Bahrain employment visas
Foreign professionals who would like to live and work in Bahrain must first obtain both a residency visa and a work permit (also known in Bahrain as the labour card) before moving to Bahrain. A foreign national may be grated a residency visa approval in Bahrain if they i) incorporate a company in Bahrain ii) hold shares in a Bahraini company iii) get employed by a local company or iv) purchase real estate in the Bahrain.
- International entrepreneurs relocating to Bahrain to manage their locally established businesses must apply for an investor work permit. This two-year visa is suitable for investors/partners holding the minimum share capital of a limited liability company (WLL);
- Investors holding more than US$265,000 worth of shares in a Bahraini company do not need a work permit but only a residency visa;
- After obtaining the investor work permit, residency visas can be obtained from the Nationality, Passport and Residence Affairs (NPRA) by obtaining a “No Objection Certificate” (NOC). Entrepreneurs can simultaneously submit applications for residency visas for their spouses and children.
Employment visas/work permit
- Foreign workers and expatriates must be sponsored by either their employing companies or Bahraini nationals to obtain a two-year employment visa in the country. The number of sponsored visas permitted per company is dependent on the size of the Bahrain office space;
- Employment visas are issued prior to arrival by the Bahrain Labor Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA). The issued labour card upon arrival is used as an identity card and is to be carried at all times;
- The sponsoring company must also provide proof of work contracts with third parties as well as proof that the position requires foreign expertise;
- For a visa application, the employee is required to submit i) a medical examination report ii) copies of a valid employment contract iii) academic or professional qualifications for the position secured and iv) copy of the employer sponsorship letter.
- Foreign individual who wish to travel to Bahrain for either i) short term business trips or ii) for tourism purposes must obtain a visitor visa online or in the Bahraini Embassy or consulate in their country of origin. Passport holders from any of the GCC member countries however do not require a visa prior to arriving in Bahrain;
- Foreign nationals from these listed 44 countries are entitled to easily obtainable online visa applications valid for a renewable two weeks period;
- Individuals from countries not in the above list must apply for visas at the local Bahrain embassy or consulate and be sponsored by a Bahraini company, hotel or tourism agency.