International Travel and COVID-19

Before travelling:

If you have not completed a COVID-19 vaccine series, you should continue to avoid non-essential travel to all destinations.

Useful links

Kuwait Travel Advice

Last updated: ET

Latest updates: Editorial change.

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Risk level

KUWAIT - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in Kuwait due to the threat of terrorism.

Jaleeb Al-Shuyoukh - AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL

Avoid non-essential travel to Jaleeb Al-Shuyoukh due to high crime rates.

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Safety and security

COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions

COVID-19 preventative measures and restrictions are still in effect in some destinations.

These could include:

  • curfews, movement restrictions, or lockdowns
  • mandatory mask use
  • required proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test result to access public and private services and spaces

Before travelling, verify if specific restrictions or requirements are still in effect.

Foreign Representatives in Canada

Terrorism

There is a threat of terrorism. There is an increased risk of attacks in or near places of worship, particularly Shia places of worship, and heightened security measures have been put in place at these sites. Be particularly vigilant in or near places of worship.

Targets also could include:

  • government buildings, including schools
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.

Crime

Criminal activity occurs but violent crime is rare, including against foreigners.

You should, however, avoid secluded places or non-residential areas after dark. Locals have sometimes followed Westerners home after dark and then vandalized their parked vehicles. If you suspect you are being followed or you witness suspicious loitering, report it to the local police.

Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations may occur.

Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Border crossings

Use only official border crossings when crossing from Iraq or Saudi Arabia into Kuwait. Kuwaiti officials consider other crossings illegal.

Armed guards patrol the borders. There have been recent exchanges of gunfire.

Women’s safety

Women have been physically and verbally harassed. Do not travel alone, especially after dark.

Safe-travel guide for women

Road safety

Accidents are common and due mainly to unsafe driving practices such as reckless driving. Exercise caution when driving after dark. Avoid off-road driving due to residual landmines.

Public transportation

Use only officially marked taxis, and pre-negotiate fares.

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines

Sea travel

Exercise caution if travelling by sea, including for recreational purposes, in the Persian/Arabian Gulf, particularly around the Abu Mousa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb islands, as both Iran and the United Arab Emirates claim sovereignty over the islands.

Piracy

Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.

Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre

General safety information

Unexploded munitions and landmines from the 1991 Gulf War pose hazards in rural areas, picnic spots, beaches and desert areas. Monitor children closely. Do not touch suspicious unfamiliar objects.

Weapons are readily available, and accidental shootings have occurred.

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Entry and exit requirements

COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements

Most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory due to COVID-19. These measures can be imposed suddenly and may include:

  • entry or exit bans
  • quarantine
  • mandatory proof of vaccination or COVID-19 testing
  • suspensions or reductions of international transportation options

Foreign authorities might not recognize or accept proof of vaccination issued by Canadian provinces and territories. You may need to obtain a translation, a notarization, an authentication, or the legalization of the document.

Before travelling:

  • verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any restrictions or requirements related to this situation
  • consider even your transit points, as there are transit rules in place in many destinations
  • monitor the media for the latest information
  • reconfirm the requirements with your airline or tour operator

The situation could disrupt your travel plans. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance to change your travel plans.

Useful links

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Kuwaiti authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Kuwait.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

Travel documents with an X in the "sex" field

The Kuwaiti authorities will deny you entry if your passport shows an X in the “sex” field or if it includes an observation to that effect.

Visas

Canadians must be in possession of a visa to visit Kuwait.

Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required

You can obtain a tourist visa upon arrival. If you need a business or student visa, you must get it at an embassy or consulate of Kuwait before arrival.

Arriving without a visa could lead to refused entry or a lengthy delay.

E-Visa

Canadians travelling with a regular passport can also get a tourist, business or visit visa online. You must present a copy of this visa for verification on arrival.

Apply for a tourist, business or visit visa - Ministry of interior

Other requirements

A round-trip or onward travel ticket is required to obtain a transit visa.

Residence permit

The expiry date of a residence permit cannot exceed that of a passport. In order to ensure the longest possible permit validity period, renew your passport before your residence permit expires.

Employment

If you intend to work in Kuwait, you must obtain a certified criminal record check for each individual or dependent family member over the age of 18 who will be residing in the country.

You must have certified criminal record checks authenticated by Global Affairs Canada and by the Embassy of the State of Kuwait before travelling to Kuwait. You must do this no more than 3 months before arriving there.

Canadians who intend to work in Kuwait must also obtain a police clearance from Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior (MOI) upon their arrival. Visit the Embassy of Canada to Kuwait to obtain the letter required to apply for the MOI’s police clearance.

Regional travel

Canadians have been denied entry into Kuwait because their passports bore an Israeli visa or border stamp, or an Egyptian or Jordanian border stamp issued by an office bordering Israel (such a stamp would indicate entry from Israel).

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Children and travel

Learn about travel with children.

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines are right for you.

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air..

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in Western Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholerahepatitis Aschistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Western Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Insects and Illness

In some areas in Western Asia, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunyaCrimean-Congo hemorrhagic feverdengue feverleishmaniasismalariaRift Valley fever, and West Nile virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Western Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.

Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)

Cases of locally-acquired Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) have been reported in this country.

MERS is a viral respiratory disease caused by the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

Some people infected with MERS-CoV experience no symptoms, while others may experience mild flu-like or more severe pneumonia-like symptoms. About one-third of reported cases have resulted in death.

Eat and drink safely, and avoid close contact with animals, especially camels. If you must visit a farm or market, make sure you practise good hygiene and wash your hands before and after contact with animals.

There is currently no licensed vaccine to protect against MERS.

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

Medical services and facilities

COVID-19 - Testing

Contact local health authorities, or the nearest Government of Canada office abroad to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test.

Modern medical care is available through government-run clinics and hospitals. Immediate cash payment is often required.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

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Laws and culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

Culture

The work week is from Sunday to Thursday.

Driving

You must carry an international driving permit.

In the event of an accident, do not attempt to move the vehicle, even if it impedes traffic. Kuwaiti law states that the driver must wait for the police to make an official report.

Digital cameras register traffic violations.

Authorities may hold suspects as well as witnesses to incidents for lengthy periods without access to legal counsel or consular officials. Even if access is granted, it may be severely limited by Kuwaiti authorities. Authorities may withhold the passport of an individual involved in legal processes, pending resolution of the case. This could result in the delay of a planned departure.

There is a zero-tolerance policy regarding drinking and driving. Consequences include heavy fines, imprisonment or deportation.

More about the International Driving Permit

Illegal activities

Defamation of the emir, any member of the royal family or any local authority is prohibited.

Religious proselytizing is not permitted.

Penalties for possession, use and trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines, lengthy jail sentences or even the death penalty. The possession of illegal drugs, even a very small amount, could result in arrest and imprisonment.

Possession and consumption of alcohol is illegal in Kuwait. Alcohol cannot be legally purchased or imported into Kuwait, and the penalties associated with the possession of alcohol include heavy fines, imprisonment or deportation.

The import and consumption of pork products is illegal. 

It is illegal to possess pornographic material.

Photography of government buildings and military or industrial sites, particularly oil fields, is forbidden. Don't photograph people without their permission.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Kuwait.

If local authorities consider you a citizen of Kuwait, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.

General information for travellers with dual citizenship

Fraudulent practices

Fraudulent practices—for example, writing cheques without sufficient funds and non-payment of bills—are regarded as extremely serious offences and may result in imprisonment and fines.

Temporary release pending legal action may be granted in minor cases if the passport of the accused and the passport of the guarantor are surrendered to the authorities.

Dress and behaviour

Exercise common sense and discretion in dress and behaviour. Men and women should dress conservatively. Men must wear pants and a shirt in public.

It is uncommon for Western women to cover their head in Kuwait. Dresses and skirts are permitted, provided they cover the shoulders and knees. Shorts and short skirts are considered inappropriate.

Exercise particular care in your behaviour with others, especially officials, to avoid offending local sensitivities. Verbal insults and obscene gestures may be considered a criminal act and, if found guilty, you could face deportation, fines and/or a prison sentence.

Avoid physical contact, such as holding hands, in public.

In 2023, the lunar month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around March 22.

In public, between sunrise and sunset, refrain from:

  • drinking
  • eating
  • smoking

LGBTQ2 travellers

The laws of Kuwait prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Kuwait.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Kuwait.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Kuwait by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Kuwait to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

Useful links

Family law

Family law matters, including child custody and divorce-related decisions, are settled according to Kuwait’s Marriage law, based on sharia (Islamic law). If you are involved in custody or other family disputes, consult a lawyer for advice on how religious law in Kuwait may affect your family situation.

Money

The currency of Kuwait is the Kuwaiti dinar (KWD).

KWD is readily convertible to U.S. dollars.

Credit cards and U.S. dollars are widely accepted, and ATMs are available nationwide.

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Natural disasters and climate

The rainy season extends from December to January and often results in flooding.

High levels of humidity and severe heat occur from June to September.

Severe sand and dust storms can occur throughout the year.

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

Dial 112 for emergency assistance.

Consular assistance

Kuwait City - Embassy of Canada
Street AddressVilla 24, Block 4, 24 Al-Mutawakkal Street, Da'aiyah, Kuwait City, KuwaitPostal AddressP.O. Box 25281, Kuwait City, Safat 13113, KuwaitTelephone965 2256-3025Fax965 2256-0173Emailkwait-cs@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-KuwaitTwitter@CanadaKuwaitOther social mediaCanada Kuwait
Appointment Book your appointment online

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Kuwait City and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

Disclaimer

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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