E-visa system helps issue work permits in 24 hours.


NEARLY half of the work visas issued by the Labour Market

Regulatory Authority are now processed within 24 hours, a top official

has revealed.

Out of 13,200 issued last month, more than 6,300 were processed

within a day, said Interior Ministry Nationality, Passports and

Residence assistant under-secretary Shaikh Ahmed bin Isa Al Khalifa.

An average 1,500 e-visas are also issued every month for visitors

from different parts of the world, he told the GDN.

"The e-visa technology enables General Directorate of

Nationality Passports and Residency to process all types of visas faster

than ever before," said Shaikh Ahmed.

"This specially helps the LMRA, which is responsible for

issuing work visas for expatriates.

"Once the documents are cleared by LMRA and Central

Informatics Organisation, it is sent to GDNPR to issue the visas.

"Though it is estimated to take an average five days for

processing at GDNPR, we are now able to clear almost half of them within

24 hours."

The number of work visas issued by LMRA since July has been

increasing steadily.

The number, which was only 786 in July, increased to 12,773 in

September and 14,510 in December.

"We have launched a campaign to encourage more visitors to

make use of the e-visa facilities," said Shaikh Ahmed.

"All five-star hotels, major airlines and leading travel

agents are now linked to the GDNPR e-visa portal at www.evisa.gov.bh.

"Government agencies, the financial sector, universities and

exhibition companies have also been linked to the system."

The e-visa system has helped reduce the workload at GDNPR and

minimise inconvenience to major customers, said Shaikh Ahmed.

Up to five user names with password are given to major

institutions, said Shaikh Ahmed.

"Their administrator and related staff are being trained at

GDNPR on how to access our system and make the best use of the

facility," he said.

"They can apply for visit visas online. Customers can also

make the payment online.

"The system has proved a great boon to thousands of visitors

to Bahrain."

Nationals of more than 35 countries are now granted visa on arrival

at Bahrain International Airport.

"We advise them to apply visa online and make the payment with

credit cards," said Shaikh Ahmed.

"The e-visa facility makes their entry to Bahrain easier as

they do not have to wait in the queue at the immigration counters or

worry about changing currency."

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