Expat staff ‘must track visa status on website’


FOREIGN workers must regularly check their legal status on the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) website to ensure they have not been unjustly reported by their employers as runaways, officials said yesterday.

The call came following an increase in the number of expatriate workers registered as runaways at the LMRA by their employers.

More than 12,500 workers have been reported to LMRA so far by their employers as runaways.

“If an employer has reported an employee had absconded from work at LMRA, the employee will not be allowed to transfer to another company, renew the work permit or return to work with the same employer after one month from receiving the report,” said LMRA e-services and public relations manager Waheed Al Balushi.

“An employer will be able to replace an absconded worker after six months, if the worker did not leave the country.

“Such foreign workers should come forward to the LMRA immediately to show the inaccuracy of the absconding report. They have a month from the day the report was filed against them.”

Mr Al Balushi advised all foreign workers in Bahrain to check their legal status occasionally through LMRA’s website www.lmra.bh, “to avoid any surprises and possible legal consequences”.

All employers should renew their employees’ work visas that have not been expired for more than 12 months prior to the end of December, said Mr Al Balushi.

They will not be renewed after that date, he said.

On the other hand, employers can renew a work visa six months before its expiry date, said Mr Al Balushi.

“Work permits issued by the Labour Ministry can no longer be used by the end of this year,” he added.

“All employers are requested to pay the late monthly fees and failing to do so will lead to fines. With such establishments, their transactions with the LMRA will be stopped and possible legal action could be taken.”

Payment can be made through the online payment gateway on LMRA’s website, for authorised users and credit card holders, or through one of Ahli United Bank branches.