Valid residence permit not enough, says Bahrain’s LMRA


The free visa workers are not off the hook even if they might have valid RPs, Labour Market Regulatory Authority acting chief executive Ali Radhi has warned.
“Amnesty is for them. It is time they legalised their status and corrected whatever necessary in their CPRs.”


Hundreds or thousands of workers bought visas and are engaged in CR-for-rent practice or doing work different from the one specified in their CPRs.


Many, according to the authorities, could be found in small shops, construction companies, garages and cold stores. Some are working as door-to-door salespersons, shoemakers, plumbers, household carpenters and tailors, among others.


Expatriates who have taken commercial registrations on rent to run small businesses and paid money to sponsors for their residence permits and CPRs are included in the category.


“Those who have paid money and got commercial registration must rectify their status because it is illegal. They should be registered as investors,” Radhi said.


One such case is a Filipino technician who acquired a commercial registration to start an interior designing business. He paid a Bahraini for the CR while his CPR lists him as technician under another employer.


Though he has a valid residence permit, LMRA has told the Filipino to correct his records during amnesty.


Such people are generally classified as “free visa workers”. There could be 20,000- 30,000 such workers, according to government estimates last year.
Radhi said sponsors and employers were equally liable if there were discrepancies in the papers of expatriates under their care. All overstayers have to legalise stay or file for exit passes during amnesty which ends on December 31.


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