– Bahrain now among the countries with the most flexible visa policies in the region –
– Nationals from over 100 countries set to benefit –
Manama – The new visa policy that now allows nationals from over 100 countries to obtain a visa either online ahead of travel, or on arrival, will start to be implemented from October 1st 2014.
The new visa policy is an important development that places Bahrain among the countries with the most flexible visa policies in the region. The new policy will also be accompanied by improvements to the individual screening process, ensuring faster and more effective processing of applications. It will further enable expatriates who do business in Bahrain, to easily travel in and out of the Kingdom, as well as boosting the tourism industry.
Under the new policy, visitors from 66 countries will be able to receive visas upon arrival in Bahrain. These visitors will also be eligible to apply for their visas electronically ahead of their arrival in the Kingdom, further easing their travel experience. Visitors from a further 36 countries will also be able to exclusively obtain electronic visas, bringing the overall total of countries eligible to receive e-visas to 102. E-Visas can be obtained ahead of travel through a simple online application process, making the process of travelling to the Kingdompractical and convenient, for both business and pleasure. Eligibility can be quickly checked via the Bahrain government’s eVisa website (www.evisa.gov.bh).
From early 2015, both business visitors and tourists will be able to spend longer periods of time in the Kingdom, as the new policy dictates that visas will be valid for a month and can be renewed for up to three months. Multiple entry visas will also begin to be issued.
The new visa policy was presented by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, First Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Bahrain Economic Development Board,in a Cabinet meeting in July 2014, and His Royal Highness emphasised that reforms such as this, which support the business environment in the Kingdom, will help to continue to attract inward investment and drive forward economic growth and quality job creation.
Shaikh Ahmed bin Isa AlKhalifa, Assistant Undersecretary for Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs at Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior, commented: “This policy will provide easier and quicker access for businesses with operations in Bahrain and will also help to attract more tourists to the Kingdom. During the build-up phase, we have worked closely with a range of stakeholders in the public and private sectors to ensure the new policy provides immediate benefits to visitors, and are pleased to be in a position to launch the new policy from October 1st 2014. The changes are being implemented as part of wider efforts to continually develop the passport and immigration processes and systems.”
Originally published on www.zawya.com