The Passport and Travel Section (Community Services Team) at KOC will assist an employee in obtaining a valid residency permit.
Once in possession of a residency stamp, the residency holder may enter and leave Kuwait at will. For identification purposes, you will be required to carry a Civil ID, issued to you on completion of your residency procedure.
A residency permit will be pasted in the passport of the employee and spouse. A credit card type Civil ID card will be issued to the employee and where applicable, spouse.
The Passport and Travel Section will provide you with all assistance to ensure the process is completed as efficiently as possible.
On arrival, an employee is accommodated in the Company Guest House in Ahmadi for a period of up to seven days. This accommodation consists of a bedroom with en suite bathroom. A communal lounge area is available. Meals are served in the room or at the Hubara Club, located within easy walking distance from the Guest House.
During the stay at the Guest House, employees are encouraged to seek suitable accommodation for them and their families. KOC will make a driver available for this purpose. Employees are encouraged to do their own scouting for suitable accommodation.
Should suitable accommodation not be identified during this period, employees will be moved from the Guest House to an apartment in Ahmadi for a maximum period of one month. The employee is expected to locate suitable accommodation during this period.
Renting is the only way an expatriate can obtain accommodation in Kuwait. The rental agreement is a simple process with most reputable real estate companies. Properties are advertised in the English language newspapers - Kuwait Times AND Arab Times. Besides, you can also search for properties based on your requirements on the websites such as: www.re.com.kw AND www.housing.justlanded.com
A “For Rent” sign is also posted at all apartment buildings that have a vacant unit for rent. Calling the number on the billboard will enable an inspection of the apartment. It is strongly recommended that new employees only deal with landlords that have a sound command of the English language.
Our representatives will provide trips to some of the modern malls. They will also provide support and guidance on house hunting trips where they are able to provide advice on areas/prices that most suit your needs, etc.
Apartments are available on either a furnished or unfurnished basis. In most cases, the furniture is light and modern. Furniture in furnished apartments is seldom more than a year old.
When choosing a place to stay, it is strongly recommended that ample covered parking is available and included in the rental agreement. In the case of a married couple, it is advisable to negotiate for two parking bays.
Most expatriate employees joining KOC from abroad are entitled to a one-off furniture grant. The purpose of this grant is to assist new employees to buy furniture, school clothes and other items that may be required for living in Kuwait.
Harris (Property Guard)
Each residence complex or apartment block employs a full time person to act as overseer and caretaker. This person is also, amongst others, sometimes responsible to collect the monthly rent from the tenants. The person is generally known in Arabic as the “Harris.”
The “Harris” will introduce tenants to people who are willing to wash cars at an additional monthly fee of around KD 5 per vehicle per month.
Domestic supplies of water and electricity are reliable. Tap water is desalinated and fluoridated. Most apartments have a special water filter system for drinking water.
Electricity throughout Kuwait is 240 Volts, 50 Hz. British style 13 amp 3-pin square type power outlets are commonplace in all apartments. The fee for electricity and water is usually included in the rental price.
Most new electrical household appliances are sold in Kuwait with American, two pin, factory fitted plugs. Most of the adaptors are easily obtained from stores in Kuwait.
Liquid petroleum gas is a popular form of energy for households in Kuwait.
The average utility cost is less than KD 20 per month.
The fixed line telephone service is run by the Ministry of Communications. Within Kuwait, all landline calls/faxes are free. The cost of an international phone line is expensive.
The international dialing code for Kuwait is 00 965. There are no regional or city/area codes.
Mobile or cellular telephone contact is the order of the day in Kuwait. There are three privately owned mobile phone networks, namely Wataniya, Zain and Viva.
Just as in most countries, one obtains a SIM card from one of many suppliers in Kuwait. A Civil Identification document or card is required to purchase a SIM card. Both pre and postpaid options are available.
A number of satellite-based TV stations can be received in Kuwait. Most of the available stations broadcast in Arabic. A wide variety of English language stations are available for news and entertainment purposes.
Mobile telecommunication companies also provide internet services. For detailed information you can visit their websites. There are also internet service providers such as Mada, Fastelco and KEMS.
The local postal system is inefficient and mailed letters and postal items can take an inordinately long period of time to reach the addressee in Kuwait. It is recommended that consideration is given to the renting of a private mailbox. Rental is only KD 5 per year.
Some employees prefer to use the official mail box of KOC for their private mail items. This option is only recommended when a person has been working at KOC for at least 6-9 months and is known in the organization. In this instance, the address is:
Kuwait Oil Company
(Name of Organizational team)
PO Box 9758
The best and most effective and efficient system for mail and parcel sending and receiving is to obtain the services of one of several courier companies.
The crime rate in Kuwait is low. Should it occur, it is usually petty crimes. It is more common in high density neighborhoods.
Regular police checkpoints and a degree of visible policing helps to keep the incidence of criminal activities low.
Contact with Embassy
It is advisable to register your residency in Kuwait with your embassy as soon as your residence permit has been issued. When you register at your embassy, you will be given contact details of your local warden, whose job it is to inform you of any change of status, etc. Registration is often done while applying for a Kuwaiti Driving License.
Managing Your Finances
Expats are required to open a local bank account in order to receive their monthly salaries. Shortly after their arrival, newly appointed employees will be guided to the bank and assisted in opening their bank accounts. There is no requirement for an initial deposit.
There are no restrictions on sending money back home which can be done through a variety of means, such as over the counter based, bank-to-bank transfers, internet-based transfers or as a more affordable alternative, through money exchanges such as Western Union, Xpress Money and Money Gram.
KOC has an extensive Group Life insurance scheme. In the event of death of the employee, the insurance pays a lump sum of money to the next of kin. The beneficiaries must be nominated as part of your signing on procedures. Should your personal situation change during the period of employment, you are encouraged to update your nominations.