Guide to Manama Bahrain
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Passport / Visa Requirements

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The procedures for getting visa to enter Kingdom of Bahrain are comparatively simple and hassle-free, with the visa being issued in 72 hours, if the documents are in place. For urgent cases, visas are also issued in a day. The General Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Residence is the sole administrative authority responsible for issuing visas to foreigners who intend to visit the country.

Visa on arrival:

Visa requirements for entering Bahrain vary depending on nationalities and therefore, it is always advised to check regulations before traveling. At present, every nationality entering Bahrain require a visa, except citizens of other GCC countries and visitors who have been residing in the GCC for a minimum of six months, and those possessing a return visa for the country of GCC residency.

Citizens of the European Community, Australia, Canada, USA, Japan, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, and South Korea can gain visa on arrival. All visas require a fee for initial grant, and then for subsequent extensions.

For all other nationalities, visa need to be applied before entering the country through their respective embassy, or Bahraini sponsor or a travel agent or local hotel.

Visa characteristics:

Visas for Kingdom of Bahrain could be classified based on several different characteristics such as the purpose of visit, sponsorship requirement, eVisa, multiple or single entry visa and place of issue.

Purpose: The possible reasons for requiring a visa to Bahrain could be business visit, work related visit, general tourism, or family visit.

Sponsorship: Almost all visas for Bahrain need sponsorship. Un-sponsored visa exist, buy only for certain nationality groups and for certain purposes.

Standard or eVisa: Some visas are ‘standard’ as they are visible in the passport as a stamp or label. The term ‘eVisa’ is used to refer to a visa where, there is no visibility in a stamp or label. Such a visa is called electronic visa (eVisa). The visa will be valid the moment one enters Bahrain border. For instance Visit eVisa is an electronic visa, which could be obtained from the site http://www.evisa.gov.bh.

Multiple/Single entry visas: This is based on the number of visits made. Most visas are single entry visas, but multiple entry visas are also used for certain nationality groups.

Place of issue: Few visas are available on arrival in Bahrain, while others need to be pre-arranged through a sponsor or an embassy.

Visit Visa and Transit Visa

There are broadly two types of visas – Visit Visas and Transit Visas, and they are issued based on the duration of stay requested. Visit Visas are issued to people sponsored by a company operating in Bahrain. It has two month validity from date of arrival, with the option of renewal for another month.
Visit eVisa: For obtaining a Visit eVisa, an electronic visa can be obtained from the website http://www.evisa.gov.bh. There is no need to have a visa stamped in your passport prior to arrival in Bahrain. If an eVisa is not approved, the visit visa fee will be refunded, but the processing fee will not be refunded.

The Visit eVisa permits a 2 weeks stay in Bahrain. An extension by another 2 weeks can be obtained on visiting GDNPR in Bahrain. The Visit eVisa can be used only once, for a single entry.

The travelers from the following countries with a valid passport can apply for a Visit eVisa – Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong SAR, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, San Marino, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vatican City.

The requirements for a visit eVisa are:

  • The applicant must be outside Bahrain.
  • Should possess a valid passport for six months stay in Bahrain from date of arrival in Bahrain.
  • Should possess a valid confirmed onward travel ticket to leave Bahrain.
  • Should be capable of supporting themselves (and their dependents if applicable) during the visit.
  • Should not violate the security and national welfare of the country.
  • Should use a Visit eVisa within 30 days of its approval.

Procedure for eVisa

eVisa for GCC alien residents: Alien residents of GCC countries are eligible for eVisa for 3 days or 7 days, when traveling through Bahrain International Airport. An extension can be obtained by visiting GDNPR in Bahrain. Similar to the Visit eVisa, these visas can also be applied through the site. There is no need for a visa to be stamped in the passport before entering Bahrain. The GCC eVisa can also be used only once for a single entry.

The procedure for obtaining an eVisa depends on the type of visa required.

Fill up the application form on the website and include details of passport. Take note of Application Reference Number supplied. Make payment using credit or debit card. The online application can be checked using the reference number provided. The application can take up to 72 hours to be processed.

In case the application is not approved, contact the GDNPR or nearest Bahrain Embassy.

Transit Visa

A Transit Visa is issued to individuals of any licensed company such as trading companies or hotels, with authorization for applying such a type of visa. It has a 14-day validity period and can be renewed based on individual case, except for those who have their onward return journey planned within 8 hours or by the first available flight possessing confirmed tickets and other required documents for their next destination and not leaving the airport transit area.

A 24 hours transit visa will be issued on arrival at the Bahrain airport to passengers in transit for more than 8 hours. But it is compulsory that all visitors must hold onward or return tickets.
All visas need to be paid a fee for the initial grant, and then for subsequent extensions. Every visa has its own set of conditions.

Expats visiting Bahrain from other GCC countries: Expatriates living in GCC countries can gain entry visa to Bahrain for two weeks, provided, they hold a valid residence permit in any of the GCC countries for six months and the remaining validity for a similar period. The visa is issued to foreigners who are employed as housemaids, chauffeurs or nannies by families residing in GCC countries. The domestic workers should arrive in and leave with their employers.

Expats from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Foreigners residing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who arrive at Bahrain via King Fahad Causeway may obtain a two week visa free of charge at the Immigration and Passports office at the entry point. The visa could be extended by another two weeks without charge. The visa could also be issued to expatriates employed as housemaids, nannies, chauffeurs, and accompanying families entering Bahrain. The families may not leave Bahrain without employee escorts who arrived with them to Bahrain.

Work Visa

The requirements for work visa include visa application form, employee passport, passport size photograph, sponsorship letter, copy of employment contract, and a health record from an authorized clinic and the requisite fee.

Residency Permit (Family Visa)

The application for such a visa should be submitted to LMRA (Labour Market Regulatory Authority) with the attachments such as application form, employee and family passport copies, employee sponsorship letter, employee contract, family health record and fee for the applicant. The visa will be issued by General Department for Nationality and Passport Residence.