Bahrain issues work permits in 24 hours
Manama, February 8, 2009
Nearly half of the work visas issued by the Labour Market Regulatory Authority are now processed within 24 hours, a top official has revealed.
Out of 13,200 issued last month, more than 6,300 were processed within a day, said Interior Ministry Nationality, Passports and Residence assistant under-secretary Shaikh Ahmed bin Isa Al Khalifa.
An average 1,500 e-visas are also issued every month for visitors from different parts of the world, he told our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News.
'The e-visa technology enables General Directorate of Nationality Passports and Residency to process all types of visas faster than ever before,' said Shaikh Ahmed.
'This specially helps the LMRA, which is responsible for issuing work visas for expatriates.
'Once the documents are cleared by LMRA and Central Informatics Organisation, it is sent to GDNPR to issue the visas.
'Though it is estimated to take an average five days for processing at GDNPR, we are now able to clear almost half of them within 24 hours.'
The number of work visas issued by LMRA since July has been increasing steadily.
The number, which was only 786 in July, increased to 12,773 in September and 14,510 in December.
'We have launched a campaign to encourage more visitors to make use of the e-visa facilities,' said Shaikh Ahmed.
'All five-star hotels, major airlines and leading travel agents are now linked to the GDNPR e-visa portal at www.evisa.gov.bh.
'Government agencies, the financial sector, universities and exhibition companies have also been linked to the system.'
The e-visa system has helped reduce the workload at GDNPR and minimise inconvenience to major customers, said Shaikh Ahmed.
Up to five user names with password are given to major institutions, said Shaikh Ahmed.
'Their administrator and related staff are being trained at GDNPR on how to access our system and make the best use of the facility,' he said.
'They can apply for visit visas online. Customers can also make the payment online.
'The system has proved a great boon to thousands of visitors to Bahrain.'
Nationals of more than 35 countries are now granted visa on arrival at Bahrain International Airport.
'We advise them to apply visa online and make the payment with credit cards,' said Shaikh Ahmed. 'The e-visa facility makes their entry to Bahrain easier as they do not have to wait in the queue at the immigration counters or worry about changing currency.'-TradeArabia News Service