Bahrain Begins Issuing Multiple Entry Visas For GCC Residents

The move is expected to increase flexibility among visitors and ease access to the country, officials said.

Bahrain has started issuing multiple entry visas for all its business visitors and tourists as part of its new visa policy.

The Gulf Arab state introduced a liberalised visa policy last year that would allow nearly 100 nationalities to obtain a visa upon arrival or ahead of travel.

As per the latest update, all GCC residents of any nationality are also eligible to receive a multi-entry visa either on arrival or online.

In addition, nationals from countries who are not eligible for eVisas or visas on arrival can still apply for eVisas if they have a visit visa for any other GCC country.

The Bahrain Economic Development Agency (EDB) said that the country saw over 1,400 visitors from 32 countries who were eligible for visa on arrival after it introduced the new policy in October 2014.

Meanwhile, more than 2,300 visitors from 36 new countries, who were eligible for eVisas, benefited from the new policy.

“The new visa policy is an important development that places Bahrain among the countries with the most flexible visa policies in the region,” said Khalid Al Rumaihi, CEO of EDB.

“It enables expatriates who do business in Bahrain to easily travel in and out of the Kingdom, as well as boosting the tourism industry, and will help contribute to the continuing economic growth and development in Bahrain.”

Bahrain’s economy has been recovering steadily following street protests in the aftermath of the Arab Spring in 2011.

However, the recent drop in oil prices has put the country, which has a breakeven price of $125 per barrel, at a high risk of running a deficit and subsequently slowing growth.

As a result, Standard and Poor recently lowered the rating of the Gulf country to negative.

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