Once an expatriate has obtained
his residence then he must obtain a civil identity (ID) card (bitaqa-almadaniyah),
no matter what type of residence he is on. Civil ID cards are issued by
PACI, the public Authority for civil information. After his first card
has been issued, the holderís civil ID number remains the same even if
he changes his sponsors or leave Kuwait and comes back several years later
on a different residence visa.
The civil ID card shows the holderís
civil number, full name, date of birth ( which is also included in the algorithm
for the ID number) local address, blood group, sponsorís name, type of visa, etc,
and date of expiry of the card. Wherever the card expires or an expatriate change
sponsor, renews his residence or changes his address, his civil ID card must be
amended accordingly. PACI has several offices, each with different functions.
Wherever applying for the
first time or renewing or replacing civil ID card, four photographs, showing
the face without spectacles, are always required for those over 11 years
of age. Photographs are not required for elderly Kuwaiti females.
To register for a civil
ID for the first time, the documents required are:
· Copy of passport
pages showing personal details and residence stamp
· Security clearance
(Fingerprinting) from those over 16 years
· Original birth
certificate if born in Kuwait
· Blood group certificate
those over 5 years
· Proof of house
address (eg, rental agreement and rent receipts)
· Declaration signed
For a first time domestic
servantís civil ID all the above documents, except the first, are needed.
For the first civil ID for the baby born in Kuwait, just a copy of the
babyís birth certificate, and a copy of the sponsors passport(showing personal
details, residence stamp and the addition of the baby) or the babyís own
passport (showing personal details and residence stamp) are required.
When changing or renewing
a civil ID, an expatriate no matter what type of visa he is on, only needs
to submit a copy of his passport (showing personal details and the residence
stamp) and his sponsors declaration. To have an amended card issued following
a change of address, the current card plus proof of the new address (eg,
rental agreement) must be submitted. To replace lost card, a photocopy
of the lost card and the expatriateís passport is required.
First time applicants on
a work or dependentís visa must go in person to the PACI office in Farwaniyah,
as must all those who wish to replace a lost card. Those on a work or dependentís
visa who are renewing or changing their civil IDs, and first time applicants
for a documentís servantís civil ID, and applicants for the first civil
ID of a baby born in Kuwait, can buy the application form and special envelopes
from ĒExpress-EnvelopeĒ machines located in Coop supermarkets (250fils),
follow the instructions and submit their applications in these special
Time Limits & Penalties (TOP)
The charge for civil ID
card is KD 2 when it is first issued and each time it is renewed. The charge
is paid when the card is collected, there is a fee of KD 10 to replace
a lost card.
An expatriate must apply
for a civil ID card within 30 days of getting his residency, and must renew
his card within 30days of getting his residency, and in Kuwait, the time
limit for first registration is 60 days from the date of birth. In all
cases the irrespective of the length of the delay, though in practice PACI
only levy a one-off fine of KD 20.
of Civil ID Card (TOP)
For Online inquiry go to
It takes about 10 days for
a civil ID card to be processed.
Expatriates can ascertain
the status of cards under process through PACIís computersed telephone
answering system by calling 889988 and keying in their civil ID number (for renewals)
or the serial number on the outside of the envelope in which the application
The civil ID card can only
be picked up in person at the
PACI office in South
of Surrah (sixth ring road) beside ministry of elecrocity and water from an electronic dispensing
machine. The actual machine to be used is ascertained by dialing the above
telephone numbers. Two dinars plus the old civil ID card (if held) must
be fed into the machine to obtain the new card.
& other Documents (TOP)
Many sponsors (including
ministries) insist on holding their employees passport, even after residence
formalities have been completed. Expatriates resent this. Though Kuwaiti
Law is silent on this matter, in August 1997 a court ordered a company
to return a passport to a former employee on the grounds that a passport
belongs to the holders.
An expatriate should note
that a passport is the property of the issuing government and that the
holder is under a duty not to allow it to pass into the possession of an
unauthorised person, and so allowing his sponsor to hold his passport indefinitely
may be contrary to the law of his own country. And an expatriate whose
passport is held by his sponsor may not be able to travel immediately in
an emergency should his sponsor be out of the country or otherwise understandable.
A majority of expatriate are laborers living in camps, where important
documents can be easily lost or traded. In addition as exit visas for fiduciary
bonds are relatively unknown in Kuwait, there is always the risk that an
expatriate who controls valuable assets may abscond from the country.
The best tactic for an expatriate
whose sponsor refuses to return his passport is to seek advice from his
embassy, and insist that the advice be given in writing. The expatriate
could also write to the issuing authority in his own country asking for
Ďpermission Ď to allow his employer to hold his passport indefinitely.
The Human Rights Committee
at the National assembly claims a special interest in ensuring that employers
return their employees passports after the completion of immigration formalities.