Guide on how to apply for a Bahrain Residency Permit
The first thing to notice when you arrive in Bahrain is the unprecedented number of expatriates in the country! This is because the Bahrain government values its foreign residents. Therefore, foreign nationals have the opportunity to apply for a Bahrain Residency Permit so that they can reside in this beautiful side of Asia.
People say that Bahrain is a small country, but they all agree that there is so much contained in this small country. It is still a wonder how such a country can be calm and serene, yet bustling with activity in places like the City Centre and Seef Mall. This is the magic of Bahrain.
The Bahrain Residency Program makes provisions for different types of residents and makes it easy for one to acquire residency, no matter the circumstance. In this article, we shall examine the different types of residence permits available in Bahrain, the requirements, and how to apply for a Bahrain Residence Permit.
What is a Bahrain Residency Permit?
A Bahrain Residence Permit is an authorization issued by the Bahrain government to foreign nationals who intend to reside in the country for longer than three or six months. The Bahrain Residence Permit can be either temporary or permanent.
Bahrain Temporary Residency Permit
The Bahrain Temporary Residence Permit is offered for one to two years, depending on the purpose for which it is needed. However, it is renewable.
Student Residency Permit
This is a permit obtained by students who arrive in Bahrain to study. This permit is usually given for one year and is renewable. To get this type of permit, an applicant must show proof of address, tuition fees paid at a Bahrain educational institution, and visa fees paid.
Residency Permit for Work
This is a permit obtained by a foreign national who wishes to work in Bahrain. The employer applies and obtains the residence permit for the employee before the person can enter the country for employment. He is required to show proof of employment. The residence permit is renewable upon the terms of the work contract.
Family Sponsorship Residency Permit
This is for residents of Bahrain who would like to bring their families over to join them in the country. In this case, the foreign national’s employer will be the one to request the residence permits of his employee’s dependents. He will do this through the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA).
To qualify for this residence permit, the employee must earn a monthly salary of at least BHD 400. Also, the applicant’s passport must be valid for at least six months.
Bahrain Permanent Residency Permit
The most popular and newest residence permit introduced by the Bahrain government is the Golden Residence Permit. This was first announced in October 2021 and is currently in practice.
The Golden Residence Permit allows foreign nationals to reside in the country for up to 10 years without renewing their residence permit. This permit attracts investors and highly-skilled professionals to live and work in Bahrain.
Who is eligible for the Bahrain Golden Residency?
The Bahrain Golden Residency is issued to the following categories of foreign nationals:
- A retiree earning a basic salary of not less than 4,000 Bahraini Dinars.
- An applicant who owns property in Bahrain with a value not less than 200,000 Bahraini Dinars.
- An employee working in Bahrain for a period not less than five years, with an average basic salary of at least 2,000 Bahraini Dinars during the past five years.
- A retired resident in Bahrain with an average salary of at least 2,000 Bahraini Dinars in the past five years.
- A person recognized by the government as having exceptional skills or talents in science, business, academics, or sport, among others.
What are the Benefits of a Golden Residency Permit?
Here’s why the Golden Residency is a good option for residency in Bahrain:
- You don’t have to live in Bahrain. However, you must spend a minimum of 90 days each year.
- You can apply for Golden Residency if you have lived in Bahrain for at least five years. However, you must earn a minimum monthly salary of at least BHD 2,000.
- The Golden Residency automatically extends to close family members. With this, they can work and make money in Bahrain.
Requirements for a Bahrain Residency Permit
The following are general and specific requirements for a Bahrain Residence Permit
- Application Form
- Clear Copy of Passport
- Certificate of Good Character
- Valid Health Insurance
- Bank Statements
- Copies of Previous Passports, if any
- Copies of the previous residency if there is a need for renewal
- Salary Certificate, if any
Specific Requirements for Bahrain Residency Permit
Depending on the category of applicants, here are specific requirements in addition to the above:
- Copy of a Lease Agreement
- Retirement Certificate issued by the applicant’s employer either in Bahrain or a Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) country, so long as the applicant has worked for at least 15 years.
- Bank certificate, showing that the applicant has a fixed deposit of at least BD 5,000 in a Bahrain financial institution. The applicant must submit this certificate again every six months.
- The applicant should have a legitimate source of income to support him and his dependants.
- Copy of the Lease Agreement
- Company’s Article of Association should state that the foreign national’s share is at least BD 100,000
- Bank Certificat confirms that the applicant has a fixed deposit of at least BD 15,000 in a Bahrain financial institution. The applicant must submit this certificate again every six months.
- The applicant should have a legitimate source of income that will support him and his dependants and should be at least BD 500.
A foreigner who owns property in Bahrain
- Clear Copy of Identity Card
- A Title Deed stating the value of the property owned, which should not be less than BD 50,000
- A certificate from the bank to prove that the applicant has a fixed deposit of at least BD 15,000 in a Bahraini financial institution. The applicant must submit this certificate again every six months.
- A legitimate source of income that will support him and his dependents should be at least BD 500.
A Highly Talented Individual
- A certificate proving that they are gifted
- Dependents of Golden Residence Permit holder
- The primary applicant’s Golden Residency
Copy of dependents’ passport
- Proof of relationship with the sponsor (marriage certificate, birth certificate, e.t.c) attested by the embassy of your country in Bahrain and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bahrain.
Dependents of a resident working in Bahrain
- Proof of relationship (marriage certificate, birth certificate, e.t.c) attested by the embassy of your country in Bahrain and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bahrain.
- A clear copy of the university enrollment letter
- A clear copy of the guarantor’s ID or commercial registration
- A clear copy of the ID of the applicant or authorized person submitting the application
How to apply for a Bahrain Residency Permit
- Log on to the Ministry of Interior, Nationality, Passports, and Residence Affairs website to book an appointment.
- Attend the appointment, making sure to gather all the required documents
- Pay the application fees and receive your receipt as well as your application number
- Receive your residence permit
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the application fee for a Bahrain Residency Permit?
The application fee for a Bahrain Residence Permit is as follows:
- Two years – 200 BD
- Five years – 400 BD
- Ten years – 600 BD
- Residence Permit for students – 4BD
- Non-refundable fee – 4BD
What is the validity period of a Bahrain Residency Permit?
The temporary residence permit is valid for two to five years. The Golden Residence Permit is valid for ten years. Each type of residence permit is renewable.
Can I bring dependants with my Bahrain Residency Permit?
Yes, your dependants can come to Bahrain if you are an employee or a holder of a Golden Residence Permit. As an employee, your employer can apply on your behalf, but as a holder of a Golden Residence Permit, you can enter Bahrain with your family.
What are the benefits of a Bahrain Residency Permit?
The Bahrain residence permit allows you to live and earn in the country. Secondly, it gives you access to health care in Bahrain. Thirdly, you can leave and enter Bahrain as often as you want.
Is Bahrain a safe country for foreign nationals?
Bahrain is becoming an increasingly popular country for people worldwide, meaning that the country is safe. But you should apply caution while out at night and spending in public places. Also, submit copies of your passport and residence permit to identify yourself if the need arises.
Few things attract foreign nationals to Bahrain apart from the World Trade Centre and the Twin Towers. One of them is the Bahrain currency. The Bahrain Dinar is divided into 1000 fils, which is different from the usual division of foreign currencies. For instance, a Dollar or Euro is divided into 100 cents. Also, the Bahrain weekday starts on Sundays. And Fridays are off days. These are important facts to note as you apply for a Bahrain Visa.