Bahrain plans visa stickers to check illegals
Manama, April 10, 2008
New measures to stamp out immigration fraud will soon be introduced in Bahrain, it has emerged.
Residence permit stamps used in passports will soon be replaced with stickers bearing state-of-the-art security features.
The new high-tech stickers will be introduced next month, assistant under-secretary for Nationality, Passports and Residence Shaikh Ahmed bin Isa Al Khalifa told the Gulf Daily New, our sister publication.
"Security features of an international standard available in the stickers will ensure that residence permits are not forged," he said.
"There will be only one sticker for both the residence permit and return visa.
"Currently, expatriates have separate stamps for residence permits and return visas in their passports."
Shaikh Ahmed said the sticker would carry details such as the name of the residence permit holder, his or her sponsor and their occupation.
"There will also be features to include the person's photograph and fingerprints eventually," he added.
"Some other Gulf countries are already using stickers in the passports of their expatriate population."
Shaikh Ahmed said the new move would also support services provided to expats by the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA).
The LMRA starts issuing work visas for expatriates from July 1. "Five of the immigration counters at Bahrain International Airport will be dedicated to the LMRA," said Shaikh Ahmed.
"Visa stickers will be stamped at the counters as soon as an expatriate will arrive for the first time in Bahrain to take up employment."
Shaikh Ahmed said the Interior Ministry would work in co-ordination with the Foreign Ministry to inform other countries about the new residence permit stickers.
"It is also important to inform international airlines about the new stickers and their features," he added.-TradeArabia News Service