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 Immigrate to Bahrain

 Immigrate to Bahrain

Foreign citizens who want to move to Bahrain have several types of visas they can apply for. These will enable them to immigrate to this country for short or long periods of time, based on their plans. Those who want to immigrate to Bahrain can also decide on investment relocation which implies meeting certain financial requirements that come with various benefits, among which one of the most important covers real estate ownership.

 Quick Facts  
Entry visa requirement (from EU)  (YES/NO) Yes, EU citizens need visas to enter Bahrain (e-visas are also available).

Entry visa requirement (from EU)  (YES/NO)

YES, non-EU citizens are also subject to visa requirements to enter Bahrain.

 Types of visas available


– work and residence permits,

– business,

– family reunification,

– investments

Time frame for obtaining work visa (approx.)  It can take around 5 working days to obtain a work permit, however, the procedure may prolong for up to 2 weeks.
Validity of temporary residence permit

One or two years

In case of immigration to Bahrain based on a work permit, the validity will be the same as the duration of the contract.

Temporary residence permit renewal requirements

Sponsorship is required for those who do not have sufficient funds for self-sponsorship (BHD 5,000).

Documents for obtaining a residence permit

– valid passport,

– application form,

– details on the reason of relocation,

– health certificate,

– proof of self-support (self-sponsorship),

– suitable accommodation (rental agreement or purchase deed)

Timeframe for obtaining permanent residence

Permanent residence can be obtained after 5 years of living here.

Investor Visa availability (YES/NO)

Yes, it is possible to immigrate to Bahrain through an investor visa.

Start-up Visa Scheme availability (YES/NO) No, Bahrain does not have a startup visa scheme. 
Sponsorship requirement (YES/NO)

Employment requires sponsorship, however, self-sponsorship is also available.

Time frame for obtaining citizenship

– 15 years for citizens of other Arabian states,

– 25 years for other nationalities

Citizenship/Residency by investment scheme availability (YES/NO)

Long-term residency by investment can be acquired through the investor visa.

Taxation of foreign citizens Foreign citizens are not subject to any income tax in Bahrain, however, they may be required to report incomes obtained here in their countries of origin.
Tax benefits for expats

No personal income tax

If you are interested in immigration to Bahrain, our specialists are at your disposal with several services you can choose from. You can also rely on us if you are interested in company formation in Bahrain which is possible through immigration.

The main ways through which a foreigner can immigrate to Bahrain

Foreign citizens can find various opportunities in Bahrain, and these can be related to study, business or employment, which is why their immigration options can relate to their relocation purposes. Each option is associated with a certain type of visa which often comes with a residence permit.

If you want to immigrate to Bahrain, here are the main visas available:

  • student visas;
  • business visas;
  • work visas;
  • residence visas.

Some of them can be obtained for short-time emigration, while other for a long-term relocation. Our immigration lawyers in Bahrain are at your service for support in filing the paperwork related to the type of visa you are interested in.

We are also at your service if you want to open a company in Bahrain and use it to move here.

If you decide to incorporate a company in Bahrain, contact us. We can assist with the creation of the documents, their filing, tax and VAT registration, so that you can have your business up and running in the shortest time possible. Get in touch with us right now for complete information on how we can help you start operating as soon as possible.

Short-term relocation to Bahrain

Not all people want to live in another country for long periods of time, while other need that short time to decide if the respective place is the best option for them. This is why, short-term relocation can be a possibility for those who want to see what it is like to live in Bahrain.

Student visas and short-term employment permits can be the best options in terms of emigration to Bahrain for a few months or maximum one year.  An important aspect about these visas is that the applicants will require a local sponsor who can be the university or education institution enrolled in, respectively the employer.

You can also rely on our lawyers in Bahrain. They can advise on various legal matters, such as Labor Law. We can help employers to draft labor agreements, and employees make sure the law is respected to what concerns them. Contact us for information on how our lawyers can help you in employment-related aspects.

Reserving a trading name is an important step when opening a company in Bahrain. Often considered not so important, the name must be unique and must also adhere to other requirements of the Company Act. You must provide at least 3 names for registration, among which the desired one should be the first option.

Long-term immigration to Bahrain

If you have been to Bahrain on various occasions or you already live here based on a work visa or as a business owner and are considering permanent relocation, the residence permit is the most appropriate option for you.

Compared to other Middle Easter states, the Kingdom of Bahrain allows for immigration based on self-sponsorship which is simple and quick to prove.

Here are the main aspects to consider if you want to immigrate to Bahrain for a long term and decide for self-sponsorship:

  1. it is available for business owners, real estate owners, and people who want to retire here;
  2. in the case of business owners, the minimum investment requirement is BD100,000;
  3. in the case of real estate owners, the minimum value of the property acquired is BD50,000;
  4. in the case of retired persons, the minimum monthly income must be BD5,000.

Additional deposits must also be made in local bank accounts opened by the residence permit holders. Also, these must submit proof of having a regular monthly income.

If you want to immigrate to Bahrain through any of the options above, our specialists are at your disposal with all the relevant information on all the requirements you must meet. Here is also an infographic on relocation:

Employment-based immigration to Bahrain

If you want to set up a company in Bahrain and hire employees, you can have local or foreign-sourced workers. For the latter, work visas must be obtained.

The work permit gives employees the right to Bahraini residency and is it has a validity of one or 2 years, depending on the conditions of employment. Most of the paperwork will be arranged by the employing business. In other words, anyone seeking a working visa must be sponsored by an employer or a Bahraini national. The number of visas a business can sponsor is based on the size of its operation and the limits established by local laws.

The employer will manage the majority of the application procedure on behalf of the employee, and will need to provide evidence such as:

  • a letter of employment;
  • a business registration number;
  • the employee’s qualifications;
  • the length of the contract, etc.

The documents to file for immigration to Bahrain based on employment must include:

  • a visa application;
  • passport of the employee;
  • recent photographs;
  • a copy of the labour contract containing the name, nationality, and date of birth of the employee;
  • health certificate from a licensed clinic;
  • proof of payment of the work visa.

Before employees enter the country, the Bahraini Labor Market Regulatory Authority processes and provides all visas. Employees should demonstrate their academic or professional qualifications for the position in addition to giving a medical report. Bahrain usually issues work visas in 5 business days, however, there is also the possibility for the timeframe to be prolonged to up to 2 weeks.

Feel free to get in touch with our immigration lawyers in Bahrain who can help you file for such visas.

Family reunion in Bahrain

Foreign citizens who are already established in Bahrain can sponsor their family members to join them. Any immediate family members of your employee who wish to reside in Bahrain during the time the work contract is valid will require a family visa, which is in fact a residence permit. This type of visa does not enable one’s family members to work. However, if they want to take up employment, they can apply for separate work permits.

Our immigration services are available for both foreign citizens and investors interested in relocating to Bahrain.

Finding a property in Bahrain

Short and long-term emigration to Bahrain imply having a place to stay. While rentals and leases are easy to find, when it comes to buying a property based on self-sponsorship, apart from the minimum value imposed by the Ministry of Interior, there a few other requirements to respect.

The selected property cannot be located anywhere in the country, as only designated areas are available for self-sponsorship immigration to Bahrain. These are Amwaj Islands, Durrat Al Bahrain Bay and Danat Howar Areas, plus a few others.

Do you want to immigrate to Bahrain? You can use our relocation services for a quick relocation.

The Platinum Residency Program

At the middle of 2023, the Bahraini government announced a new immigration program, called the Platinum Residency Scheme. The new permit allows foreign nationals who have resided in Bahrain for at least 15 years to become eligible for purchasing real estate anywhere in Bahrain and sponsor dependents.

Foreign nationals interested in this program must:

  • have lived in Bahrain for at least 15 years;
  • possess a golden visa;
  • have a “Good Conduct Certificate” in order to qualify for Platinum Residency under Edict 47 of 2023.

Additionally, they must have received a basic monthly wage of at least BHD4,000 (about USD 10,600) over the course of their previous 5 years of residence in Bahrain. Holders of the platinum residence permit will be able to sponsor family members—including spouses, children, and parents—to reside in Bahrain, however, they will not be issued work authorizations.

The Bahraini government also issued Edict (48) of 2023, which modifies Article 1 of Edict (43) of 2003 and provides for the regions in which non-residents are permitted to acquire real estate. This will allow them to purchase land and real estate in the majority of the country’s regions.

Please note that the authorities have not announced when this program will be open to applications, which is why for updates, we recommend getting in touch with our local specialists.

Documents to prepare for immigration to Bahrain

The papers to draft when moving to Bahrain depend very much on the type of visa chosen, as well as the reason for immigration. This is why we recommend using our tailored immigration services that are adapted to the needs of each applicant.

Do not hesitate to contact us for updated information on the current conditions under which you can immigrate to Bahrain for short and long terms. You can also rely on immigration lawyers in Bahrain for company registration services in Bahrain.