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Decision No. (76) (2008) with regard to regulations of work visas of foreign employees except the category of domestic servants

Source: Ministry of Labour

The Minister of Labour, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Labour Market Regulatory Authority:

Having pursued Labour Law for the Private Sector, promulgated by Legislative Decree No (23) of 1976, as amended;
Law No. (19) of 2006 With Regard to Regulating the Labour Market;
Legislative Decree No. (75) of 2006 With Regard to the Formation of the Board of Directors of Labour Market Regulatory Authority;
Order No. (71) of 2007 With Regard to Work Permits for Foreign Workers with Government Authorities; and
After consulting with Public and the concerned parties; and
After Obtaining the consent of the Board of Directors of Labour Market Regulatory Authority; and
Upon Submission by the Chief Executive Officer of Labour Market Regulatory Authority

Orders as follows:

Article (1)

To apply the provisions of this Order, and unless the context otherwise requires, the following words and phrases shall have the corresponding meanings:

Kingdom: Kingdom of Bahrain.

Minister: The Minister in charge of the labour affairs in the private sector.

Authority: The Labour Market Regulatory Authority.

Chief Executive Officer: The Chief Executive Officer of the Authority.

Employer: Any natural or juristic person employing one or more worker other than domestic helpers and their equivalent, to carry out certain work in the Kingdom, in consideration of a wage of any kind, fixed or variable, cash or in kind. This includes any governmental entity, establishment, public institution, company, office, enterprise or any other entity in the private sector.

Work Permit or Permit: A permission issued by the Authority granting a consent to an employer to employ a certain foreign or expatriate worker subject to the provisions of the Law of Labour Market Regulatory and the provisions stated in this Order.

Work Permit Management System: It is the criterion and procedures that are issued by an order from the Board of Directors of the Authority with regard to determining the work permits issued for every employer.

Article (2)

In order for an employer to be eligible for a work permit to employ a foreign worker; the following conditions are to be met:

  1. The employer should be registered in the Commercial Registry or equivalent institute, including obtaining the unit number from Central Informatics Organization.
  2. The employer should have settled all fees and accrued amounts due to the Authority in respect of work permits.
  3. There should be a real need that requires hiring a foreign worker or workers taking into consideration the size of the organization, nature of its business, type of works assigned to it and work implementation circumstances.
  4. There should be no proven case against the employer that he has violated any of his substantial commitments that are imposed by the Law of the Labour Market Regulation and the regulations, rules and orders issued in implementation thereof.
  5. There should be no proven case against the employer that he has previously discontinued his licensed business or that he has previously closed down his business or changed the location of the head office of his business, in breach of the provisions of the laws and orders applicable in this respect.
  6. The employer shall settle the penalties that were charged to him in accordance with final judgments in accordance with the provisions of the Law of Labour Market Regulation.
  7. The employer shall undertake to insure his workers with the General Organisation for Social Insurance.
  8. There should be no proven case against the employer has failed to satisfy the rights of workers.
  9. The worker must be medically fit and that he is not suffering from any contagious diseases.
  10. The job of the foreign worker must not be one of those exclusively specified for national workers as per the provisions of an order that maybe issued by the concerned authority.
  11. The employer must obtain the necessary license to carry out the profession from the respective authority, if the profession of the foreign worker is among the professions that the law requires obtaining such license to practice it in the Kingdom.
  12. The foreign worker should not have been previously repatriate or banished from the Kingdom as a result of a crime, or because contravention of the provisions of the Law of the Labour Market Regulation or the orders issued to implement the same.

Article (3)

a.The employer or his assign shall apply to the Authority for work permit by submitting the application form for such purpose or online.

b.The application for work permit should include all necessary information and details indicated in the above application form and supported by the required documents stated therein.

Article (4)

a.The Authority shall verify the application for work permit to ensure that it contains all the information and details stated in the prescribed application form for permit, and compliance with the conditions stipulated in Article No. (2) of this Order.

b.The Authority issues an order to accept and provide the work permit within three business days from the date of completion of all information, details and documents, and fulfillment of all the required conditions and approval of all the respective authorities for the foreign worker entry to the Kingdom.

The approval shall be considered void, should the employer fails to settle the prescribed fees within 30 days from the date of approving the application.

In case a decision is passed to decline the application, the reasons for such decline shall be stated.

In all circumstances, the employer or his assign must be notified of the decision regarding the application for permit within 3 business days from the date of issuance of such decision. Such notice may be sent electronically.

Article (5)

The Authority shall abide by the regulation system for the issuance of work permits, upon granting such work permits and upon renewal.

Article (6)

a.The work permit shall be deemed null and void in the event the foreign worker is outside the Kingdom and the employer fails to bring him within 6 months from the date of issuance of the permit.

b.Notwithstanding the provisions of Articles (2) and (3) of this Order, the employer may ask the Authority to change the nominated worker for whom the permit is issued with another one before his arrival to the Kingdom. This request of change should take place within the period stated in the preceding paragraph and for 2 times only.

Article (7)

The employer, who is permitted to employ a foreign Worker, shall comply with the following:

  1. To employ the foreign worker for the same job stated in the work permit.
  2. To ensure that he has obtained finger prints, photograph and signature of the worker and has provided them to the Authority on the specified date.
  3. To employ the worker to carry out work at the premises stated in the work permit, or at the employer’s branches that carry out the same activity.
  4. To settle the monthly fees specified for work permit.
  5. To notify the Authority immediately after the worker leaves the work in contravention of the permit’s conditions.
  6. To notify the Authority immediately once the worker forfeits one or more of the work permit granting conditions stipulated in Article (2) of this Order.
  7. To notify the Authority immediately upon the employer learning that the worker is suffering from any contagious illnesses that that require his deportation. Such illnesses shall be specified in an order to be issued by the Minister of Health.
  8. To notify the Authority immediately after liquidating his business, declaration of his bankruptcy, striking out his commercial registration entry or cancellation of his business license.

Article (8)

A foreign Worker, to whom a work permit is issued, shall abide by the following:

  1. Not to practice any work which is not stated in the work permit.
  2. To provide the Authority with both hands finger prints, photograph and signature upon his arrival in the Kingdom for the first time within a period not exceeding one month.
  3. Not to leave the work for reasons other than those stipulated by the Law; or without the permission of the employer for a continuous period exceeding 15 days.
  4. To avoid working for an employer other than the one he is permitted to work with.
  5. To carrying out work in the premises stated in the work permit, or in branches of the employer that conduct the same activity.
  6. To notify both the Authorities and the employer of his wish to transfer to another employer, during the period specified in the order issued regarding the procedures for foreign worker transfer to another employer.

Article (9)

a.The employer may not change the profession of the foreign worker unless he obtains a written consent from the Authority to that effect.

b.The foreign worker may obtain the consent of the Authority to change his profession on the following conditions:

  1. There is a real need that necessitates change of the foreign worker’s profession.
  2. The new profession of the foreign worker must not be one of those which are exclusively specified for national workers in accordance with the provisions of the order that maybe issued by the concerned authorities.
  3. The foreign worker should be medically fit in order for him to conduct the new job.
  4. He must obtain the necessary license from respective authority to practice the profession if the new profession is one of those that the Law requires obtaining such license.
  5. The intended change of profession should not contradict with the work permit issuance management system.

Article (10)

Notwithstanding the provisions of Article (15) of this Order, the work permit shall be valid for two years from the date of foreign worker arrival to the Kingdom. It may be renewed for further similar period or periods at the request of the employer to the Authority on the form prepared for such purpose; or may be submitted electronically prior to the expiry of the work permit by a period not exceeding 90 days.
The application for the renewal of the work permit shall contain all the required information and the details together with the supporting documents as indicated in the renewal application form, complying with the conditions stipulated in Article (2) of this Order.

Article (11)

The validity date of the work permit shall terminate on the original or renewed expiry date, as the case may be.

Article (12)

Without prejudice to the provisions of Article (25) of the Law of Labour Market Regulation, the foreign worker shall leave he Kingdom after the expiry date of the work permit issued in his name, unless the employer applies for a new permit to employ the same employee during a period not exceeding 30 days from the termination date of the permit.

Article (13)

a.The work permit shall be cancelled before its expiry date in any of the events prescribed in paragraph (b) of Article (26) of the Law of Labour Market Regulation.

b.Except in situations where the work permit is cancelled upon the request of an employer or where a foreign employee abandons work in violation of the conditions of the work permit; the Authority, before issuance of its order to cancel this permit, shall notify the employer or his representative of its intention to cancel the work permit and the reasons therefor; and shall specify a grace period for the employer to respond - within a period of not less than ten days from the date of receipt of notification by the employer or his representative, as the case may be. If the Authority finds after studying the reply that there are valid reasons to cancel the work permit, then it shall issue its order to this effect and shall immediately notify the employer or his representative accordingly.

The concerned parties may appeal against the permit cancellation order to the Chief Executive Officer in accordance with Article (33) of the Law of Labour Market Regulation.
All the notifications and replies mentioned in the preceding paragraph may be sent by post or electronically.

Article (14)

The employer shall undertake to register and update the data regarding his organization on a regular and consistent basis in the database of the Authority subject to the Authority’s regulations in the respect.

Article (15)

The Authority may issue temporary work permits valid for 6 months from the date of foreign worker’s arrival to the Kingdom. This permit maybe renewed once only upon a request of the employer to the Authority on the form for such purpose or online, during a period not exceeding 90 days prior to the expiry of the of the work permit.

Article (16)

Issuing a temporary work permit is conditional upon the existence of an earnest need of a temporary nature with the employer, which necessitates employing a foreign worker; in addition to the availability of the rest of conditions stipulated in Article (2) of this Order.

Prior to issuing the temporary work permits, the Authority shall ascertain the existence of a compelling need to employ a foreign worker, by taking into consideration the applicable professions and comparing them with the nature of the work, the size of the business, works designated to it, and the circumstances in which such works are carried out.

Article (17)

The temporary work permit is governed by the provisions of Articles (3), (4), (6), (7), (8), (12), (13) and (14) of this Order.

Article(18)

The temporary work permit shall not be subject to the Work Permits Issuance Management System with regard to Bahranization percentage.

Article (19)

The employer shall not modify the profession of foreign worker to whom a temporary work Permit is issued.

Article (20)

Order No. (71) of 2007 With Respect to Foreign Workers Permits With Government Authorities shall be invalidated.

Article (21)

The Chief Executive Officer of the Authority shall implement this Order which shall be published in the Official Gazette and shall come into force on 1st July, 2008.

Dr. Majeed Bin Muhsin Al Alawi
Minister of Labour
Chairman of the Board of Directors of
the Labour Market Regulatory Authority

Issued on:
13 Jumadi 11, 1429H
corresponding to : 18th May, 2008

Last Update: Sunday 18 May 2008