforce the new civil ID card, with expats required to apply for or renew their cards.
Kuwait Times has produced this guide on how to get your hands on the all-important document. The process should be completed within two weeks of applying.
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How do I apply for Kuwait Civil ID?
If you are new to Kuwait, you can collect your civil ID card from the Civil Status Department at the Ministry of Interior. You will need to book an appointment online or by calling their helpline for the collection or delivery of the document.
Once you arrive at the office, head straight to one of four special counters – located on different floors depending on which of the 12 districts you are registered in. Bring along your passport, labor card and two passport size photographs (taken within the last six months).
If you already have a civil ID card but it has expired or is about to expire, you will need to head straight to the Civil Status Department at the Ministry of Interior for renewal. You can check Kuwait Civil ID Status online from PACI’s official website.
What if I don’t have an existing civil ID card?
If you are applying for the first time, take your passport and labor card to one of three centers in different districts across Kuwait. The two-week processing time also applies.
I’m visiting Kuwait this month, do I need to apply before coming?
No, if you already have a civil ID card from a different GCC country, you can use it in Kuwait until its expiry date.
What if I have lost my civil ID?
If you have lost your civil ID card and passport then head to the nearest police station for filing a report. You will need three copies of this document – one for printing a new ID, one for the police report and another to take with you to the Civil Status Department at the Ministry of Interior.
You will also need a copy of your labor card, passport size photographs (taken within the last six months), marriage certificate if applicable, and proof of residence in Kuwait.
Who needs a civil ID?
Every citizen above 15 years of age and resident in Kuwait will be required to carry a civil ID card starting September 1, 2017.
Those under 15 years old will need to wait until they turn 15 to apply for a civil ID. Those whose birthday falls after September 1 can get their ID at the Civil Status Department from November 1, 2017, onwards.
Do I need to have a civil ID to enter or exit Kuwait?
No, but you will need one to register at the Ministry of Interior when applying for your residence permit. In addition, all expats in Kuwait are required to carry their passports and labor cards.
If I have a GCC national ID card do I still have to apply?
Yes, you still have to apply for Kuwait civil id.
Kuwait is the newest GCC country to adopt this system, in line with regional directives aimed at improving the ease of transferring services among member states.
The new ID card will present several benefits, including speeding up government transactions either between ministries or with private companies. It also means that employers can verify whether an expat worker has permission to work in Kuwait, by simply scanning their ID card.
Now that the date is just around the corner, expats must ensure that their civil ID cards are up to date or else they will suffer penalties. Expats who have lost their IDs need to go through a multi-stage process – including filing an application for a new passport and labor card at the nearest police station before taking the documents to the Civil Status Department at their local district.