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New work-permit issuance system for domestic workers in Bahrain
A domestic worker in UAE. Image Credit. A.K Kallouche - Gulf News via MFA

New work-permit issuance system for domestic workers in Bahrain

A NEW system to issue work permits for domestic workers will be launched next month in a bid to reduce the number of transactions.
Biometrics and other details of domestic workers will be registered by the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA), in addition to the issuance of smart cards and residence permit stickers on passports. This will be all done in “one single transaction” at the LMRA counters at Bahrain International Airport starting from next month.
Under the existing system employers have to go through four steps: Selecting a worker from one of the licensed manpower agencies, submitting an online application to the LMRA, issuing a smart card from the Information and eGovernment Authority, and issuing a no objection certificate from the Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs.
“We are trying to simplify the process by reducing the number of steps employers have to go through to complete the residency requirements of a domestic worker,” said LMRA chief executive Ausamah Al Absi.
“The new system to be introduced from January will electronically reduce the different steps into one single transaction.
“Biometrics of the domestic workers will be recorded at the airport from next month upon their arrival, along with the issuance of smart card and medical appointment.
“We are testing our systems, which is in the final stages so that the new work permit issuance system for domestic workers at the LMRA counter in the airport is introduced from January.”
He added that recording the biometrics and photographs of domestic workers would ensure safety and prevent those with travel restrictions issued against them from entering Bahrain.
Earlier this month, the LMRA published advertisements in Arabic and English urging employers to complete the residency requirements of their domestic workers.
Mr Al Absi said this was done because there was a “significant number” of employers who did not complete the process of issuing residency permits.
“We found out there are employers who did not get smart cards for their workers and did not complete the medical examination,” he said.
“There were also those who did not put the residence permit sticker on the passport of their domestic workers.
“Some also did not complete the entire process because of which we are now urging them to finish those important requirements before the new system is introduced from next month.”
There are about 92,000 domestic workers in the country, which is about 15 per cent of the total expatriates.
The top three nationalities of domestic workers, according to LMRA data for the second quarter of the year, were Indians (21,567), Ethiopians (21,306) and Filipinos (20,316). – Message received from Rejimon Kuttappan in Bahrain