Manama: Kuwaitis could be exempted from applying for United Kingdom entry visas by the middle of next year, Kuwaiti foreign ministry sources have said.

“Under an agreement between Kuwait and the UK, holders of diplomatic and special passports will be exempted from the entry visa starting October,” the sources said.

“Efforts are now being exerted to ease the procedures and extend the exemption to the other Kuwaiti passports by the middle of 2014,” the unidentified sources said, quoted by local Arabic daily Al Jareeda on Tuesday.

The foreign ministry is also moving towards easing procedures in the application for the Schengen visa for Kuwaiti citizens, the sources added.

“The ministry is seeking to exempt Kuwaiti nationals from the Schengen visa, or at least facilitate the application process to ensure they have smooth trips,” the sources said.

Several Kuwaitis lawmakers have been pushing for a reciprocal approach with countries that impose visas on Kuwaiti citizens.

People have repeatedly complained that the application process was painfully long and bureaucratic and amounted in some cases to “highly unpleasant experiences.”

The Schengen visa allows travel to at least 26 European countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders.