Category Archives: Expat

How to add your son as a dependent born abroad in Kuwait in 8 steps

Belated Happy Father’s Day to all dad’s out there.

In keeping up with tradition, i’ll write a BRIEF about the requirements to add your son as a dependent, if your son was born abroad and came into Kuwait on a visit visa.

Step 1: request your company to type up a request to add son as dependent.

You will also need the following documents:

  1. Work Permit – also available with your company mandoubs.
  2. Original entry visa + copy.
  3. Civil ID copy both you and your wife.
  4. Passport copy both you and your wife.
  5. Passport original + copy for your child.
  6. Attested and translated (if required) marriage certificate.
  7. Attested and translated (if required) birth certificate for child. (FYI: Translation is about 3KD per page and takes at least one day to complete).

Bundle all these papers together and head out to your local residency area; Hawally used to be the roundabout near City Center Salmiya, but has since moved to Mishref. So you head over there first.

Step 2: go EARLY. During Ramadan they started work officially at 10AM, however we had to queue up at 8:00AM to get a number to submit our documents. If you show up at 10, you won’t be given a number, and you’ll to come back tomorrow. They start taking in applications by the 10’s, and early, so they start before 10AM.

Step 3: once you get to the counter, the guy will stamp “sponsor came in person” and “to be raised to head of reception”, you’ll find a sign that says Head of Reception, go there with your documents, he’ll stamp “no objection” for you.

Head back to the counter that sent you there in the first place, he’ll take a closer look at your papers and give you another stamp and a signature. He’ll also ask what number child this is, fees for first child are 100KD.

Next you head inside and take a number for “computer processing حاسب الي”.

Step 4: once your number is up, present your documents, do not make my mistake and take a number for new borns, that is a whole other different thing.

So, you present your docs, they’ll print a paper for you with your child’s unified number. At the same time, a request is processed for you to get a civil ID number.

go to the PACI website after two days and check if the civil ID number is issued. Once the civil ID number is issued, write it down and head to the Health office (Behind Mubarak Hospital in Jabriya) to pay 31KD for health insurance. KEEP THIS DOCUMENT SAFE! YOU WILL NEED IT FOR RESIDENCY.

They will give you the grey card as well.

Step 5: head to any printing shop and ask for the health check document, they’ll type it up in your child’s name. Take that sheet and head back to Mishref.

Remember the head of Reception? Go back and see him again, ask him to stand that document for you, he will. You don’t need to go early, later during the day, the crowd requiring his attention will have thinned.

Step 6: take that stamped paper and head towards route 85, right across from the NBK branch there you will find a place called “ports – موانئ”, where you will take this document, along with a copy of your civil ID, a copy of your child’s visitor visa, a copy of your child’s passport and the original.

Here you will need to pay 10KD to buy a stamp.

Once your number is called, present your documents, along with the original passport – they’ll stick the stamp inside and stamp it, then send you to room 8. at room 8 they’ll ask for your child’s age, if they are under 2 months old, you are good to go and skip to the next step.

If they are over two months, they will print a document for you to take to your local clinic – مستوصف where your child received their vaccination. If the child was vaccinated, go there, go straight to the vaccination folks, give them the paper, they’ll sign it (re. CHILD MUST HAVE BEEN VACCINATED) and send you to another office for a stamp.

Step 7: take that paper, stamped by the clinic or if you skipped here because your child is under two months, head to room 4, which is basically the window in the corner of the room where you presented your documents, right behind the stamp machines. Give them the papers, they’ll then take them, thank you and say head back to Mishref for the final fight with the dragon.

Step 8: show up early, between 9:30 and 10. Immediately take a number for 1) Payment and 2) Residency.

go pay the required amount in CASH despite the sign outside saying KNET, crazy I know. you’ll get a receipt, now sit and wait, watch the numbers role.

When your number is up, head to the counter, present your documents along with the paper you got from paying the 31KD for the medical insurance, smile, go outside.

After a while a cop will come out calling names, receive your passport, check residency, check expiry, smile, leave.

 

#Howto #Kuwait – Check whether someone is in Kuwait or Abroad

It has been a long time since our last post, a lot has happened since then; I’ve run several races, gone several places and enjoyed the addition of a new member to our Family (more on that, and him, later).

Off the bat, THIS IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION WEBSITE! What we do here is offer our opinion on certain things, that should not be taken seriously! Now that that is out of the way, let’s get down to it.

Kuwait is a business center – people here are either studying or working, or the grey area in between. Often times, we find ourselves wanting to know more, and the official way to get that information is long and tedious.

How can you tell if someone is in Kuwait or abroad? Suppose you have someone on your sponsorship and they ran away, if they commit any crime, it’s on your head, if they are abroad, it may be difficult to cancel their residency unless you know they are in the country.

So how do you do it? If you ask the people in charge, they’ll say you need to send a mandoub to some Ministry to get a statement of movement of the person, which requires time, lots of it.

Simply, you use this following trick:

(for the following trick you will require the civil ID number of the person in question)

Step 1:

Go to the MOI website (where you check for your driving licence fines)

Step 2:

Click on e-services link

Step 3:

Click on “Violation and Fees Payment Gateway” (link – may not work directly, you’ll need to follow the steps above)

Step 4:

click on “traffic” and enter the CID of the person in question, regardless of whether they drive or not.

Proceed with the search, this will be useful for one piece of information only; the unified number.

Copy it, and click on “new searc” (or go back to step 3, but this time, click on “immigration” for the search (not traffic like step 4)

Step 5:

Enter the number you copied into the search window.

Step 6:

For the next act, you will need someone that reads Arabic, or use Google translate (translate the writing in green). There are three options; either there will be a sentence written stating that “the person is clean” (this means they are IN the country), or “the person is outside the country”, or “the person has the following residency fines”.

And there you have it, you can now tell who is where, and proceed accordingly.

@gulf_bank #642marathon review 2016 @extremesportskw @q8sportsevents @gulfbank642

Better late than never!

I was honestly very happy with the run this year, I kept formulating in my mind how I’d say it is good to be heard and that a lot of the pitfalls of the last run were dealt with this time.

However, it seems that there will always be a new pitfall to be highlighted every year, and the organizers could not have selected a worse pitfall than this, for which I and many other participants will certainly take offence.

I am talking specifically about how the race pictures were subcontracted to an external company that hopes to charge runners for their finish line/ race photographs. In all my years in Kuwait, and all the running events I have participated in, never have I seen someone try to monetize the most important aspect of the run for participants. One might argue “well they do it in XYZ country”, I would counter by saying “not everyone” and that “XYZ country probably has a lot more races than Kuwait does during their calendar year”.

Read on:

Starting with the Con’s:

Inflated participation. Organizers claimed that 4,000 people ran that day. According to the results, the following numbers participated in the distances mentioned:

42KM (Marathon) – 147

21KM (Half Marathon) – 429

10KM – 1,060

5KM – 1,532

Grand total: 3,168

Money hungry. if one were to check the 642 Marathon website, one would be confused to find the results of this year with the photographs of last year, an error of Frankenstein-ian proportion (on accounts he was made up of sewn together limbs from various cadavers). It is only when you received an email saying “your race photos are now ready” that you come to the conclusion that the organizers, in their great wisdom, decided to outsource the photography function, thereby requesting participants to pay extra for their race photos! And the prices are in dollars, and the pictures cost almost as much the registration (for a few) and for all it costs more than the registration.

On the other hand, you have the Runq8 10KM run, they posted 6 albums with a total of over 4,000 pictures, for free, on their facebook page.

Problem is, I was looking forward to the finish line photos, as well as the actual run photos, as I was running in costume, alas.

Ungrateful runners. Despite being upset with the organizers, I made a promise to myself during the race that I would berate the participants for not being kind/polite to the volunteers. These people take time out of their lives to stand in the sun to offer you water/ food at refueling stations. The least you can do as a runner is smile and say thank you. Or if that is too taxing for you simply pat your chest like a gorilla.

Delayed start time. Race was 15 minutes late. Even worse, the countdown was extremely anticlimactic. Next time get a blow horn or a starting gun to give flavor.

Short distance. The half marathon was actually 20.83KM. Short by around 300M.

Pro’s:

Cool new medal design to make up for the repetition of the previous year (with difference only in color).

Better finishing line. removal of the sharp left turn at the finish line was a welcome surprise.

Maximized usage of non-essential road. to prevent closure of important roads, the 10, 21 & 42KM runners ran past the National Assembly all the way to KPC building almost to the intersection with route 85, reducing the need to block a major portion of the main road (route 25).

Good weather. Not attributed to the organizers.

Newly paved road. Also not attributed to the organizers.

I am not too ticked off with the event. It showed the resilience of the human spirit. I have not run a half marathon since the Spark Marathon earlier this year in January, I was afraid I’d be slow, however muscle memory kicked in, and I ended up finishing the race in a time similar to January, so I am one happy runner.

@Runq8Official 10K Review – Nov 2016 @Forwardinspire

Better late than never!

The most anticipated running event of the year has always been and always will be the Runq8 official 10KM run.

This year, we went back to the roots of the event, starting from the “almost” same position as their inaugural run that took place 6 years ago – the Scientific Center.

Throngs of people came out to enjoy the weather and partake in the run, which for the first time in its history boasted a 5KM run as well, a distance to fit the appetite of any and all runners in Kuwait.

You will find below our review, as always, of the run:

Con’s:

NOT ENOUGH BATHROOM FACILITIES! We cannot stress this enough, these events gather a minimum of 1,500 runners. In all honesty, 3 or 4 bathroom stalls for all of these people is INHUMAN (and not the good kind form Marvel Comics). The Scientific Center had an area closed off that contained bathrooms, forcing everyone to go to the bathrooms near the restaurants, with LONG queues. I had to run all the way to the end near the KPTC marina to use the bathroom. Not good planning.

Direction Misconception. Before the start of the race, people were literally lined up facing each other, myself included, as there was confusion regarding the starting direction, which took time to resolve and saw a bunch of teeny tiny girls from BBS standing IN FRONT of the start line, just to be in the picture. It was chaotic.

Bottleneck at the Turn: The design of the start of the course was terrible, as it saw a huge number of runners charge a distance of under 100M and then come to a sharp turn to head towards Marina. Those that were unfortunate enough to not start on the front line had to wait a few minutes, walking, to pass this impasse. This turns gets Double Mention as it also made for a very annoying left turn at the finish line.

Confused Medics. During the return from the 10KM, I saw 2 ambulances driving around each other, a short while later (around 1KM) I came across a participant that had obviously fainted and had friends elevating her feet. I looked behind me, no ambulance. There was no way to communicate to the ambulances that a runner had fainted. What if it were serious and they needed immediate medical attention?

Race village ransacked. The greatest time at any event commences at the finish line; the high 5’s and well done’s shared, in addition to the booths and freebies. However, this time the booths were not all running related, or did not have freebies to be given, in stark contrast to the previous years where one would end up filling a second goody bag. In addition, the majority of foodstuffs provided seemed to be behind the counters of the booths. Now this could mean that people simply threw their garbage away there, but it could also mean that the non-runners ransacked the food giveaways before the runners returned.

Pet peeves. The event attracts a lot of runners and walkers. Not all are comfortable around dogs. Especially large ones. Since the event did not specify runners can bring pets, it should be informed next time, so no one is left feeling uncomfortable.

Short distance. The run was off by about 150-200M.

Did not start on time. The race was delayed by 15 minutes.

Pro’s:

Awesome new design for the t-shirt. Orange is definitely the new black when it comes to this years shirt.

Cool goody bag. The runner’s pouch was a great addition to the goody bag, as well as the earphones, the bandana.

Review of Sustainable Youth Team Relay Run – Jun 16

As with any fledgling concept, there is always bound to be a few “snags” along the path towards a perfect event. This time we were no strangers to the problems, however, we’ll line up how we plan to tackle them in the future.

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Since day one we’ve been a provider of low-tech races. Our registration process seems to confuse people so let us break it down first before we get into the review:

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  1. You read about our event and are interested to attend, you are given a link to fill a registration form on survey monkey.
  2. We receive your information, through excel magic, we take the data and put it into tabular form.
  3. We send out a confirmation email asking people to confirm their attendance.
  4. People respond and confirm, we start assigning them to teams, again through excel and filters on age, gender and level of activity.
  5. We send out an email to the teams confirming their colors and getting the captains involved in motivating their teams.

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The problem is, people don’t check their emails often, much to my chagrin. I have 5 emails synced to my phone simultaneously, and some people cannot manage one.

What happens is they sign up, but don’t confirm in time, by the time they confirm, i’ve already assigned teams and they’re even, and we’re out of space.

Then those that confirmed and got assigned to team’s don’t show up…

Without further ado, let’s start with the cons:

  1. Did not start on time. People signed up, confirmed, got assigned to teams, and did not show up. Whats more, one individual who signed up informed me he needed a visa to come to Kuwait, at 1:30PM (race was at 10PM). People kept arriving late despite us requesting them to be there by 9:20PM.
  2. Time lost explaining concept. Despite having captains, several of the “casual joiners” who happened across our multicolored starting point wanted to participate, seeing as we had ample t-shirts available, and in line with our slogan of sports for all and all for sports, we let them in. Language barrier and sports barrier aside, they made for some excellent additions, specifically the veiled mother and her daughters and son, despite her daughter pulling out, the mother ran the race. Next time, we’ll make a roll-up banner explaining the race concept in two languages.
  3. Cotton T-shirts. I know, I know! Cotton t-shirts and runs do not mix! However, we don’t have the funding to get the t-shirts from abroad and store them until such time we have an event, so we need to get them locally, and dry-fit t-shirts are not readily available locally.
  4. Food shortage. Given that it was Ramadan we had hoped to provide people with a meal after the race, we were just short of 120 participants, and we’d ordered 150 meals. However, some people did not find meals at the end. suggested remedy – food for runners only. Runners were given wristbands for the race, at the end of the race, swap wrist band for meal. No band, no meal.
  5. Lack of coverage. Given that we are a very small outfit (only two organizers were responsible for getting the race up and running), we don’t have a camera person readily available. The timing also made it difficult to get people in addition to the short-notice-ness of the event – were asked to plan and execute in a very short period of time. Next time, i’ll invest in a camera myself and start taking pictures. However, despite this, we still managed to get some awesome shots courtesy of the super talented JCPQ8 (instagram) and the video by the awesome Baher Jaberi (link).
  6. Directions were not clear. We assumed when we said the Oredoo playground at Mishref Pedestrian walkway that people would know exactly where. Our bad. Next time, we posting the exact location on instagram.
  7. No medical attention. Trust me when I say, communicating with the concerned authorities is a hassle. Despite having MOH approval for our last race, no ambulance showed up. Same case this time. We apologize profusely to those that were injured during the run and hope you recover soon!
  8. Small stage. When we first envisioned this endeavor, we planned to MC from the stage, then later we added the idea of contests, however the size of the stage could not accommodate all willing participants. Remedy, bigger stage next time around.

Pro’s:

  1. First of its kind. The comments on instagram continue to bring a smile to my face, people actually enjoyed the event immensely, including the injured folk!
  2. In-tune with concept. When we first started, we wanted a race that was different that could be enjoyed by all. Looking at the pictures from the event, everyone enjoyed themselves, whether they were built as sprinters or not.
  3. Party so hard it was stopped by the police. ‘Nuff said.
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Lady in the black veil

The lady in the black veil is my new hero. She showed up at the event with her daughters and son and they all wanted to run. When the race started, one of her daughters opted to not run thinking its too hard. Not mom tho. She went for it. And everyone cheered. And that is the point behind SYQ8, there’s no cookie-cutter for runners, we come from all walks of life.

The Dubai Visit Visa – Still stuck in limbo @moiuae

When it comes to innovation, the UAE has “almost” become syonymous with the word.

From the tallest building in the world, to the numerous applaud worthy apps made by the MOI to ease citizens and residents minds when it comes to getting into accidents etc. They’re even thisclose to greenlighting drone health technology.

But almost does not get the job done.

For the past year and a bit, the UAE has been struggling with trying to keep up with the growing tourism that has resulted from their position as a global, cultural capital of the world. Everyone is going to Dubai, from Hollywood film stars to Japanese drone tourists.

Also contributing to the UAE’s tourism are GCC Residents in the Middle East. Back in 2012 the system was simple – depending on your title in your residency you were given visa-on-arrival. The Emirati’s decided to upgrade this system and have attempted to kick start an evisa, the likes of Turkey. However, in this regard, the UAE has failed miserably.

In October 2015 it was said that the move from visa-on-arrival to evisa was to permanent. However the website simply failed to function as intended. Many people were left in limbo, having applied for evisas and not receiving them in time (the UAE evisa takes 3-7 days, the Turkish evisa takes 2hrs).

Fastforward to 29 April 2016, all flight operators to UAE are informed that visa on arrival is cancelled, and everyone should apply for an evisa. Again, the system fails. Specifically, when filling out the details requested, you cannot get past the “designation”, which is supposed to function as an autocomplete entry, whereby you enter the details, it shows up on their system and you select it (A drop down menu would be much easier).

Now I have tried to apply for the visa countless times, I can even tell you that you cannot “proceed as guest” and submit a visa request, you HAVE to sign up to submit a request. On Chrome and Firefox, everything works fine up to the designation. On internet explorer, which unfortunately remains the go-to explorer for all governmental entities, the page refuses to load.

The website in question is GDRFA.AE

Now to go to Dubai you are left with one option – book through flydubai, who charge 30KD for the visa (online it is around 20, if the website works, which it doesn’t).

Further making matters worse; the embassy does not process visas, nor are they capable of solving the website dilemma.

Stuck between a rock, and Dubai.

Flipping the Bird in Kuwait

More often than not, we’ll find ourselves on the receiving end of a one finger salute, a flipping of the bird, a middle finger…

TJ-Lane-finger-censored_20130319123712_640_480

When driving back home, I make sure to let any offender know exactly what I think of them (especially on crowded streets) should they have the misfortune of transgressing upon me.

Here however, I keep my windows rolled up and my fingers inside the car, so as to avoid landing on the wrong side of the law should the insultee take offence and attempt to press charges.

Believe it or not, insulting someone whilst driving is a punishable offence. It happened to me today (I refuse to call it Karma) and I did what any warm blooded person would do, I noted the car licence plate number and decided to attempt to press charges.

Went to the closest police station (walking distance) and recounted my terrible ordeal to the police officer, who asked me to wait for the Station Officer, who was not there. So I waited a little while then left, and returned later, adamant to see justice run its course.

The shift had changed and a friendly officer was seated at reception. I recounted my ordeal to him. His first reaction was to find out exactly where it occurred, so as to slide me off to a different police station (jurisdiction) but when I insisted he had it wrong, he told me that I could press charges, then a case would be filed, and I would have to go back and recount what happened, and they’d call the transgressor in for questioning, at which point he could say that it was in fact I who had done that to him!

I asked what he would do if he were in my place, he said if he were not in his uniform, he’d just ignore it and move on.

So I took a page out of his playbook and decided to let this matter go.

A word of warning though the owner of the vehicle with the registration 10-79134

الحياة خيارة، يوم في يدك، ويوم،،،،

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(Do not attempt translation with Google – instead, ask you nearest Arabic speaking friend to explain)

Update: The complete unprofessionalism of @BankBoubyan social media handler

The first law of Customer Service: The customer is ALWAYS right.

However, it would seem the CSR agent in charge of Boubyan Bank’s social media account (on Twitter) was absent the day they taught that class.

Here is an article I wrote 5 years ago regarding CSR at another bank in Kuwait, The Commercial Bank (link) entitled “Customer service, The Commercial Bank of Kuwait has it right!”. So you know I am not specifically targeting Boubyan Bank, I am merely a dissatisfied potential customer voicing my indignation.

How does Boubyan Bank choose to respond?

@KFHgroup @Gulf_bank @warbabank @NBKpage @AltijariCBK

When I tried to respond to that tweet today, I found out it was deleted.

Shame on you for responding on behalf of a corporation with the wherewithal of an infant.

Award for Most racist bank in Kuwait goes to @BankBoubyan

The world of banking is quite fickle; in Kuwait, it is extremely fickle. As an employee, you cannot receive a salary without having a bank account, so everyone is aware of every banks requirements.

As an NBK Customer, I quite enjoy their services, their locations and most importantly their online banking.

That being said I like to live by the advice of Warren Buffett, “Do not spend then save, save then spend”, I do so by having a secondary bank account to which I transfer monthly savings in order to prevent myself (or my wife) from spending them. I usually opt for savings accounts to see a meager return on these savings.

I’ve tried several banks in Kuwait, most notably The Commercial Bank, Gulf Bank and Ahli United Bank.

Never have I ever in my life been told that I need “Branch Manager Permission” to open a savings account, except at Boubyan Bank. Their reasoning? It is only for Kuwaiti’s.

Now this is not my first rodeo, I checked the banks website to find the following:

Not only are they racist but sexist too, Males only?

Granted, their premium account is geared for Kuwaiti’s only. It says so right there in black and white in the conditions. However the page for the savings account simply states the following:

racist bank 2

Do my eyes deceive me or does that clearly read “individuals only” as in not corporations/companies?

When I visited the branch and was informed of this, I thought for sure the employee must be joking, but the serious look on his face made it apparent he’d never laughed a day in his life, and so I gave their customer service a call only to be informed that yes, it is also only for Kuwaitis and that it is up to the Branch Manager to decide.

Think about it. This is a SAVINGS ACCOUNT. They are effectively telling you, your money is no good to us, based on where you come from.

What is the logic behind this? God knows.

Disclaimer: The opinion expressed in this post is the writers own personal opinion and no other. This website does not offer any form of advice to anyone. It is simply a means for the author to write their personal view on their day-to-day dealings. All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. mybloogle.com makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Where to find Kuw-pons in Kuwait

The concept of “coupon cutting” is foreign to Kuwait, however, the practice of obtaining coupons is much easier than you think.

I for one am plagued with the conundrum of – I want to buy, but I don’t want to pay that price. Especially when it comes to food. As a child I always wondered why on earth a pizza costs so much, even though the components are so cheap. Until I understood overhead and cost allocation (much later on in life). When I learnt of Goodwill (not the charity, or the movie, rather the intangible asset) I flipped – we’re being charged extra because a restaurant is famous?!

Well guess what? Coupons are in fact available in Kuwait – and much easier to attain than the manual labor intensive process of coupon cutting! All you need to do is head on over to Sheeel.com and voila! Almost a new deal every day, specifically gastrointestinal!

Now, fair warning – MAKE SURE YOU READ THE TERMS! Some restaurants require advance reservation if you are to use coupons, others do not deliver to all areas of Kuwait, the rest might not have Dine-in facilities. Some restrict the number of coupons you can use per visit.

All-in-all, it is a good way to enjoy a great meal at a fraction of the cost.

What’s not to love?

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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