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Visa cancellation and retirement age

  pearl monument Employment Contract in Bahrain

Work Visa Cancellation

Through the process of visa cancellation, employers can apply for cancellation of issued work permit and residence permits of dependents of employees.

This can be done by visiting the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) LMRA website https://www.lmra.gov.bh and apply for the service through EMS system of LMRA. You will have to fill in the 'termination declaration' form, sign in together with the employee and upload it.

After three working days from the time of submitting the application, visit the Client Services Counter at LMRA, bringing along the original passport for the employee and the dependents for manual cancellation by the immigration officers.

Required documents for cancellation are:

  • Termination declaration form
  • Employee work permit
  • Dependents Residency Permits

Some special conditions to bear in mind during visa cancellation are:

  • In case the work permit has ended, the employer or authorised person should first check with Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs (NPRA) to complete the procedure for cancellation of work permit.
  • The employee should leave the country within 30 days from cancellation. During this grace period, he/she is not allowed to take up any other form of employment.
  • According to Labour Law for Private Sector 1976, Articles 106 to 119, it is illegal to cancel work visa while the worker is on leave or when the employee is holidaying out of Bahrain.
  • As per the LMRA guideline, it is necessary that the employer inform the employee before termination and work permit cancellation takes place, as both employer and employee should sign the termination form and it is the responsibility of the employer to upload the form onto the system for each termination application.
  • In case an expat visa is cancelled when he/she is out of Bahrain during their period of approved leave, the employee will have to seek legal assistance in their home country or in Bahrain. To submit a formal complaint, file a court case for ‘unlawful dismissal’ against the employer.
  • Dependents including wife or grown-up children are not allowed to work in Bahrain. Wife and grown-up children who are on family visa or student visas should not work in Bahrain, as they are here only on the grounds of living together as family.
  • As per law, every foreigner who wishes to work in Bahrain should obtain a work permit from the relevant authority. So if a dependent is offered a job, the employer should apply for a proper work visa with required documents and should transfer the dependent’s family visa into normal employment visa on new employer. The family visa should be cancelled and the new employer will have to apply for a work visa within five days of cancellation.
  • If the work permits are cancelled, it is illegal for the workers to continue working and all legal actions will be taken in case they are caught working. Also, if the employer wishes to rectify the cancellation after it took effect, he should, in addition to paying late fee, also re-apply for the same workers and pay the issuance fee for another period of two years.

For all details, visit Client Services Counter at LMRA Headquarters or call +973 1 7506055 or log on to https://www.lmra.gov.bh/EMS_Web or https://services.lmra.bh/e-support.

Family Residence Visa Cancellation

If you have a family under your sponsorship, you may have to first cancel the family residence visa before work permit visa cancellation. The required documents are:

  • Application form for Residence Visa Cancellation with sponsor’s signature
  • Original passport of the applicant
  • Copy of sponsor’s passport
  • Original Identity Card

Fees: Dh.70 Cancellation fee to be paid through e-form at typing centres. Penalty fee to be calculated based on local system are Dh.15 cash for each day during first six months, Dh.30 per day for 180 days Dh.50 for every passing day during next six months and Dh.100 for each day after a year or more.

Cancellation of Residence visas are taken care of by the company or sponsor. Else, visit the immigration department that issued the visa, along with passport and other documents required for cancellation, pay the requisite fee and get the typing works done.

If you are overseas, cancellation can still be done, but, the sponsor will have to visit the department on your behalf, with at least a copy of your passport.

Among the documents to be submitted for cancellation of family residence visa are original passport of the sponsored family member, three copies of approved cancellation certificate filled by typing agent, sponsor passport copy, copy of establishment card.

Some considerations for visa cancellation are:

Utilities – To avoid any outstanding debts in Bahrain, it is mandatory that you terminate your bank accounts, credit cards, loans, water, electricity and telephone lines.

Majority of employers also seek clearance from such utility departments for initiating labour card cancellation process. Further, if you are residing in the accommodation provided by your employer, you may have to vacate the place within the stipulated grace period mentioned in the contract.

Residence visa usually becomes invalid on expiry (after the expiry date stamped in the visa). On the other hand, cancellation of residence visa is an active process that has to be done, even if the visa has expired. There is a difference between the term ‘expiry’ and ‘cancellation’ of residence visa, and the terms should not be confused.

Note: Visa cancellation is a must for re-entry into Bahrain and other GCC nations, to avoid any complications in future. If you have failed to notify your employer about your departure officially, then you may be declared as ‘absconding’ and this may result in a ‘ban’, and you may be unable to enter Bahrain in future.

Retirement age in Bahrain

A major development under the New Labour Law is the provision for a retirement age, which is 60 years of age for both male and female employees. The termination of an employee’s contract on reaching the age of 60 would be construed as lawful and justified termination, after which, employee will not be eligible for compensation as per the provision of the law. If both the parties in the contract mutually agree to continue the employment relationship beyond the age of 60, the New Labour Law permits this as well.

To communicate with LMRA, you may have to provide your mobile number and email through the expat portal https://www.lmra.bh/expatportal/login.php or call to 17506055 or visit the embassy.

For more LMRA serv ices, visit http://portal.lmra.bh/english/page/show/105. or call 17506055 or visit www.lmra.bh.

Note: Visa rules are liable to change without warning. Hence, it is always preferable to verify the latest regulations with concerned authority (LMRA) before going ahead with visa cancellation.