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Friday, June 21, 2024  
15 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

Bahrain introduces new rules for converting visit visa into work permit

The move is aimed at reducing unemployment rate among Bahrainis
Skyline of the Bahraini capital Manama. Photo – File/AFP
Skyline of the Bahraini capital Manama. Photo – File/AFP

Bahrain has introduced new rules to visa policy according to which visitor visa holders will no longer be able to convert their visas into work permits, Zawya reported.

However, visit visas with a sponsor will be allowed to transfer to a work or dependent visa. The fee for the process has been revised to BD250, from the previous BD60 if the sponsor remains the same, it added.

Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs (NPRA) Under-Secretary Shaikh Hisham bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa announced the decision aimed at reducing the unemployment rate and supporting Bahrainis.

“These measures, which will be carried out in co-operation with the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA), are based on government directives to tighten visa transfer rules,” said Al Khalifa.

Read: Places where Pakistanis don’t need visa

The move is aimed at supporting Bahrainis as the first choice in employment in support of the National Labour Market Strategy, he added.

“The directives aim at tackling the exploitation of visit visas by some.”

Reports said that a total of 13,078 expats changed visas in 2019, 7,942 in 2020, 9,424 in 2021, 46,204 in 2022, and 8,598 until June last year.

He said that tougher restrictions were introduced to deter people from violating entry regulations by turning the tourist visas into work permits.

Al Khalifa went on to add that airlines had been instructed not to board anyone planning to travel to Bahrain without a return ticket, residence permit or enough money.

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