By Sandeep Singh Grewal
Bahrain News | Wed, 15 Feb 2017
A PILOT project aimed at helping thousands of illegal workers in Bahrain regularise their status will be launched in April, according to a senior official.
The first-of-its-kind initiative in the Middle East will feature such workers being able to sponsor themselves and work for multiple employers.
The flexible work permit scheme was endorsed by the Cabinet last year and 48,000 permits are expected to be issued over the next two years starting from April, said Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) chief executive Ausama Al Absi.
The permit will allow the holder to be employed daily, hourly or as required by several companies at the same time.
“We will launch the scheme, the first in the Middle East, in April allowing self-employed low skilled workers to work with multiple employers,” said Mr Al Absi.
“This will basically regulate the ‘free visa’ system.
“We will issue 2,000 permits a month as part of the scheme that will run for two years.”
Mr Al Absi was speaking yesterday at an event hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce – Bahrain, at the Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa.
The permit-holder will be responsible to pay his fees, including the BD200 work visa fee and the BD144 healthcare fee.
Flexible permit-holders will have to pay BD30 a month compared to the BD10 companies pay to the LMRA for each expatriate worker hired.