Bahrain Visa Process - My Experience

Hi All, I haven't seen a post on the visa / CPR / medical process end to end so thought to post my own.  Might help with some of the questions that people have.

Your company will ask you for a number of documents which include your passport copy, photographs, signed offer letter and pre-employment medical (I didnt do my medical from GAMCA as I was based in Dubai; got it done from a Dubai clinic).

The visa was applied on this basis and I got a tracking number to check status on the LMRA site. As most of you know, my visa was rejected 6-7 times by CID until it was finally approved. 

Once I landed, at the airport, they stamped the residency in my passport (ink stamp, not printed sticker) and gave me a print out with a date for medical at Al Razi.  Before the stamping is done, you have to queue at the LMRA counter where they take your photo, fingerprint and a digital signature. The medical appointment was a long way away i.e. end Sep 2014 while I entered in July/August. The reason was that there is a massive backlog at Al-Razi due to lots of people coming in within the labor categories.  The tests include a blood test and a chest xray.

I came in on Saturday; handed my passport over to my company PRO on Sunday and got the passport with residency sticker and CPR on Wednesday (I did not give a municipality letter for the CPR as the building address was in the system. Also I didnt need to go personally for CPR). I also asked them to set a medical for me in a private medical hospital as I didnt want to wait for 3 months nor did I want to be squeezed in a crowded place while doing it. In Al-Razi, due to the large number of people, they make you queue up in the open with shirts off while waiting for chest x-ray and then just wipe the sweat off the panel after each person finishes with the x-ray (happened to a few of my team members who just joined and it was supposedly the most horrible & unhygienic experience of their lives).  My medical was scheduled in Ibn-Nafees which I did and the report was taken by the PRO to MOH, attested and presented to Al-Razi for a fit certificate which was then updated in LMRA system.  Getting the residency and CPR was not dependent on the medical; however, if you are unfit, your visa and employment is immediately terminated.

I handed over my attested marriage certificate (attested from Bahrain embassy in the UAE only as it was initially attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in my home country when I had left ages ago, then by UAE Embassy and MOFA of UAE) and they applied for my wife visa.  Approval was given in one week (Applied Sunday, approved for printing on Wednesday).  Then my son took another week (attested birth certificate) i.e. applied Monday of following week, approved Thursday.  Saturday, I brought the family in, who went through the same process at the airport.  Handed in their passports on Sunday and got the CPR / Sticker on Thursday (For CPR, I had to give a municipality letter as the building had disappeared from their system!!!).  However, the family had to go to LMRA for finger printing and photographs which is strange since these were also done at the airport.  It only took 15 minutes though as the agent had lined everything up. No medical for family members by the way.

Finally, I had the company apply for the house maid visa which took 2 weeks and a visit visa was given which is supposed to be converted to a residency.  I handed in her passport to my PRO yesterday so let's see how long it takes.  She has to do a full medical though.

My observations

Coming from Dubai, I have a few comparison points about the process that I went through.  It has its good parts in terms of the LMRA website (allowing you to see progress as well as check your status online in your own portal) but for the most part, the process is very chaotic and somewhat random when compared to UAE.  No one seems to know what the exact process is, it changes for each person depending who you talk to and what wasta you have and generally takes a longggg time.  I was lucky that at my level, I didn't have to do anything myself except show up for the medical but I can see that it would be a lot of running around if people had to do it themselves.

From what I have heard from people, for my wife and son, application for initial entry visa to CPR in hand took barely a week and this is considered to be very fast.  In Dubai, entry permit for family (if you have all documents) on urgent basis = same day (they print it out in front of you) and residence stamping (after medical) on urgent basis = same day (again print it out in front of you while you stand at the counter).  ID Card takes a while but you can do everything except apply for a driving licence with your passport and visa copy so it doesn't matter.

Great post XTang.

Exactly what we want from members - to share their experience so everyone can benefit.

Thanks! :top:

:top: thank you for sharing your experience, this would really help a lot of people in understanding the whole process.

cheers!

T&R
Arjun

Hi XTang,

Thank you for this sharing of information. :)


Priscilla

Good post - thanks for posting this useful info.  :top:

Good if could be made a sticky

Josnuggles :

Good if could be made a sticky

I agree. Very useful post.

Thanks for making it a sticky.  I will now add on my experience for getting a maid visa.

We were bringing our existing maid (Filipina) over from Dubai (with Dubai residency) with us so the process might be different than hiring a fresh one directly into Bahrain.

First of all, for her process to start, it required the entire family to have had their CPRs and residency permits issued.  My office people handled the entire process.  They took copies of the passport of the maid, quite a few photographs, had me sign a few forms (one was for immigration and one was for the labor ministry) and attached my salary certificates, CPR copies of entire family as well as employer NOC / letters.  The first stage was approaching the Ministry of labor for approval; note that for housemaid, the visa process is not handled by LMRA. This took around 1 week and the labor ministry approved the issuance of visa for the house maid.

After this, they applied to immigration for an entry permit.  This process also took around one week.  The entry permit granted is in fact a 30 day visit visa on which the employer i.e. me, is listed as the sponsor.  Once the maid enters, she has 30 days to get it converted to a residence permit after medical and so on. At the airport, you need to deposit the original form, pay 5 BD and the maid's passport is stamped with the visa when she enters.  No finger printing or other biometrics were collected.

When she entered, her CPR was issued within a week without any medical.  Then she went for her medical.  This takes place in the closest government hospital to the municipality which is listed in the address on her CPR. The whole process takes around 2 weeks.  The reason is that while the report after the tests takes 7-8 days; they kept calling her back for this test or that to clear doubts before it was issued.  The tests they do are HIV, HepB, VDRL, Chest Xray, PPD test for TB (skin injection and then measure induration), urine sample and stool test. Once the medical report was received, our PRO took it to immigration and it took 2 days for the residency sticker to be stamped.

I could sense that the process was cumbersome.  I didn't feel it, as at my level, the employers were very happy to handle it all in order to spare me to do more important things :). So even for the medical etc, the company driver would be taking the maid around to get it done.

See below for what was communicated to me by our relocation consultants for this process before I landed:

C) MAID WORK PERMIT PROCESS

Processing timelines:
1.    Approval from the ministry of labour        10-15 business days.
2.    Approval from ministry of immigration        7-10 business days.

Documents Required:
1.    Guarantee letter from the company;
2.    NOC letter from the company;
3.    GOSI salary printout. Kindly note salary requirement for sponsoring a maid is minimum BD 1,200 per month;
4.    Passport copy of the maid;
5.    Your and dependents documents including passport, Bahrain RP and smart card copies;
6.    Ministry of Labour application (yellow form) signed by you.

Thanks for the info

3 months ago I was asking this question, now I am in Bahrain and there was no problem at the airport if anything they were nice made me skip the line and accelerate the process, the only concern is that I still haven't got my CPR after 1 week of arrival, and the medical check is scheduled for February, how do I make the change to a Private Hospital and accelerate that process I want to open a Bank account get a Data plan on my phone and get a license for driving.


Thank you!

My husband is a doctor who worked for BDF. After his contract finished, he got a job offer from Salmaniya medical complex. He exited Bahrain and went through the new visa process all over again. LMRA rejected his visa. It states there that "MOH visa invalid". What does that mean and what should be our next step?

Randomme -

The CPR can take 4 to 6 weeks.  I got mine in about 2, but they said that was the exception and not the rule.  Yours will come and you can set up all your bank information and can take care of the rest of the things you need to do.

Just have to be a little patient here sometimes...

Okay fine, a lot of the time.  But it will get to you!

Dear Cacai,

Kindly contact your husband potential employer (which i believe is Salmaniya which comes under MOH), there is nothing much you can do from your end, issuing of VISAs in Bahrain cant take time, depends on the relationship of the employer and LMRA.

Patience is the key. Good luck.

T&R
Arjun

Hello,
I am planning to visit Bahrain in month of April to see one of my friend but as per eVisa (toriest) foam I need to submit details of hotel bookings. I will be staying with my friend for the duration of my visit which will be of two weeks long. Can someone assist me on alternate way to apply for visa without hotel booking.


Regards
Santosh

Hi guys.

I need  suggestion on visa issue. I was working for a Qatar based company, when i got a job  offer from a Bahraini company. I submitted all my medical report and and other necessary  documents from qatar to  the Bahraini company to get a work visa issued. How ever they delayed the things and my Resident permit of Qatar was cancelled recently. Now i returned to India hoping to get the work visa from Bahrain  shortly. Today i got a mail from the company from Bahrain  that the immigration needs a medical report from India as i am no longer in Qatar. Can you please advice whether i can go to Bahrain on a visit visa and get  the same converted to work visa later on. Is it feasible? What would be the duration of the visit visa and how long will it take for the conversion of such visa. Also is there any restriction on the category of visa issued  from visit to work. Looking for valuable suggestions.

My employers saying 6 months to get work visa / CPR !!
Why so long? That's really annoying as means can't get a car loan, open bank account get fixed landline/Internet and the multitude of things one needs a CPR for

hey fchaudari76,

should not take that long, i am guessing unless your employer does not meet the correct percentage of Bahrainis to Expat employees (Bahrainisation), LMRA may delay the visa process, I am not 100% sure about this but i have heard someone speaking about it. So i may be wrong as well.

T&R
Arjun

Didn't think it was right as previously when I lived in Bahrain I got my CPR fairly quickly.

after discussing the same with my PRO, either your employer has pending issues with LMRA or GOSI, nothing else according to him would stop a company taking so long to get your visa/cpr.

Santosh.Palav :

Hello,
I am planning to visit Bahrain in month of April to see one of my friend but as per eVisa (toriest) foam I need to submit details of hotel bookings. I will be staying with my friend for the duration of my visit which will be of two weeks long. Can someone assist me on alternate way to apply for visa without hotel booking.


Regards
Santosh

You could provide the full address of your friend and apply for the visa. The authorities MAY accept it. Otherwise, maybe your friend can try to get a dummy booking from a local hotel - not recommended but perhaps as a last resort.

fchaudari76 :

My employers saying 6 months to get work visa / CPR !!
Why so long? That's really annoying as means can't get a car loan, open bank account get fixed landline/Internet and the multitude of things one needs a CPR for

6 months to get the work permit and CPR is indeed way too long!

They probably have other complications - not related to you - which they need to sort out with the authorities.

Certain banks will open accounts for you without a CPR. They do this based on an introduction letter from your employer and your passport and one other form of identification.

Hospitals will open files with passport details. You can update your information once you have the CPR.

Phone and internet will have to be prepaid unfortunately until you get your CPR.

Thanks they are now saying 1-2 weeks for it but 6 months for ministry approval.
As long as I have my work visa and CPR im happy

Yes. That's true.

Good luck.

I am a service engineer for scientific instruments. I got an offer in Bahrain and my employer should issue me an engineer's visa. I have not yet done Bahrain embassy attestation for my B.Tech degree certificate and my employer told me that he is working on my Bahrain visa. He told me to wait when I asked about embassy attestation of my degree certificate. Now it's been 3 weeks. Actually at what part attested certificates are needed? Is there any previous steps to be taken by employer before proceeding to my work visa process? I have given him my certificate and passport copies through mail, but not photographs. Expecting your help as i am little tensed also.

hi,

it actually depends from company to company, at times you may come on a different visa and then once your here they can change your visa again, (companies have word around for it) i am not really sure about the attestation process i will try to find out and im sure if anyone else has more info regarding the same they will reply back

T&R

Thank you :)

Hello,
My prospective company in Bahrain where I got offer  is actually a Dubai based  company. They have an office in Bahrain, but there are no employees there.
1. What may be the initial step to be taken by the employer?
2. Is there something like work permit to be obtained before proceeding to work visa issue?
3. Is this NOC mandatory for all and if yes, at what stage this process starts?

Kindly forgive my lack of knowledge as I am first time coming to Bahrain

hey,

i have requested farhaz (our Bahrain Expert) to reply on the same, he will do that soon.

T&R

Thank you.... Waiting for his reply..  :top:

Farhaz is no Bahrain Expert. Just a regular fellow who has been on the Forum for little while.   :blink:

Varun - Steps are as follows:
1) Employer has to get a work permit first. No documents from you required for this step.
2) Using this work permit, they will get you a "No Objection Certificate" (NOC), which is just a glorified name for entry visa. Copy of your passport is required for this step.
3) Once you are in Bahrain, a work visa is stamped on your passport and CPR is issued. Profession will be mentioned at this stage. Sometimes, employers ask for certificates for this step.

Its best you bring certified copies of your certificates with you just in case they are needed. Whilst this may not be required, its good to be prepared.

Photographs are required only once you are here and its time to get your CPR card.

Trust the above answers your questions. Let us know if you have more queries.

Good luck with your move.

Thank you very much Mr. farhaz... Your answers are absolutely helpful.
I would also like to know the time constraints needed for issue of work permit as well as NOC. Because it is three weeks before my employer said that he is working on my Bahrain visa. And not yet got any positive reply to me

Farhaz,

Thanks for the reply.
-------------------------------------------------------
vsarun.77,

There is no fixed time frame for the same (usually depends on the relationship between employer and LMRA). So you need to have patience here and hope for the best

good luck

T&R

Thank you logical Indian... :cheers:

Undoubtedly..Farhaz is a Bahrain expert  :)  :)

I am on my Family Visit Visa now with my brothers employer sponsoring the visit visa. I want to work here in bahrain. I inquire at LMRA online, It is possible to transfer visit visa to working permit as long as you exit from bahrain. I was thinking of exiting to Dubai and since they require medical check up before entering bahrain again.

Please help me on this.
1.) Where are accredited Medical Clinic in Dubai for LMRA?
2.) Are there expats here who can share positive result on this kind of option? Already done this?
3.) Please need help what are my other options.


Thank You!

hi expatsalc,

It is usually done in your home country. please check the below link,

http://lmra.bh/portal/en/clinics#.VVnNqPmqqko

good luck

T&R

Thanks for sharing.

Very Helpful.

Thumb up !

Hi,

I wonder if you can help me. I am Irish and have been working in Saudi for a few years. I have been offered a new job by a company in Bahrain and they are currently arranging a visa for me to enter Bahrain.

My question is, do I have to go back to my home country, Ireland, to have a medical check up or can I have one in Saudi? I  noticed in the link kindly provided that there are no registered medical centres listed in Ireland or Saudi Arabia. So where is the medical normally done for non Bahrainis like me? Anyone know?

Also, can I Ieave Saudi on a final exit visa over the King Fahd causeway while driving my Saudi registered car, enter Bahrain on the new Bahraini work visa and re-register my Saudi car once I have the CPR in Bahrain? (I will have temporary export plates from the Saudi traffic police.)

Anyone know if any of this is possible? Or is it not possible to (a) leave Saudi on final exit while exporting a Saudi car? (b) at the same time enter Bahrain on a new work visa and (c) afterwards re-register the Saudi car (on temporary export plates) once settled in Bahrain?

Any advice or help would be much appreciated!

Thanks.

Hi Guys and Hello Logical Indian,

I have been offered a job opportunity in Bahrain, and now my employer is issuing a work visa (residency permit). I was wondering how long does this process usually take? i-e. what is the time frame to have the work permit issued?

Appreciate your feedback guys :)

Hi zaid.Y,

We really cant be sure, if there are no issues between the company and LMRA it should happen from anywhere between a week to a month.

hope for the best.

good luck

T&R

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