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Updated September 2023
In Bahrain, there is a favorable business atmosphere that allows for complete foreign ownership without limitations in free zones and no taxes on corporations, personal income, wealth, or capital gains. This liberal setting renders Bahrain one of the fastest-growing economies in the world which translates to abundant employment opportunities.
People wishing to live and work in Bahrain must first understand how to secure a Bahrain work visa and residency permit. We’ve compiled all of the necessary information for obtaining your Bahrain work visa below.
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Bahrain work visa
A work visa for Bahrain is a permit for foreign workers who are between the ages of 21 and 60 and have received a job offer from a Bahraini company. The work visa is submitted to and issued by Labour Market Regulatory Authority. The employer or a Bahraini national will act as the sponsor for the worker seeking to obtain a Bahrain work visa.
Additionally, the number of visas a company can sponsor depends on the physical size of its office and the foreign quotas established by national regulations.
It is worth noting that GCCs nationals can enter the Kingdom of Bahrain without any visa.
Bahrain work visa required documents
The application process for a Bahrain work visa is primarily handled by the employer on behalf of the employee. To log in and apply for a work permit, the employer must have an ex-pat management system (EMS). The following documents must be submitted by the employer to apply for the Bahrain work visa:
- visa application form
- employee’s passport, should be valid for at least six (6) months from the date of issue of visa
- passport size photograph
- sponsorship letter: a letter of employment indicating the employer’s name/organization, commercial registration number, employee’s capacity, salary, contract duration, employee’s name, birth date and nationality
- copy of the contract
- medical test report
Bahrain work visa application process
In order to obtain a Bahrain work visa, the employer has to follow these steps:
- Log in to the LMRA EMS system and start the process of applying for a new work permit.
- Print the application confirmation.
- Check the application status by:
- log in to the EMS system and use the application ID.
- visiting the express Services section on LMRA’s website using the application ID, or the expat’s passport number or personal number
- calling LMRA’s contact centre on +973 17506055 and giving the application ID to the service agents
- After receiving the approval on the new work permit, pay the fees through the EMS system or visit one of the accredited banks.
- Print the work permit from the EMS system.
- Take the print to the immigration office in order to get the work permit sticker.
If you’re looking to learn more about Bahrain’s residence permit, please consult our dedicated article below.
Bahrain work visa fee
The cost for a Bahrain work visa is BD 100 per applicant.
Bahrain work visa processing time
The typical processing time for a Bahrain work visa is 3 – 10 business days if the employee is already in Bahrain, and 18 – 25 business days if the employee is located outside of Bahrain. After the employer pays for the visa, they can print the work permit from the LMRA Expat Management System (EMS) and send it to the employee to make their travel arrangements.
Bahrain work visa renewal
According to a recent report from the Bahrain News Agency, Shaikh Hisham bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa, the Undersecretary for Nationality, Passports, and Residence Affairs (NPRA) within the Interior Ministry, has introduced a new service for the renewal of residency and work permits for expatriates who are currently outside of Bahrain.
This development is applicable to expatriates working in both the commercial and government sectors, including registered laborers and domestic workers. The NPRA is working in collaboration with the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) to provide this service.
Expatriates can access this service through the National Portal of Bahrain for the renewal of their residency permits. For the renewal of work permits, they can use either the Expatriate Management System or the official LMRA channels.
Bahrain work visa validity
The Bahrain work visa permit is valid for one to two years, depending on the sponsor and grants the employees residency in Bahrain.