Moving to Kuwait – a Guide to Preparing Your Documents

Published on Monday, December 2, 2019

Congratulations on your plans to move from Canada to Kuwait! When planning for the move, it is common practise to assemble a variety of documents that you will need to present in Kuwait. But did you know that your documents are likely to be refused in Kuwait unless you first certify their authenticity in Canada? This article is a brief guide on preparing your documents so that they will be officially recognized when you move to Kuwait – a process called document authentication and legalization.

How do you identify what documents you will need when moving to Kuwait?

Every individual situation is unique, so there is no single list of documents needed by everyone when moving to Kuwait. That being said, these are the documents that we most commonly see from our clients who are in the process of moving to Kuwait:

  • Birth certificate (for you, your partner and children)
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Educational degree / diploma (for yourself and your partner)
  • Educational report cards (for your children)
  • RCMP Certified Criminal Record Check (for yourself and your partner)
  • Driver’s license (for yourself and your partner)

While we can provide general advice on what documents you are likely to need in Kuwait, you will need to consult the relevant authorities in Kuwait.

Preparing your documents so they will be officially recognized in Kuwait

Assembling the documents you need for your move to Kuwait is only the first step! Before your documents will be officially accepted in Kuwait they need to go through a process called document authentication and legalization. This process is used to verify the authenticity of Canadian documents, so that these documents will be recognized in another country, such as Kuwait. Note that in Canada the authentication and legalization process is also sometimes referred to as “document attestation” or “document apostille”. If you have been told that you need to have your documents “attested” for Kuwait, what you will actually be doing is authenticating and legalizing these documents.

There are three steps to the document authentication and legalization process.

Step 1 – Preparing your documents: Before authenticating and legalizing your documents there may be some preparation required. Document preparation can include any of the following: having your documents notarized, having certified true copies made, obtaining translations, and providing supporting documents.

In general, we recommend providing original documents for use in Kuwait, especially civil certificates (birth, death, divorce). However, certified true copies made by a Canadian Notary Public can be used in many circumstances.

Step 2 – Document authentication: Your documents must be submitted to the JLAC department of Global Affairs Canada for document authentication. The JLAC department is located in Ottawa. The JLAC staff will review your documents to ensure everything is in order. When satisfied, they will place a large red stamp directly on each document, confirming that the document has been authenticated.

Step 3 – Document legalization: This final step in the process is done at the Embassy of Kuwait in Ottawa. The embassy staff will review the documents to ensure they have been authenticated and that they otherwise meet their requirements. If all is in order, the embassy will place a stamp directly on each document, confirming that the document has been legalized. Your documents will now be officially recognized in Kuwait!

Tips and Tricks for Authenticating and Legalizing Your Documents

Get accurate information before you start – When authenticating and legalizing documents before your move to Kuwait it is important to first fully understand the requirements set by Global Affairs Canada and the Embassy of Kuwait. If your documents don’t exactly meet these requirements, they will be returned to you unprocessed, forcing you to restart the process from the beginning. This article is a great place to start researching these requirements. The website of the Embassy of Kuwait also has some information. Or better yet, give our experts a call (1-888-433-1011)! We authenticate and legalize thousands of documents for Kuwait every year on behalf of our clients. We’d be happy to discuss your specific situation with you – no pressure and no obligation.

You can often use certified true copies – If you have valuable documents that you don’t want altered with stamps from Global Affairs Canada and the Embassy of Kuwait you can often use a certified true copy. To get a certified true copy of a document you will take this document to a notary public who will make a photocopy and then place their stamp and signature on the copy, certifying that it is in fact a “true copy”. Both Global Affairs Canada and the Embassy of Kuwait will process certified true copies. However, please make sure that a certified true copy will be acceptable to the party to whom you will be submitting your documents.

Submitting your documents in person saves a lot of time – If you submit your documents to Global Affairs Canada and the Embassy of Kuwait by mail, you will be waiting a minimum of four weeks and often much longer before your documents are processed. And if there are any issues with your documents they will be returned to you unprocessed. Submitting your documents in person can save you weeks of processing time. Both Global Affairs Canada and the Embassy of Kuwait are located in Ottawa. If it is not practical for you to travel to Ottawa yourself, we can submit your documents in person on your behalf, saving you many weeks of processing time.

Where can I find more information?

We recommend you get as much information before moving to Kuwait as you can. We hope this guide to preparing your documents for your move to Kuwait has given you a good start. For additional information, our website is a great place for more information on the Canadian authentication and legalization process. The Embassy of Kuwait in Ottawa has some relevant information as well. Or better yet, give our friendly experts a call. We will review your specific situation, outline your options, and answer all of your questions. Give us a call toll free at 1-888-433-1011, or fill out our quick form and we’ll get right back to you.