An extension of Rapid Visas Ltd., Saudi Able Link specialises in providing visa services for travel to the GCC countries. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a regional political and economic union, comprising six of the highest income generating nations in the world. The six countries, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Bahrain, are essentially huge oil-backed economies. However, over the years, these countries have taken strategic steps towards economic diversification. Today, these nations host several large foreign corporations in sectors such as banking, financial services, infrastructure, education and culture, apart from energy.
Rapid Visas has been one of the most reliable and successful visa agencies in London, since 2007. Our visa consultants have helped a broad base of customers, ranging from individual travellers to top corporations, in obtaining visas to over 30 countries. We are known for our extensive experience, huge network of clients, strong relationships with embassies and government bodies and a strong logistical support network, to ensure among the highest success rates in visa approval within the shortest time frame.
Apart from visa processing, Rapid Visas also helps clients with second UK passport applications, passport renewals, replacement of passports in case of theft or damage.
The Bahrain visa has been one of the most sought after GCC visas for UK citizens, partly because of the country’s rising prominence as an important banking and financial services hub; particularly for Islamic banking. UK nationals can also obtain a visa for Bahrain on arrival in the country or through the eVisa facility, launched in 2014.
Bahrain Visa Requirements for UK Citizens
The Kingdom of Bahrain
The Kingdom of Bahrain is an island nation, situated between the Qatar peninsula and Saudi Arabia’s north-eastern coast. It is connected by the 25-kilometre long King Fahd Causeway to the Saudi Arabian mainland. The population of Bahrain stood at 1.5 million in 2019, with GDP per capita of $25,385 in 2018.
Bahrain was one of the first countries in the Gulf region to discover oil and gas reserves. However, it has invested heavily in the banking, retail, heavy industry and tourism sectors since the beginning of the 21st century. In 2005, it was the first Persian Gulf state to sign a bilateral trade agreement with the United States, the US-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement. Unlike its Persian Gulf neighbours, Bahrain has little oil wealth, and has instead used its oil revenues to develop advanced telecommunications and transportation infrastructure.
The modern financial sector of Bahrain accounts for 25% of the Kingdom’s GDP. Manama, the capital city of Bahrain, is home to many large financial companies. The City of London’s Global Financial Centres Index listed Manama as the world’s fastest growing financial hub in 2008. The boom in the country’s Islamic banking sector, combined with successful ventures, such as the Bahrain Grand Prix, has boosted its international profile.
Plans to develop the land next to the Bahrain International Circuit was announced by the government in 2009. The plan includes exhibition facilities, convention centres, luxury hotels, retail and leisure establishments and a technology park, to name a few. The Bahrain Science and Technology Park, announced in 2006, aims to be a major source of innovation and scientific research, providing high quality jobs for local and international workers.
The UK shares strong bilateral relations with Bahrain, related to economic, military and investment. Bilateral trade between the two nations stood at £1.1 billion in March 2019. Between 6,000 and 8,000 UK citizens reside in Bahrain, making it the largest European community of expats in the Kingdom. In addition, thousands of Britons travel each year to Bahrain, for business and leisure purposes. The Kingdom has over 90 branches of British companies. It is an important base for UK companies due to its liberal tax regime, highly developed financial markets and a strategic land link with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through the causeway.
General Types of Bahrain Visas for UK Citizens
To enter the Kingdom of Bahrain, travellers need a visa, unless they are citizens of one of the GCC nations (except Qatar) or they belong to one of the visa-exempt nations. Citizens of the UK may obtain a Bahrain visa on arrival or a Bahrain eVisa, which allows them to stay in the country for a period of 30 days.
The Bahrain Government has launched an online issuance system for the Bahrain eVisa, where it grants electronic authorisation (equivalent to a visa stamp) to enter the Kingdom. To be granted a Bahrain eVisa or be issued with a visa on arrival, UK citizens should have:
- A passport with six months’ validity from the date of entry into the Kingdom, and a blank visa page.
- Proof of funds to cover the entire duration of stay.
- Flight bookings for an onward journey or return journey to the UK.
- All documents required for the next destination.
- Proof of accommodation in the Kingdom.
The Bahrain Embassy in London issues other traditional forms of Bahrain visas, such as:
- Business Visa
- Official Travel Visa (Consulate decides validity)
- Work Visa
- Transit Visa (Visa exemption for 24 hours stay at the airport)
- Seaman Visa
You may extend visa validity by visiting the Nationality, Passport and Residence Affairs Office (NPRA) in Bahrain and paying the extension fee. However, the decision to extend visas totally lies with the immigration officials. Additionally, to obtain a Bahrain Work Visa or a business visit visa, you will need to submit a business introduction letter from your UK-based company, requesting for a visa and stating the purpose of the visit. A letter of invitation issued by the Bahrain Ministry of Foreign Affairs, carrying its stamp and accreditation, is also required.
The Bahrain visa cost for UK citizens for an eVisa within 4 working days includes a £68 consular fee. Saudi Able Link also charges a nominal service fee. Consular fees are subject to change, without prior notice.
Bahrain Visa Immigration Rules and General Information
UK citizens will need a standard work permit or Bahrain work visa for employment in the Kingdom. For this, all applicants need to have a signed employment contract, directly with a Bahrain-based corporate entity. The length of the work permit is 2 years and can be renewed.
The sponsoring entity in Bahrain must submit an application to the General Directorate of Immigration and Passports, to verify the applicant’s profile as being free of any pending criminal investigations, so that they can obtain a work permit. Applicants should be aware of the “Bahrainisation” requirements in their sector. These are a set of rules that govern the percentage of expat employees over local employees in Bahrain-based companies.
We assist corporate entities with all aspects of immigration of employees to Bahrain. Contact our experts at email@example.com for further queries regarding Bahrain immigration rules.
Bahrain Visa Medical and Legalisation
Bahrain document legalisation is an essential part of the visa application process. Legalisation is a process that provides legal authentication to documents issued in the UK, to be used for various purposes in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Apostille stamping is also required in some cases, which is a special form of document attestation, making the document legally acceptable in 92 countries that are a part of the Hague Convention. Document attestation and legalisation are completed by various bodies, such as the Bahrain Embassy in London, the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) or the Arab British Chamber of Commerce (ABCC).
Our experts can guide you through the requirements of getting documents attested and apostilled, through our extensive contacts with officials in these various government agencies. Additionally, we will also provide guidance related to all Bahrain visa medical requirements. To apply for a work visa or residency permit, you will need to undergo medical check-ups at designated centres of the UK. This includes tests such as blood work for detection of Syphilis, Hepatitis B&C, Malaria, HIV and other tests, such as chest X-rays and ECG.
From ensuring that you know the correct test requirements and the right test centres in the UK, to checking that the visa medical documents are in accordance to prescribed format by the FCO and the Embassy, trust our consultants to guide you through it all.
Contact us for further queries related to Bahrain visa applications via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 02070961985.