Migrant Workers and Expatriates

Bahrain proudly ranks as the best place for expats to settle in a new country based on factors including affordability of housing, ease of obtaining a visa, opening a bank account, and making digital payments, as well as a high level of digital readiness and online government services. Expatriates report enjoying friendly, welcoming and safe livelihoods while living and working in Bahrain. To complement this, the Kingdom launched a Golden Residency Visa programme for current residents and foreign nationals seeking to stay or invest in Bahrain for a long period.  
Bahrain has made great strides in protecting the rights of expatriate workers, implementing a number of laws and regulations to ensure they are treated fairly and respectfully. Expatriates in the Kingdom enjoy the right to safe working conditions, freedom from discrimination, and access to medical care. Additionally, Bahrain also offers vacation policies for expatriates, including paid leave for holidays as well as maternity and paternity leave. These rights help ensure that expatriates in Bahrain are able to enjoy their time here while being protected from exploitation and mistreatment. The Labour Law also sets guidelines and regulations governing the Kingdom’s workforce.

Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA)

The Kingdom of Bahrain protects all its workers, no matter their background. The Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) is a legal entity under the supervision of the Minister of Labour, which organizes the Kingdom’s labour activities, such as regulating work permits for expatriate employees, including domestic workers; issuing entry visas and residency permits; issuing official identity cards for expatriate employees in coordination with the concerned authorities; licensing manpower agencies and employment offices; and processing work permits for employers of expatriates. This also includes a range of Medical Examination for Expatriate Employees in coordination with the concerned authorities.

The LMRA educates expatriate employees and their families about their rights, as summarized on its website. A Service Agreements Portal, available in multiple languages, documents contracts between the registered worker and the service receiver to preserve the rights of each party. Working with the embassies of labour-exporting countries and foreign communities' civil society institutions, the LMRA helps to ensure workers are protected.

The LMRA adopts a set of foundations, principles and values that guide all its work and services, including humanitarianism, transparency, quality, continuous improvement and social responsibility. This has reflected positively on the Kingdom's reputation and international position as a decent country to work in, where employees enjoy flexibility, justice, continuity, and safeguarding of their rights without discrimination.

For more information, visit the LMRA’s Expatriate Portal.

Expatriate Employee Rights

The Kingdom of Bahrain applies a legal system that protects expatriate employee rights. This includes various regulations and systems that govern the relationship between the expatriate and the employer, determining their rights according to the applicable legislation and regulations. The aim is to increase awareness about employment relationships that workers typically need at the beginning of their employment.

To formalize and document contracts and agreements between the registered worker and the service recipient in an official and transparent manner, a Service Agreements Portal is available. This platform allows parties to ensure the safe preservation of contracts and agreements and easy access to them at any time, thus safeguarding the rights of both the worker and the service recipient in case of any disputes. The platform also enhances trust between the parties and improves the workflow.

Expatriates have the right to inform their employer of their intention to transfer to a new job, either to change their current employer or to avoid being transferred to a new commercial register without prior notice. The expatriate can also provide official notice of their intention to move before the predetermined contract expiration date to avoid any subsequent penalties or legal disputes. Employers must comply with the laws and regulations governing this process and refrain from subjecting expatriates to any form of discrimination or pressure that prevents them from exercising their right to move to a new job.

Expatriates can verify their legal status and eligibility through the verification of eligibility to join labour registration centres. They can also verify the validity of their work permit, know its duration, and access contract details through the Expatriate Portal. Additionally, they can obtain information related to the rights and obligations of foreign workers, such as minimum wages and other work-related benefits.

End Trafficking Hotline 995

Cases of exploitation of workers in Bahrain or human trafficking can be reported by calling +973 995. For more information, visit the End Trafficking page on the LMRA website.


Committee for the Assessment of the Status of Foreigners who are Victims of Trafficking in Persons

Under Ministerial Decision No. (30) of 2008, a committee was formed to assess cases of trafficking in persons among foreigners residing in Bahrain. The committee, in coordination with the Ministry of Interior, evaluates each case and recommends one of the following actions:

  • Returning individuals to their countries of origin
  • Returning individuals to another country if the situation in their home country does not serve their interests

If the individuals wish to remain and work in the Kingdom of Bahrain, the committee, in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior, studies their case and helps them obtain Bahrain-based jobs that match their qualifications by submitting a recommendation to the Minister of Interior.
Upon the Minister's approval, the individuals will be able to work in Bahrain, and the committee will follow up every six months to ensure that they receive fair salaries and are not exploited. The committee also reviews all reports related to victims, including statements from legal representatives.

Reporting Labour Complaints

The Labour Inspection Department within the Ministry of Labour investigates labour complaints submitted by workers in the private sector and provides consensual and legal solutions to resolve the matter in accordance with Labor Law No. (36) of 2012 and the resolutions regulating it.


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Content Last Updated: 23 Aug, 2023

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