Residency issues in Kuwait are a pain in the butt. The new police clearance requirements are the biggest headache. I got a forwarded e-mail today through the American Business Council from the Consul General at the US Embassy in Kuwait which stated:
"...The Ministry (of Foreign Affairs) requested the meeting in order to inform the U.S. Embassy that the Government of Kuwait will no longer accept police clearances under the sworn statement of the embassy as part of its residency requirements. As some of you may recall, we developed the procedure of affixing the sworn statement to the police clearance in response to a residency requirement change on August 1, 2009.
This recent decision appears to be the result of internal Kuwaiti Government discussions. In place of document that we have been providing to your employees seeking residency permits, the Government of Kuwait will require that residency applicants obtain a police clearance from their U.S. state of residence or from the FBI prior to their arrival to Kuwait. This clearance must be authenticated by the state where the clearance was issued, by the U.S. Secretary of State, and finally, by the Embassy of Kuwait to the United States in Washington, DC. A full description of the procedure is included here: http://kuwait.usembassy.gov/service/police-clearance-requirement.html. I do not know how quickly the Kuwaitis will implement this change, although I anticipate that it will be swift."
Yes, and it is a major pain - depending on your home State and their timeliness on expediting the process. And guess what - it is even more of a pain if you are already in Kuwait. There is a company that will process security clearances for you:
4301 Connecticut Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20008-2345
Even companies like ours who provide sponsorship services (to companies with contracts in Kuwait) often have to scramble to find out what the most recent rules are (as they change on a whim).
The above is obviously for Americans, but people of other nationalities must go through similar procedures. CIBT has offices in other countries as well.
Why all these pesky security measures? I guess it is in order to keep peodophiles from becoming pediatricians in Kuwait (yes, that has happened here before...) and similar circumstances. You may ask, "OMG, WHAT is next? Drug testing?" They should.... They should start with bus and taxi drivers.... Wait, shouldn't there be an IQ test first as a prerequisite?