Bahrain plans 24-hour e-visa services
Manama, June 20, 2008
Electronic visa services will soon be available in Bahrain 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it was revealed yesterday.
The new service will avoid paperwork, queues and delays, said Interior Ministry's undersecretary for Nationality, Passports and Residence Shaikh Rashid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa.
He was speaking at the launch of the electronic no-objection certificate (NOC) service for visit visas, at a workshop organised by the eGovernment Agency, at the Crowne Plaza's Bahrain Conference Centre.
"NOCs are issued by the General Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Residence (GDNPR) to business organisations and the government, to allow entry of employee family members, tourists and other visitors," said Shaikh Rashid.
"The eNOC service for visit visas will now be available to the government ministries and agencies and will be extended to cover the private sector after two months."
Shaikh Rashid thanked the eGovernment Agency for providing the latest technology for the eVisa service.
"NOCs for visit visas are now issued manually for which people have to visit the GDNPR on working days," he said.
"With the introduction of the eNOC, people do not have to visit our offices. Companies will be given a password and the application will be processed within 72 hours.
"In the near future, our staff will be working 24 hours, seven days a week, to provide this service. This means people can apply for visas even during weekends and holidays."
More than 55 government services are now available online, said eGovernment Agency chief executive Mohammed Al Qaed.
"Government staff dealing with GDNPR have already been trained in the use of the eNOC service," he added.
The workshop was attended by GDNPR assistant undersecretary for nationality, passports and residence Shaikh Ahmed bin Isa Al Khalifa , assistant under-secretary for port of entry and follow-up Colonel Yousif Al Ghatam and other GDNPR and eGovernment Agency officials.
Those applying for eNOCs should visit www.e.gov.bh and click on the Visit Bahrain tab and Sponsors Registration in the eServices menu.
They should then enter the user ID and password, and click on Apply for an eVisa from the list of services displayed.
They should also take note of the reference number given for future tracking. Payment can be made online, by credit card.
A visit visa for a month costs BD22 and the endorsement at the airport or the causeway costs an extra BD5.
Under the new system, it can be paid jointly online, making the visit of people smooth.-TradeArabia News Service