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Bahrain’s new visa policy offers easier access to Indian travelers

Posted on September 25, 2014
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The Kingdom of Bahrain, which has over 3 lakh Indian expats, has announced a new visa policy that offers easy access to the country. The new visa policy enables residents of India along with 35 other countries to apply for electronic visas as of October 2014. This will bring the overall total of countries eligible to receive e-visas to 101. These can be obtained ahead of travel to Bahrain through a simple online application process.

Starting 2015, residents of India will also now be able to spend longer periods of time in Bahrain. Under the new system, visas will be valid for a month and can be renewed for up to three months. Additionally, multiple entry visas will also be available.

The new visa policy will have a particularly significant impact on ease of travel for Indians due to the large numbers that live, work and travel to Bahrain. Indians make up the largest expatriate population in Bahrain. India is also one of Bahrain’s most important trading partners. In 2011, total trade between India and Bahrain exceeded $1.7 billion.

The Crown Prince of the Kingdom, Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, who is also the First Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) , presented the new visa policy in a cabinet meeting earlier this month. He emphasized that reforms such as this, which support the business environment in the Kingdom, will help to continue to attract inward investment and drive forward economic growth and job creation.
“Throughout history, Bahrain’s economic progress has been built on a tradition of openness, based around its role as an established hub for trade and investment,” said Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the Bahrain EDB. “The new visa policy – one of the most flexible visa policies in the region – follows that tradition, enabling citizens from more than 100 countries to enjoy easier and quicker access to the Middle East’s most open economy, as ranked by the Heritage Foundation’s 2014 Index of Economic Freedom,” he said.

M Allirajan

Sep 20, 2014

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