Bahrain offers last chance for illegals
Manama, July 16, 2008
Expatriates whose residence permit (RP) expired this month still have a chance to stay in Bahrain, provided they have found a new employer, a top official has revealed.
The new employer should apply for the work visa at the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) during the one-month grace period, said the authority chief executive Ali Radhi.
'Employees will get a chance for local transfer, without a no objection letter from the previous employer,' he told the Gulf Daily News, pour sister publication.
'However, those workers whose RPs have been expired for more than 30 days, must leave the country.
'They are now requested to approach the General Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Residence (GDNPR), voluntarily have their RPs cancelled and leave the country.'
By doing so, they will be allowed to return to work in the kingdom, said Radhi. 'If they don't take this opportunity and are caught by the LMRA then they will be deported and banned from returning to the kingdom on work visa.'
The LMRA earlier issued a statement saying that it would try to process the papers of those whose RP expired less than six months ago.
However, the LMRA board, chaired by Labour Minister Dr Majeed Al Alawi , decided to cut down the grace period to a month.
'These strict measures are being adopted since many of the people did not avail the amnesty period when all the laws were frozen,' said Dr Al Alawi.
'They did not respond to any of the calls, through Press conferences and public announcements, made by the LMRA for people to legalise themselves.'
The number of expatriates, including their dependents, whose RPs have been expired for more than 30 days is estaimated at 40,000.
Radhi said the LMRA would start issuing monthly invoices to companies for BD10 for every expat worker next Sunday.
The LMRA received 318 applications for new work visas during the first nine days, since it took over the responsibility of issuing work visas from the Labour Ministry on July 1.
Of these, 188 were approved and 50 were rejected and the rest are being processed.
More than 140 of those applications were online and the average time for processing was six days.
There were 549 applications for renewals out of which 24 were rejected, 280 applications were through online services.
There were 56 requests for termination out which 36 were approved and six requests for local transfers were completed as per the processes.-TradeArabia News Service