Updated August 2023
The LMRA (Labour Market Regulatory Authority) Bahrain is a legal authority of Bahrain that, under the supervision of the Ministry of Labour in Bahrain, enjoys administrative and financial independence. Furthermore, the authority only processes work permits for expatriate employees and their dependants as a one-stop service.
Please note: All other types of visas, including visit visas, student or business visas, property owners, and special visa schemes for retirement or investment in Bahrain, and visas for residents of Saudi Arabia who rent or buy property in Bahrain, have to be requested from NPRA (Nationality, Passport & Residence Affairs).
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LMRA visa status & expiry date check
By visiting the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) website, expatriate employees can check the expiry date or validity, work permit application status, or legal status of their work permits in Bahrain.
This service can be used by either entering the personal number, work permit number, application ID number or passport number of the applicant and checking the validity of the visa.
How to apply for the LMRA visa?
The LMRA e-portal processes new work permits for expatriate employees and their dependants as a one-stop service. Through this service, employers can request for issuing a new work permit for their employees by following the steps given below:
- copy of the Employee’s passport, meeting the following conditions:
- the passport should have all the information and alterations or updates.
- the First Name, in addition to Father’s or Family, must be written on the first page of the passport in all Employment/Dependent Applications, as well as the page that states the father or spouse’s name (for Indian, Pakistani and Bengali nationalities) and the page that contains the old passport number.
- the passport must be valid for at least 6 months. However, it is recommended to have a passport that is valid for at least 2 years before applying.
- for non-commercial institutions and non-governmental organizations, a copy of a valid license from the competent authority is required.
- for private sectors, a copy of the latest paid electricity bill is required, meeting the following conditions:
- the bill should not be older than 2 months.
- the supply address in the bill must match the CR’s address.
- it should not be a final notification to cut the electricity supply.
- current account guarantee deposit bonds are not accepted.
- in case electricity is not your responsibility (shops in malls or electricity paid by the landlord), you will need to upload proof, such as a lease contract.
- if a new CR is not yet billed, you need to upload a print-out from the electricity and water authority showing that the account had been opened or transferred to that specific CR.
- copy of the Employee ID card, if available.
- copy of the work contract template between the employer and the expatriate employee (maximum, one or two pages)
- the contract should be written in Arabic (or a bilingual contract that includes Arabic) on company letterhead and stamped on government paper.
- it must include the name of the employer and the establishment address, the name of the expatriate employee, passport number, nationality, job role (occupation) of the expatriate employee, salary, employment and notice periods.
- it should be signed by the employer and the expatriate employee and (should bear the seal/ stamp of the employer on the company letterhead).
- copy of a medical check-up report for the foreign employee, done in their home or current residence country (or the nearest place to it), showing that they are fit to work.
- the report or certificate should not be older than three months from the issue date.
- it must be issued by one of the centres accredited by the Ministry of Health as published on LMRA’s website Authorised Health Centres.
- in the absence of an accredited centre in the residential city or country of the foreign employee, a Non-GAMCA medical checkup form on LMRA’s website must be filled and stamped by any official medical centre.
- a certificate of medical examination is not required if the employee is already in Bahrain, except for Ethiopian & Eritrean nationalities.
- a medical check-up is not required for dependents.
- copy of the Residency Permit is required if the employee works in any of GCC or in a non-home country.
- copy of approval letter/ no-objection certificate from the relevant authority for certain specialized occupations.
Please note that:
- in the case of an expat having a multiple entry permit, this permit must be cancelled prior to submitting the application (whether the expat is in Bahrain or abroad).
- the employer must process the deportation of the foreign employee immediately if the employee had failed to pass the required medical examination.
- in case the employee is in Bahrain and the employer wants to employ him, a passport copy should be attached to the application. It should be the same as the passport that he entered the kingdom with (especially for people with more than one nationality).
- if the employee was in Bahrain previously and was issued a personal number, the same number must be used to apply for them again when filling in the application form.
You can visit the official website to get more details regarding the documents required to apply for a new work permit in Bahrain.
- log into the LMRA EMS system and start the process of applying for a new work permit.
- print the application confirmation.
- check the application status from here.
- after receiving the approval on the new work permit, pay the fees through the EMS system or visit one of the accredited banks listed here.
- print the work permit from the EMS system.
- take the printout or hard copy to the Immigration Office in order to get the work permit sticker.
LMRA centres working hours
The LMRA centres working hours will be as follows:
- LMRA Front Offices, Manama – open Sunday to Thursday from 7:30 AM – 7:00 PM
- Mina Salman (For Clearing offices) – open Sunday to Thursday from 7:30 AM – 7:00 PM
- Seef Mall, Al Muharraq – open Saturday to Thursday from 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
- Riffa, Buhair – open Saturday to Thursday from 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Please note that the LMRA service centres will be providing phone services from 7:30 AM – 7:00 PM. You can contact them at +973 17506055 for more details.
LMRA visa fees
The LMRA visa fees structure is as follows:
- new, renewal or transfer of Work permit (for two years) – BHD 200 (USD 530.62)
- optional fee for the permit out of Bahrainisation percentage – BHD 500 (USD 1,326.55)
- basic health care fees (for two years) – BHD 144 (USD 382.05)
- new, renewal or transfer of Work permit (for one year) – BHD 100 (USD 265.31)
- optional fee for the permit out of Bahrainisation percentage – BHD 250 (USD 663.27)
- basic health care fees (for one year) – BHD 72 (USD 191.02)
- visit to work permit fee – BHD 60 (USD 159.19)
- change of Occupation (per application) – BHD 10 (USD 26.53)
- application for new or renewal of Temporary Work permits (valid for 6 months) – BHD 200 (USD 530.62)
- application for new or renewal of Accompanying Family Dependents (per Application) – BHD 90 (USD 238.78)
- monthly fees for the first five expats – per worker- BHD 5 (USD 13.27)
- monthly fees from the sixth expat – per worker – BHD 10 (USD 26.53)
- domestic new work permit fees (for 24 months) – BHD 118 (USD 313.06)
- domestic new work permit fees (for 12 months) – BHD 86 (USD 228.17)
- domestic renewal fees (for 24 months) – BHD 79 (USD 209.59)
- domestic renewal fees (for 12 months) – BHD 42 (USD 111.43)
- domestic renewal fees (for 6 months) – BHD 23.5 (USD 62.35)
- applying at LMRA premises at the Executive Services Centre (for each service) – BHD 20 (USD 53.06)
- applying at businessman or investor-selected premises (for each service) – BHD 50 (USD 132.66)
You can find the full LMRA fee structure here.
Please note that according to the provisions of resolution number (1) for the year 2017, a service charge of BHD 5 (USD 13.27) will be charged for the following services:
- employer registration of his establishments.
- issuing, renewing and cancellation of the work permit for all permit types.
- registration of absence from work notification.
- increasing the number of work permits.
- residency and entry permits for the employee dependents and the foreign employer.
LMRA visa fees payment
The fees payment at the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) can be made by using any of the two methods of transaction:
- online through the EMS system using the Visa Card, Master Card, American Express and ATM Card.
- through Al Ahli United Bank, Al Hilal Islamic Banking Services and Al Salam Bank.
LMRA visa processing time
The Labour Market Regulatory Authority’s (LMRA) total processing time is between one (1) to ten (10) business days, provided that all the submitted information and documents were correct and clear and the requirements were fulfilled at the time of submission.
LMRA visa cancellation
Through the LMRA website, employers can apply for the cancellation of the issued work permit and the residence permits of the employee’s dependents by following the steps given below:
- apply for the service through the LMRA’s EMS system.
- fill in the Termination Declaration form, sign it together with the employee and upload it.
- after three (3) working days from the time of submitting the application, visit the NPRA Counters at LMRA, bringing the original passport for the employee and the dependents for manual cancellation by the Immigration officers if all conditions were fulfilled.
Please note that:
- the employer must not have previously notified the LMRA regarding the employee’s absence from work in violation of the permit’s conditions.
- if the work permit ends, the employer or authorised person must first check with the Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs (NPRA) to complete the procedure for cancellation of the work permit.
- the employee must leave the country within thirty (30) days from the cancellation of the work permit.