Illegal workers in Bahrain given six months amnesty

Workers have until December 31 to pay fines or leave the country, according to labour market chief

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Bahrain has offered a six-month general amnesty for workers staying illegally in the country.

The amnesty, which will begin on Wednesday this week (July 1), will give a grace period for those undocumented workers to either pay fines or leave the country, according to the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) chief executive Ausamah Al Absi.

“During the amnesty period a worker can either leave the country without paying fines or has the option to find an employer ready to hire him so he can stay in the country,” Al Absi told Gulf Daily News.

“It’s time that we clean up the labour market – and let me make it clear, all bets are off after the amnesty as the law will be applied with full force against illegal workers,” he added.

The illegal works have until December 31 to regularise their affairs, after which a crackdown will begin.

The LMRA database says there are in the region of 61,000 workers are staying in Bahrain illegally, having run away from their employers, overstayed their visas, or stayed on in the country beyond the end of a work contract.

“There will be no blacklisting for all those who voluntarily depart the country, which means the possibility of returning at any time regardless of their legal status,” Al Absi added.

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