LMRA to issue work visas
Manama, June 30, 2008
Bahrain's Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) will start accepting applications for new work visas for expatriates from tomorrow, taking over from the Labour Ministry.
Only those private sector employers, who have cleansed the data of their employees with LMRA, can apply for work visas for their new workers, LMRA chief executive Ali Radhi told the Gulf Daily News.
"The criteria include their registration with LMRA, cleansing data of their employees by presenting their documents, and the employees' enrolment with LMRA.
"Such employers or their clearing agents have already been given an ID number and a password, which can be used to submit applications online."
"We have already launched a programme to train our customers on the use of our online services," said Radhi.
"Authorised and responsible persons of different organisations are being trained on the use of LMRA's online services and the Expat Management System (EMS) that has been specially developed for LMRA."
More than 60 agents from an equal number of companies have already completed their training.
Human resources managers, clearing agents and authorised company representatives attend a two-day eight-hour training for a fee of BD10.
People interested to register and attend the programme can call 17241714 from 8 am to 6 pm, Saturdays to Thursdays, or e-mail email@example.com.
Radhi said employers who already had work permits issued from the Labour Ministry under the old fees should use them before applying for new visas. The work permit issued by the Labour Ministry has a six months' validity.
However, the new work visas issued by LMRA have no specific validity period.
"We cannot process an application unless we have an accurate data of expatriate workers already employed by a company," said Radhi.
"Once a company applies online by feeding the employer's or agent's CPR number, the ID number given and the password, the page will show the Bahrainisation requirements."
Radhi said the application would be processed by LMRA within three days, after which it will be sent to the Central Informatics Organisation (CIO) for allocating the CPR card within two days.
It will take another five days at the General Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Residence (GDNPR) to process the visa, he added.
"Once the visa is ready, employers will be notified online. They can also track their applications and its status," said Radhi.
"If the application is rejected, the reason will be shown online, and they can apply again."
Employers can also make online payment. And if an application is rejected, the money will be returned through a credit note.
Radhi said the LMRA headquarters in Sanabis were being renovated with extra counters and facilities to serve the increasing number of customers expected to turn up there from tomorrow.
Radhi also signed an agreement with Ahli United Bank yesterday to help visitors who want to make payments in person. The bank has already opened a counter at the LMRA premises. - TradeArabia News Service