Bahrain will start accepting requests for new work permits shortly, following a five month- suspension due to COVID-19.
The Labour Market Regulatory Authority said it will accept applications for new work permits from August 9 and private employers will be able to apply for work permits for new employees recruited from abroad as of the new date.
But, in a move designed to promote hiring amongst those already in the kingdom, employers must first advertise positions in Bahraini newspapers for a minimum of two weeks to allow citizens and residents to take advantage of opportunities first.
The issuing of work permits for foreigners was suspended in March as part of the measures designed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
At present, Bahrain International Airport is open, following the lifting of travel restrictions which were put in place earlier in the year, but entrance into the country is only permitted for Bahraini citizens and residence visa holders.
Arriving passengers must take a COVID-19 test at their own expense, and then be quarantined for a period of 10 days, regardless of the test outcome.
The Saudi Arabia to Bahrain King Fahd Causeway commenced staggered reopening last month after it was closed on March 7th.
The decision to re-start new work permit requests for foreign nations follows series of measures designed to help Bahrain-based businesses struggling due to the impact of Covid-19.
Bahrain News Agency reported in July that businesses adversely affected by the pandemic would be exempt from some labour fees for a period of three months, in an attempt to assist in maintaining sustainable growth and labour market stability, in particular for the kingdom’s SMEs.
Bahrain’s economy is expected to contract by 3.6 percent this year, following the coronavirus outbreak which started impacting the GCC region towards the end of Q1 2020. The World Bank reported last month that GCC economies will contract by 4.1 percent in 2020.
(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Daniel Luiz)
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