Gulf Labour Markets, Migration, and Population (GLMM) Programme

An international independent, non-partisan, non-profit joint programme of a major Gulf think tank and a globally renowned academic migration centre.
The programme provides data, analyses, and recommendations contributing to the improvement of understanding and management of
Gulf labour migration, population, and labour markets, engaging with and respecting the viewpoints of all stakeholder.

Bahrain: Work visa for Non-Bahrainis by type or nature of status adjustment performed ( 2002-2013)

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Work permits issued
Regular workers Domestic workers Temporary Workers
New visas Renewal New visas Renewal
2002 47,853 56,317 21,459 9,624 0
2003 57,212 63,813 25,607 10,188 2,857
2004 55,904 66,864 29,731 10,390 5,546
2005 69,525 75,941 30,562 11,904 4,588
2006 91,664 75,512 31,876 13,029 3,298
2007 97,905 90,535 33,393 14,324 5,501
2008 76,181 56,657 36,319 15,060 3,431
2009 0 41 35,683 16,222 0
2010 0 5 26,821 13,949 0
2011 0 0 33,205 18,712 0
2012 0 0 39,803 17,919 0
2013 Q1 0 0 9,835 4,428 0

Source: Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA); Ministry of Labour (MOL)

1. Technical Notes and Definitions

This table shows the flow of work permits (or visas) that are given to foreign workers distinguished by the type permit granted by the Ministry of Labour (MOL).
The Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) currently regulates the issuance and tracking of visas under the Expatriate Management System (EMS). Until September 2014, the system excluded domestic worker visa issuance, work for artists and other categories of workers of non-civilian organizations. These visas were issued by the Ministry of Labour as shown in this table. The Ministry of Labour also was the main work visa issuer prior to the establishment of the LMRA.
Work Visa is a legal certificate to allow a foreign worker to enter the country for working purposes for a period of two years with the possibility of renewal.
Worker is a generic term that refers to an employed person in general, or to an employee, a self-employed, or a particular category of worker, such as full-time or part-time worker, depending on the context in which the term is used. Four major categories of workers in terms of their status in employment are employees, employers, own-account workers, and unpaid family workers.
Regular Worker is a worker engaged to work in an enterprise for a long period of time, i.e. for more than six months and usually two years with possibility of renewal.
Temporary Worker is a worker engaged to work in an enterprise for a short period of time, i.e. for less than two years and usually six months.
Domestic worker is an employee who works, and often also lives, within the employer’s household.

2. Institution which provides data

Ministry of Labour (MOL).
Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA).

3. Data availability

The LMRA publishes these data under its Bahrain Labour Market Indicators (BLMI) section. The BLMI dashboard can be found in: ( The general BLMI data with other non-LMRA sources can be found: (
Figures and results are often reported in tables in both PDF and Excel formats.
Data for this table found here: (
The definitions that the LMRA adopts for its data can be found in the Glossary section: (

Date of access: August 2014

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