Unless you hold a passport from one of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, you will need a visa to enter Bahrain. Visas fall into several different categories depending on the purpose of your visit, sponsorship requirements, place of issue, and the number of planned visits. In some circumstances, an electronic visa or “eVisa” may be issued instead of the traditional passport stamp. You can find out more on the eVisa website.
Depending on the type of visa, a fee of between 5 BHD and 100 BHD is payable upon application. As of May 2012, all visa applicants have to supply additional details about their employment status and purpose of their visit as part of the application process.
If you are planning a short fact-finding trip to Bahrain prior to your assignment, a tourist or visit visa should be sufficient. The recently updated visa policy has expanded the number of nationalities who can now apply for an eVisa or visa on arrival. You’ll find the eligible countries listed at www.bahrain.com. A Visit eVisa can also be used for short business trips.
These eVisas are valid for two weeks, but can be extended on application. You can also get a longer three-month visa by applying on arrival in Bahrain. The Visit eVisa costs 29 BHD (ca. 77 USD), and takes three to five working days to process. It’s important to note that these visas have an expiry date, and must be used within 30 days of approval.
Those planning to work in Bahrain or tourists from countries not included in the eVisa list will need to secure a sponsor for the visa process. This can be an individual, a company, or an institution. In most cases, your employer will act as your sponsor.
If you don’t have a local employer, you can find a list of registered sponsors on the eVisa website or contact your country’s chamber of commerce in Bahrain. They may either be able to sponsor you, or provide you with contact details of trustworthy individuals or companies in your field of employment who may be willing to act as your sponsor.
If you plan on working in Bahrain, your employer will need to arrange a valid Work Visa prior to your arrival. This means they need to get a Non-Objection Certificate from the Bahrain Immigration Bureau. To do so, you will need to provide them with the following documents:
Work Visas are issued by the Labor Market Regulatory Authority, and cost 100 BHD.
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