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Bahrain launches ‘golden’ permanent residency visas to attract talent

February 8, 2022 at 12:56 pm

A picture taken on March 29, 2021 shows the new passenger terminal of Bahrain International Airport, south of the Bahraini capital Manama. [GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images]

Bahrain’s Interior Ministry yesterday announced it was introducing a new type of permanent visa aimed at attracting talent and investment to the Gulf state. The so-called Golden Residency Visa programme will apply to both residents and non-residents, as well as their families and can be renewed indefinitely, in accordance with meeting certain criterion.

The move is part of a trend among Gulf states in offering flexible and longer-duration visas, reported Reuters, in a region where foreigners traditionally were only able to renew their visas for just a few years, related to employment. Neighbouring UAE already offers longer-duration and flexible visas and even the chance to be granted Emirati citizenship.

“The new Golden Residency Visa will help foreign investors and long-term residents, and further contribute to the national economy,” explained Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs Undersecretary, Hisham Bin Abdulrahman Al-Khalifa.

To meet the eligibility criteria, applicants must have resided in the kingdom for at least five years and earned an average salary of at least $5,305 (BHD 2,000) per month. Others can qualify if they own properties over a certain value, as can retirees and “highly talented” individuals who meet relevant requirements.

The announcement comes amid Bahrain’s Economic Recovery Plan, which includes a series of economic reforms and infrastructure projects aimed at addressing the country’s indebted finances. Bahrain is also anticipating a tourism boom with the planned inauguration of the Bahrain Exhibition Centre by the end of the year, which will be one of the largest facilities of its kind in the Middle East and will be a “game changer” for Bahrain and the Gulf in hosting events, festivals and conferences.

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