Golden Residence Visa - Is it worth it

I am currently working in Bahrain and am eligible for newly announced Bahrain Golden residency visa as am employed (private sector) in Bahrain for more than 5 years and have my basic salary above the threshold.
I have also received a message from NPRA that I am eligible to apply ( not sure whether NPRA is sending this message to all expats or only to shortlisted ones. Will be good to hear from you all on this).

I was wondering whether its worth applying for this visa, and if I apply for this visa then will I still be under the sponsorship of my employer or not.

Will be good to hear any thoughts and whether anyone has applied for the same so far.

Thanks in advance.

A lot of the details have to be still announced. Especially the part about sponsorship and job changes.  If it turns out to be like the UAE one ie you are not on employer sponsorship and can switch jobs without affecting visa then it is probably worth it.

But it is not clear how companies will view it. They may say things like.... If you are on golden visa then we can't give you medical insurance etc.

So all this will become clear in the months to come. 

And the messages are coming to eligible expats.  For example, I didn't get it.... My salary was 8k+ BD for 4 years in Bahrain up till 2017 but then I stopped being on work visa and went to self sponsorship.... So while I may be above, I don't qualify on the 5 year requirement.... Hence I didn't get it. Similarly, on self sponsorship, my declared salary is above 10k BD but I won't get message as that is not in gosi/sio (Saudi earning).  That is where they are pulling the data for smses from. A friend of mine got the sms.... Current salary is way above 2k but 3 years ago, it was below when we did average of salary over 5 years (to verify), it ended up above 2k.  So it is AVERAGE salary over 5 years apparently.... Not your current salary.

Thanks for your response. My concern was also around medical insurance that you have highlighted, as well as a possible scenario that if someone takes this visa based on employment and salary threshold and then resigns/ leaves the job. What will be the status of Golden Residence Visa in that case.

My employer is also not clear on how this visa will impact my employment/ sponsorship status. Looks like it is a wait and watch scenario.

Yep lots isn't clear. My assumption is that if you leave the job, the visa will remain but if your salary level falls or you don't get a job, it won't be renewed when expiry approaches.

This new Golden Residency Visa says the requirement for permanant residency by property investment will be now 200,000 BD. Do you think this will lead to cancelling the previous 10 Yr Self Sponsored Residence Permit that was at 50,000 BD ?

No announcement yet but I don't think so.

Essentially these are different visas. The self sponsorship visa has an income requirement and does not allow you to work.  The Golden property visa has no income requirement but allows you to work.

I applied for the Golden Residence visa today under Resident foreigner (Employee) category with basic salary higher than the threshold (2000 BHD)
Just want to keep everyone posted on the process as I progress further on this,

Following were the steps,
1.    Complete the application form online on
2.    Submit following documentary evidence
a.    Salary Certificate for past 5 years
b.    Passport Copy
c.    CPR Card copy

Once one submits the form, you get a message saying “Request has been sent successfully” plus you also get a mail on your email id with Request Number.

I was not asked to pay any processing fee.

Will keep you posted once I get to hear from them on next steps.

Thanks. Yes that's the process. I did the application for a friend last week.  You don't really need the 5 year certificate provided your record in gosi is correct.

Did your friend get the approval in this time, and do you know whether one needs to physically visit the NPRA office for next step(s).
Thanks in advance

No approval yet.  Everyone I know is waiting.  When visa is approved, yes, visit required for stamping.

Hi Xtang, is it possible to convert a retirement visa into golden visa if one fulfills the salary condition and is prepared to pay applicable visa fee again? Thanks for any information on this.

Yes of course. Once golden visa is approved, you will have to cancel retirement visa and stamp that one. The question is, why would you want to?

The retirement visa has a lower income requirement than golden visa, you can also get it for 10 years and plus there is no 90 day stay requirement in Bahrain on that. So in my view, it's not worth it for someone who already has a retirement visa.  The Golden retiree visa is only attractive for people who don't fulfill the 15 years work requirement in the GCC (for normal retirement visa).

mdaasif wrote:

Did your friend get the approval in this time, and do you know whether one needs to physically visit the NPRA office for next step(s).
Thanks in advance

Just an update.  My friend got a call now that the visa is approved.  They said that they will send a link where you have to login and pay.  After that, they asked him to come to NPRA office tomorrow afternoon to get it stamped.

Thanks for the update. This is helpful.

what date you applied for your friend?

Thanks.. How your friend can cancel previous visa from the sponsor to get golden visa,

how many years for his golden visa ? 5 or 10 .. need to renew after 10 years ?

how much fees ?

They cancelled the employment visa when stamping the Golden visa.  It was for 10 years.  And got it 2 weeks after application.  300 BD fee.

Thanks a lot.. So required to renew after 10 years? What about for his family? Any benefits like he can sponsor friends , relatives for visit visa or same like 10 years visa?

Yes renewal after 10 years.  Once you get it, you can apply for DIRECT family members to get it i.e. wife and kids.

I have mentioned this before.  The only benefits of this visa are that you are not tied to an employer for your stay in Bahrain and it is for 10 years.  And that is it.  There are no additional benefits vs. any other visa out there. To sponsor visit visas, you still have to go through employer.

I have a 10 year self sponsorship visa due to property.   I could have easily put more money in property to increase my holding in order to get the Golden visa for property owners.  But I did not - as there is no real benefit to me vs. the visa that I already have (Yes, I can work on the Golden visa but at my level, I am not affordable in Bahrain and hence I work in Saudi).

Thank you.. Will you possible to privide date of application. My friend applied on 15th Feb. His current s is more than BD3k but still..He also got Sms.

15th of Feb

Is more s is required 3k ? Or looking any other points ? Thanks

Don't understand. What is your question

Thanks Xtang . Sorry my friend applied on 20th Feb 22 but still..

Hello Mdaasif,

Have you got any update ? Thanks

I got a call from immigration on 2 Mar that my application is approved and I have to come the next day for stamping. As it was not possible for me to go for visa stamping on 3rd Mar, they told me that they will call later.

I had applied on 21 Feb.

Thank you.. Did you pay 4 bd  and 300 bd or ? and per head 300bd right so for wife and child each 300bd right ?

Thank you,, Have you attached bank statement, good conduct certificate and insurance.

I attached the salary certificate, passport copy and residence permit details

For salary certificate, i took a letter from my employer for the same.

Thank you .. is each head in family also 300bd or free ? like wife, child.

This is news to me . So if they cancel the employment visa , automatically my family status amal gets cancelled . Then i loose all benefits of my sponsor…
Is my understanding correct ?
If this is the case then company HR has to confirm on the details .


Have you received email for approval or phone call only? Did you pay 4 bd ? Any idea about family required to pay 300bd fof each family members? Thank you..

The total paid is 304 BD.  And as far as it seems, you would need to pay 300 BD per family member as well.

Thanks for your update..


Did you receive the golden visa ?

No.. What about you..

Hi Shoukath,

Have u got ?
High sal more than 3.5k and designation like GM required ? any idea ?
Possible to get visa for family at same time ? or later then how to apply for family.

Hi Xtang / Mdaasif,

Any idea ? How to or where to check the process of application ?  currently getting whose salary is more than 3.5k and with good designation like MD/GM? any idea?


After you apply, and if approved, they will call you.   There is currently no way to check progress online.

If you read my previous posts, I already clarified that the salary level needs to be above 2000 as an average over the last 5 years - as per salary registered with SIO.  I know people who have got the visa with lower salary and titles vs. what you mentioned.   Once you get the visa, then you need to apply for family visa.

Thanks XTang..

You can try calling ***
In my case, I have received any initial call mentioning that my application was approved and I need to pay the amount and come to the office next day for stamping. As I was not in a position to go for stamping the next day, they mentioned that I will receive a call later.
I did not get any call for about 10 days, and went to Muharraq Immigration Center. They did not have any information but mentioned to me to try the number mentioned above (***).
I was able to speak to them today on this number. I told them my case, and shared my CPR No. They checked their system and mentioned my application has been approved, and I can go to Isa Town center for payment. I have not got gone to the center thus cannot confirm whether this alternate payment process will work as in the initial call that I received I was told that I will get a link for payment and have to pay online.
Will keep everyone posted if I get any further updates.

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