The significance of laws pertaining to immigrants affects their legal rights, duties, and obligations in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The laws serve to regulate the flow of immigration and ensure that it is in line with the needs and priorities of Bahrain.

Bahrain: The Best Place for Expats to Settle 

Bahrain is renowned as the “best place for expats” to settle in expat-friendly countries, mainly because it is known for its affordability of housing, ease of visa acquisition, and digital readiness. It offers a secure and welcoming environment for expatriates, with a high level of online government services and digital payment options. To further strengthen the rights of expatriates, Bahrain has launched Golden Residency Visa programme that allows current residents and foreign nationals to stay or invest in Bahrain for a long period, promoting stability and security for those who choose to call Bahrain home. 

Bahrain has made significant strides in protecting the rights of expatriate workers. The government has implemented various laws and regulations to ensure that expatriates are treated fairly and respectfully. Expatriates in Bahrain enjoy the right to safe working conditions, freedom from discrimination, and access to medical care. They are also guaranteed vacation policies, including paid leave for holidays as well as parental leave. The Bahrain Labour Law sets guidelines and regulations for the Kingdom’s workforce, ensuring that employers prioritize the well-being of their employees. These regulations help prevent the exploitation and mistreatment of expatriate workers, ensuring that they can enjoy their time in Bahrain without fear of mistreatment.

Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) in Bahrain

The Kingdom of Bahrain is committed to upholding the rights of all workers, regardless of their background. The LMRA is a legal entity that falls under the supervision of the Minister of Labour and organizes the Kingdom’s labour activities. This includes regulating work permits for expatriate employees, issuing entry visas and residency permits, and licensing workforce agencies and employment offices.  

The is dedicated to educating expatriate employees and their families about their rights. They have developed a Service Agreements Portal, available in multiple languages, which documents contracts between registered workers and service receivers to preserve the rights of both parties.  

The LMRA works closely with the embassies of labor-exporting countries and foreign communities' civil society institutions to ensure the protection of workers. They provide a range of Pre-Employment Medical Examination Services in coordination with concerned authorities, ensuring that workers are healthy and fit to work. The LMRA is guided by a set of principles, values, and foundations that promote transparency, quality, continuous improvement, and social responsibility. These values have helped to enhance the Kingdom's reputation as a decent country to work in, where employees enjoy flexibility, justice, continuity, and safeguarding of their rights without discrimination.  

To learn more about the LMRA and its services, visit their Expatriate Portal. 

Expatriate Employee Rights 

The Kingdom of Bahrain has a legal system in place that is designed to protect the rights of expatriate employees. This includes a range of regulations and systems that govern the relationship between the employee and the employer, ensuring that their rights are determined according to applicable legislation and regulations. The goal is to increase awareness about employment relationships at the beginning of the employment period. 

The Service Agreements Portal provides a reliable and transparent platform for formalizing and documenting contracts and agreements between registered workers and service recipients. This ensures that all parties have access to an official record of the agreement, thereby safeguarding their rights in the event of any disputes. Through the portal, parties can securely store and access their contracts and agreements at any time, making it easy to refer to them when necessary. This enhances trust between the parties and improves workflow, as all parties are aware of their rights and obligations. The Service Agreements Portal is a valuable tool that promotes transparency and accountability in the service industry. It is an efficient and effective way to formalize agreements and ensure that both workers and service recipients are protected. 

Expatriates have the right to inform their employer of their intention to transfer to a new job, whether it is to change their current employer or to avoid being transferred to a new commercial register without prior notice. Furthermore, they can provide official notice of their intention to move before the predetermined contract expiration date to avoid any subsequent penalties or legal disputes. It is the responsibility of employers to comply with the laws and regulations governing this process and refrain from subjecting expatriates to any form of discrimination or pressure that prevents them from exercising their right to move to a new job.  

Expatriates can easily verify their legal status and eligibility to work by checking their eligibility status at labour registration centers. Additionally, they can access the Expatriate Portal to verify the validity of their work permit, its duration, and contract details. The Expatriate Portal also provides useful information related to the rights and obligations of foreign workers, such as minimum wages and other work-related benefits. This ensures that expatriates are well-informed and aware of their legal rights, which is crucial for creating a fair and just work environment. 

By providing easy access to information and verification processes, the Expatriate Portal promotes transparency and accountability in the labor market. Expatriates can feel confident and secure in their legal status and work conditions, which benefits both the worker and the employer. 

National Human Trafficking Hotline 995 

If you suspect cases of exploitation of workers or human trafficking in Bahrain, you can report it by calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline at +973 995. For more information about the hotline and its services, visit the hotline page on the LMRA website.

Committee for the Assessment of the Status of Foreigners who are Victims of Trafficking in Persons 

In order to combat the heinous crime of human trafficking among foreign nationals residing in Bahrain, a committee was established under Ministerial Decision No. (30) of 2008. The committee works in close coordination with the Ministry of Interior to assess each case and recommend appropriate action. The committee's primary responsibility is to identify cases of human trafficking and assess the situation of the victims. Through thorough investigations and evaluations, the committee determines the most appropriate course of action for each case:  

  • Returning individuals to their countries of origin 

  • Returning individuals to another country if the situation in their home country does not serve their interests

  • Helping individuals in order to obtain Bahrain-based jobs that match their qualifications by submitting a recommendation to them if they wish to remain and work in Bahrain. 

In Bahrain, a committee has been established to ensure that foreign workers are protected and not exploited. Upon approval by the Minister, foreign workers are permitted to work in Bahrain, and the committee closely monitors their work conditions to ensure that they receive fair salaries and are not subjected to exploitation. This ensures that all workers in Bahrain are treated with dignity and respect and their rights are protected. 

Reporting Labour Complaints

The Labour Inspection Department in the Ministry of Labour investigates labour complaints submitted by workers in the private sector and provides consensual and legal solutions to resolve the matter in accordance with Labour Law No. (36) of 2012 and the resolutions regulating it. If you have a labour complaint, you can report it to the Labour Inspection Department to ensure that your rights are protected and that the issue is resolved in a fair and just manner. 

Compulsory Payment of Salaries via Bank Accounts 

To ensure better control and sustainability of insurance for workers, it has become mandatory for employers to pay salaries through bank accounts. This measure provides greater transparency and accountability, allowing for better monitoring and management of insurance policies. 

By making it compulsory for workers to receive their salaries through bank accounts, employers can help ensure that workers receive their full salaries and benefits. This also helps prevent cases of wage theft or underpayment, which can lead to financial instability and hardship for workers. 


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Content Last Updated: 28 Aug, 2023

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