Work Permits for Bahrain

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work permit for bahrainIn order for expats to legally work in Bahrain it's necessary to obtain a work permit.
Bahrain's workforce is made up of a large percentage of expats, most of whom are from the Asian sub-continent. With such a large number of foreigners working in the Kingdom, the authorities have made the process of obtaining a work permit fairly straightforward.
However, expats do need to have employer sponsorship before they can apply for a work permit in Bahrain. 
Once a job offer is solidified, in nearly all cases the hiring company completely bears the burden of organising visas and paperwork. The employer applies for a permit with the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) and expats merely need to help supply the requested documents.
In some cases it is also necessary to include a Curriculum Vitae (CV) to prove that the candidate is suitably qualified to fulfil the appointed position.
Employers can obtain work permits up to a year in advance without having to assign them to a specific individual. Thus, if lucky, the gap between signing a contract and legally being able to relocate and begin working can potentially be minimal.
It is important that expats make sure that the work permit they receive is for the position they have been hired to fill; sometimes companies have extra work permits for different positions. Though accepting a work permit for a position other than the one the candidate can be a quick fix to the problem of moving to Bahrain and starting a job, it can cause major problems when it comes to renewing the document in a few years' time.  

Self-employed individuals and those that own their own business can apply for work permits with the help of a Bahraini national, only these individuals are legally allowed to make an application for a work permit. Thus, it's advised to enlist the help of an agency for this task.

Work permits are valid for a maximum of two years, at which point they need to be renewed.
Once an expat arrives in Bahrain with a work permit, they will need to apply for a residency visa, as well as a Central Population Registry (CPR) card.

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