When traveling to Bahrain, your nationality and the types of activities you will conduct during your trip will determine whether you may travel lawfully as a business visitor or if work authorization will be required. Please seek advice from your immigration counsel if you are uncertain about the specific types of activities that constitute business or work.
As a business visitor to Bahrain, you may engage in the activities below. While this list is not exhaustive and other activities could qualify as business, you may:
Most foreign nationals, including nationals of the United States and most European countries, will be required to obtain a Business Visa (also called a Visit Visa) to enter Bahrain. Depending on the traveler’s nationality, visas may be obtained from a Bahraini Consulate or Embassy prior to travel, online as an e-visa or upon arrival. Nationals of select countries, including Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states (Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates), may be eligible for visa waiver status, which allows visitors to enter and conduct business activities without a visa. Please verify your eligibility for a visa on arrival, visa waiver status or an e-visa prior to travel.
The activities below, whether paid or unpaid, generally constitute work under Bahraini law. This list is not exhaustive, and many other professional activities are considered work in Bahrain, even if conducted for a short duration.
The requirements for work authorization depend on your qualifications, on the nature and duration of your work and on whether your employer has an entity in Bahrain. The most common form of work authorization in Bahrain is the Work Visa and Residence Permit.
Nationals of eligible GCC member states are exempt from obtaining work authorization and may work indefinitely in Bahrain.
Inevitably, the legal and strategic considerations impacting visa selection, as well as visa waiver and work authorization eligibility, entail the careful consideration of many factors. We recommend that you consult with your immigration counsel before taking any course of action.