By Faten Omar
KUWAIT: Ambassador of Italy to Kuwait Carlo Baldocci has announced that Kuwait is set to receive three to four Eurofighter aircrafts in the second half of October, part of a bilateral agreement between the two countries. Furthermore, it has been revealed that Maria Tripodi, Italian Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is planning a short visit to Kuwait in the coming week. During this visit, both nations aim to explore opportunities for collaboration across various fields.
This visit underscores the commitment of Kuwait and Italy to strengthen their ties and cooperate on shared interests and partnerships. Ambassador Baldocci made these statements during the inauguration of the new visa office at Oula Tower, which aims to streamline the visa application process for Kuwaiti nationals applying for Schengen visas. He expressed expectations that the number of visas issued would double this year following the implementation of the ‘cascade’ visa system.
This led to the selection of a larger office space to accommodate the growing number of individuals interested in traveling to Italy. The Italian ambassador noted that more than 80,000 Kuwaiti citizens have visited Italy since the beginning of the year, with 25,000 obtaining visas through the embassy’s consular section, while the rest held prior visas. He highlighted Italy has issued over 25,000 visas in Kuwait, a notable increase compared to the 19,500 issued between 2021 and 2022.
The processing time for Italian visas for Kuwaiti citizens does not exceed 48 hours. During peak periods, the embassy’s consular section issues approximately 300 visas daily. Baldocci advised prospective travelers to Italy to apply for their visas well in advance of their travel dates to avoid delays, especially if Italy is their primary destination or the location of their longest stay.
Moreover, Baldocci mentioned a significant increase in the number of student visas granted to Kuwaiti students wishing to study in Italy, with more than 250 Kuwaiti students currently pursuing their education in Italy. He also highlighted the availability of four weekly direct flights to both Rome and Milan and anticipated that this number would increase to daily direct flights by the summer of 2024.
The new visa office includes an exhibition area showcasing Italian culture, history, language and traditions, and its waiting rooms feature Italian designer furniture. This, coupled with the recent modification of the “cascade” visa mechanism for Kuwait, will simplify the process for Kuwaiti citizens seeking long-term visas to Italy and Europe, provided that Italy is their primary destination for their initial journey. Italy is known for its warm hospitality, welcoming atmosphere, safety, diverse landscapes, millennia-old cities and unparalleled culinary tradition, making it a place where anyone can feel at home.