If you are a Kuwaiti citizen or resident, you will likely have to apply for some sort of visa in order to enter most of Europe. Most Kuwaitis looking to travel to Europe ultimately choose to apply for a Schengen visa from Kuwait, which grants holders 90-day access to any and all of the 26-countries in the Schengen area, including France, Germany, and Italy. If you are considering a Schengen visa from Kuwait, you may be wondering, “Where do you apply for Schengen visa in Kuwait?” and “How much does a Schengen visa cost from Kuwait?” Today’s blog will answer the above questions by providing an overview of the process of applying for a short-stay Schengen visa from Kuwait. Read on to discover the Schengen visa requirements for Kuwait citizens and residents, the Schengen visas and types for Kuwait passport holders, and much more! 

Apply for a Schengen Visa from Kuwait

  • 1. Decide when to apply 
    • While you do not need to know your exact travel dates, you should have a general idea of when you need to leave prior to applying for a Schengen visa. 
    • Because the application process can take some time (especially for first time applicants) you should make sure that you can fulfill the requirements (gather all of your required documents, etc.) well in time for your trip. 
    • In general, applicants should apply for a Schengen visa from Kuwait no later than three weeks before traveling (and no earlier than six months).  
  • 2. Decide what type of Schengen visa you need 
    • One of the first steps of applying for your Schengen visa is determining your purpose for travel, which will determine the type of Schengen visa you need. 
    • For example, if your reason for traveling is to obtain medical care in a Schengen country, you should apply for a Medical Schengen visa. 
    • Schengen visas and types for Kuwait passport holders include Tourism, Business, Cultural, and a number of others. For a complete list, click here.
  • 3. Decide what entry category of Schengen visa you need
    • Schengen visa are obtainable in the following entry categories: single, double, and multiple. The type of entry category you have will determine if (and how many times) you can re-enter the Schengen area after entering it the first time. 
    • A single entry Schengen visa will only allow you to enter the Schengen area one time during your visa validity period (meaning that if you leave the Schengen area while your visa is still valid and try to re-enter it, you will not be allowed back in (even if you still have time left on your visa). 
    • Those with double-entry categories will be able to re-enter the Schengen area one time after entering it—those with multiple entries can enter, exit, and re-enter the zone as many times as wished within their visa validity period. 
    • For more information on entry categories, click here.
  • 4. Decide what country to apply to 
    • You will apply for your Schengen visa from Kuwait through the Schengen country you plan to spend the most time in on your trip. 
    • For example, if you plan to spend 30 days in France and 20 days in Italy, you should apply for a French Schengen visa. 
    • If you plan on spending an equal amount of time in two or more Schengen destinations (say, 30 days in France and 30 days in Italy), you should apply through the country that represents your first entry into the Schengen area. (To continue the above example, if you are flying directly into Paris from Kuwait, you should apply for a French Schengen visa; if you are flying directly into Berlin, and then entering Italy, you should apply for an Italian Schengen visa (because Italy is your first point of entry between your two most-visited states). 
  • 5. Decide where in Kuwait to apply 
    • Now that you know how to find out which country to apply through, you are probably wondering, “Where do you apply for Schengen visa in Kuwait specifically?”.
    • You should apply for your Schengen visa at the embassy, consulate, or visa application center in Kuwait that relates to the Schengen country you are applying to. 
    • For example, at present, if you are applying for a Schengen visa from the Netherlands, you should apply through Dutch Embassy in Kuwait. 
    • Contact us here to find out where specifically in Kuwait you should apply. 
  • 6. Gather your required documents/materials 
    • The Schengen visa requirements for Kuwait citizens and residents include the submission of the following documents and materials, including: 
      • Passport (valid with space for your Schengen visa)
      • Schengen visa fee 
      • Passport size photos (2) 
      • Proof of accommodation
      • Proof that you can financially afford your trip 
      • Proof of having purchased travel medical insurance 
      • Biometric information 
    • In addition to the above required documents, applicants will have to submit supplemental materials depending on the specific visa they are applying for. 
    • For example, if you are traveling to the Schengen area to visit friends or family, you will need to present a letter from the friend/relative you are staying with, essentially inviting you to stay with them at their home. 
    • Please note that supplemental and required documents must usually be written in either English or an official (or accepted) language of the country you are applying to. For example, if you are applying for French Schengen visa, you original documents must be written in French, English, or another acceptable European language, OR accompanied by an official translation into one of those languages (many Schengen countries will accept applications in Spanish, French, and German, for example). For example, if your friend writes you an invitation letter to France in Arabic, you will be able to submit it so long as you provide an official translation of that letter into French as part of your complete application materials. 
    • Contact us for your application destination before submitting your documents, so that you know what languages are acceptable beforehand. 
    • For more information on required and supplemental materials, click here, and here, respectively. 
  • 7. Access your basic application form 
    • Applications for the Schengen visa for the Kuwaitis can be found online, here, for countries which accept the universal form. 
    • Applicants who apply through this link should print out, fill out, and submit the above form alongside the rest of their required documents and materials. 
    • Some countries, however, would prefer that applicants apply through a country-specific application portal. For example, in order to get a French Schengen visa for the Kuwaitis, applicants should apply through the online French visa portal, accessible here
    • Applicants who apply through an application portal can usually pay their Schengen visa fee and also schedule their Schengen visa appointment online through that same portal. Those who apply through the universal form, or who are not provided those options online, should follow step 8.
  • 8. Schedule your Schengen visa appointment 
    • If you have not previously been presented with an opportunity to do so, you should now go ahead and schedule a Schengen visa appointment (or, at minimum, see if a visa-appointment is required for those applying for a short-stay Schengen visa from Kuwait).
    • The majority of Kuwaiti Schengen visa applicants are required to make an appointment in order to submit their application and fulfill their other visa requirements (i.e. applicants cannot simply drop off their application during embassy/consulate operating hours). 
    • Contact us for your application destination to make a Schengen visa appointment, and to obtain specific information about what you should bring to it. 
  • 9. Attend your Schengen visa appointment
    • In addition to formally submitting your application, your Schengen visa appointment is where you will pay your Schengen visa fee (unless you have previously submitted it) submit your biometric information, and attend a short visa interview. 
    • Your biometric information is your fingerprints and photos, which the majority of first-time Schengen visa applicants must submit as part of their visa requirements. Please note that you will have to resubmit your biometric information in the event that it’s more than five years old.     
    • How much does a Schengen visa cost from Kuwait? For most applicants its €80 EUR, although certain categories of Kuwaitis may be exempt from paying the full amount (or from paying all together). For more information on Schengen visa fees, click here
    • Please note that the vast majority of applicants will therefore have to submit their application (i.e. attend their Schengen visa appointment) in person. However, even if you have completed all of your requirements, you still may be asked to appear in person—even if you are not asked to sit for an interview. 
  • 10. Await your decision 
    • The majority of Kuwaitis will receive a decision on their application within 15 days, although it can take between 30-60 days for certain applicants. 
    • If, after that time, your application is accepted, you will receive a notice to pick up your passport (and visa, contained within). 
    • If your Kuwaiti Schengen visa is rejected, you have options to contest the decision. For information on appealing a rejected Kuwaiti Schengen visa, click here.