Living in Bahrain , working in Saudi Arabia- Problem?

Hello everyone,

I'm a little confused-its not that unusual at times!

I have accepted a job,and I'm just about to sign my contract and return however............

My company has said that I will be employed in SA by a sub company of the main company in Bahrain- I don't have a problem with this.  HOWEVER on my contract it states that I will enter SA and be based there!. THIS IS WHERE THE JOB IS.

To cut a long story short, I told them I would only accept the job if I could reside in Bahrain with my wife. They replied with an email saying I was being employed by a SA company but they would allow me to reside in Bahrain with my wife.

What complications does this cause?  do I need any documents from my employer to reside in Bahrain or is it OK to just rent a villa (this is where my wife will be based full time!).

Will my family Status mean anything different from SA to Bahrain?

All help would be greatful regardless of your experiences!

Paul.

Hiya,

I'm the same situation here, I am employed by a SA company however live in Bahrain.

Depending on your visa its probably a good idea to get a 5 year multiple entry from Bah for 20bd (prevents you paying 5bd every time you come back into Bahrain). There is the 2bd charge each way for the causeway as well (your company should pick this up but just ask).

The causeway can take a long time to get across and becomes a bit of a nightmare on weekends as a lot of SA come over for the weekend.

hello my name is fernando, I work in KSA but I live with my family in bahrain.
You can tell me that paperwork to do in bahrain to get a visa to live only for my family (wife and daughters).
Agradecere you all help.

Lots of families live in Bahrain with their husbands working in Saudi Arabia - its really not a problem.

You will be able to rent a villa easily and just make sure that your employer gives you a multi entry exit visa to leave Saudi Arabia - my husband does not have a multi entry exit visa for Bahrain and has never been asked to pay the 5bd mentioned above.

Your employer's HR Department should be able to sort out everything you need if you are on married persons status and they are happy for your family to live in Bahrain

The BD5 charge on the causeway is only charged if you are here on a visit visa. Once you have your Iqama and/or CPR you no longer have to pay that charge.

In order to get your Iqama you are on what we call here the "Saudi Lockdown" this means you travel to Saudi, they take your passport to process you Iqama and you can't get back to Bahrain (can take up to 2 weeks)

Also you not only need a multi entry/exit visa but your vehicle also needs the correct paperwork to get you across the border. If you hire a Saudi vehicle then you need paperwork to bring it to Bahrain (complicated) but you also need a Saudi licence.

Hiring in Bahrain is easier and all companies will give you a letter for the journey to Saudi.

You will need (realistically) to live in Saar/Hamala/Janabiyah for easy access to the causeway.

Hello,

I'm in the same position. No family, but prefer to live in Bahrain for many reasons. I will arrive with a Saudi Iqama, but then would like to rent an apartment in Bahrain and travel each day. I assume my driving license and car papers will be based in Saudi. From this I understand that I'll need papers to drive in Bahrain (are these difficult or expensive), but not necessarily a Bahraini multiple entry visa... and that they don't usually collect the 5bd temporary visa charge?

That means it is possible to rent an apartment in Bahrain without proof of visa? Also is there a fast-track system to get into Saudi?

Paul / Scott / others: what has been your experience so far?

Thanks, Phil

I also understand there's a FastTrak kind of lane and electronic pass for the causeway - is that true? How much does it cost and does it really cut down on time?

Thanks, Phil

Hi. Don't worry you will be fine. Most of my friends live in Bahrain and work in Saudi. There are no issues getting a lease on a property, I can even help you with that. There is no issue coming over the causeway. The easiest way to do it. if you get a car allowance is to rent a car in Bahrain and get a Saudi causeway letter - the other way around means your car and you need a multi entry/exit visa which the company have to organise. They are quick enough doing yours but the car may be the issue.

Lots drive to McDonalds Saudi side and get a cab to Bahrain leaving their Saudi car at McDonalds so that it doesn't need the paperwork. Apart from this everything is a piece of cake

Not quite right about the car if you rent it in Saudi Josnuggles.  My husband has both rented one through a car hire company and now we have long term hire purchase.

You need a multi entry exit to leave Saudi anyway - the car does not.

Its pretty similar to Bahrain - you just need a causeway letter which the rental company will organise for you.  For our long term hire purchase my husband does it himself, the lease company give him a letter, he gets it stamped by Chambers of Commerce and the police and its done.  Costs very little and lasts for as long as you can persuade them - we have had 6 months at a time.

He has also done the McDonalds thing (when the causeway letter ran out and he forgot!) - think its about 20bd each way.

The Fast Track passes are almost impossible to get unless you are really, really, really lucky (or really important or related to the Royal's) and it will need to be your company that gets it for you.  It will save you time but if say, the computers go down, it wont matter, you will be stuck like the rest of them.  Just a necessary evil (or one of them) of commuting between the 2 countries, I am afraid.

And just re-reading your initial post.

You will need a Saudi driving licence if you are going to drive in Saudi once you have your Iqama - some people dont do it but its not worth the risk of being caught without it.  Its an eye test and to say its basic is an understatement.

You dont need a Bahraini multi entry exit visa once you have your Iqama and you wont be charged the 5bd entry fee.

We rented our house here with the Iqama - no problems.

The main reason for commenting on the Saudi vehicle was that I have numerous friends who live and work in Saudi, they have been given a multi entry/exit visa but with their company car they have refused to allow it to leave Saudi. We have had to give friends a lift from Saudi to Bahrain where they could hire a car just to get back and forth at weekends. Suppose it depends on the different companies and their policies. This has happened to 5 people I know now and some have got that fed up that they have resigned and moved away. You are one of the lucky ones :-)

Josnuggles :

The main reason for commenting on the Saudi vehicle was that I have numerous friends who live and work in Saudi, they have been given a multi entry/exit visa but with their company car they have refused to allow it to leave Saudi. We have had to give friends a lift from Saudi to Bahrain where they could hire a car just to get back and forth at weekends. Suppose it depends on the different companies and their policies. This has happened to 5 people I know now and some have got that fed up that they have resigned and moved away. You are one of the lucky ones :-)

Ah ok.  Ours is not a company car as one is not provided.  We have gone it alone and its fairly simple.  I guess its a matter of negotiation if your company gives you a car in Saudi to get the permission to bring it to Bahrain.  I also guess you would then need to negotiate some deal to allow you to refuse that car and be given the option of hiring in Bahrain or Saudi.  Something cfox 81 will need to check out with his employer as to their rules and regulations.

I forgot to say that they aren't selling fast track causeway tickets anymore. Their theory which is correct is that if they sell too many the lane will be busier than the actual causeway. The last person I know who got one had to pay BD2,000 for it which lasts a year and he was told it wouldn't be renewed

Josnuggles :

I forgot to say that they aren't selling fast track causeway tickets anymore. Their theory which is correct is that if they sell too many the lane will be busier than the actual causeway. The last person I know who got one had to pay BD2,000 for it which lasts a year and he was told it wouldn't be renewed

I thought that was the case but wasnt sure.

They are selling the FastTrack (aka VIP pass to a very limited number of people and mostly it needs the King's approval).

When you arrive in Bahrain, i would recommend driving around Bahrain by myself without the help of a consultant / estate agent first before asking for their help. Once you get to know the areas better, then you can ask for their help if you must. Don't forget they get commission out of the owners so your chances of negotiating is very limited if you go with an estate agent / relocation agent etc.

Hi josnuggles,
FYI Am a woman who got a firm offer in saudi aramco in dammam. My question is...can i stay in bahrain with my family and commute. And if can what sort of visa can my husband   kids be on? Pls be advise and if there is any agent who can help and you can recommend pls do.

Nora, your biggest commuting challenge will be that you are female as females cannot drive in Saudi. You could employ a driver to take you over but that would be expensive and possibly not reliable long-term. I highly doubt that this is feasible for you. Some females do travel with male colleagues but you would need to arrange that once you get settled at work. Even if there are people in your office or nearby who commute then there are problems when your driver has leave or can't go to work for some reason. It's pretty complicated.

Currently Saudi Aramco will not allow female hires to sponsor their husband for Saudi residency (iqama). However, this is rumoured to be changing, but who knows when or if it will. In any case, they don't consider any family living outside Saudi as dependents - even currently for male hires. This means you won't get any benefits for any family who live in Bahrain.

Whether your husband and children can stay in Bahrain and what kind of visa they may be allowed by Bahraini immigration will depend on their nationality which you didn't mention. There are visa agents and if you search this forum for "visa agent" or just "agent" you'll probably find reference to one from a recent thread.

PS, unless you know you will specifically be based in the "Dammam office building", you will be working in Dhahran for Saudi Aramco.

Hello Nora1201,

I am in a similar position now re my family- have an offer from Aramco, but they can't provide dependent visa for my husband. I was wondering if you were able to resolve this in your case? Were you able to get residence permit for your family in Bahrain?

Thanks & regards,

This is a very old post.  The poster you are trying to contact hasn't been online for a year.

To clarify, if your husband doesn't get a dependent visa then there is no way you will get residence permit for Bahrain.  Actually to be specific, it is not a resident permit per se but a longer term visa with a paper CPR number which is granted on the basis of your Saudi Iqamas and NOC from your sponsor.  This requires all family members to have an Iqama.

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