Bahrain may lift ban, toughen up rules
Bahrain is likely to lift the ban on hiring Bangladeshi workers soon with some stringent conditions for workers and the government.
"We have come to know from our embassy in Bahrain that Manama is actively considering withdrawal of the ban but we are yet to get any official letter in this regard," said a high official of the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment yesterday.
The conditions include those seeking jobs in Bahrain should be at least 25, and should have certificates on skills and on not having any criminal records, the official said.
Bahrain stopped issuing work permits to Bangladeshi nationals on May 26 this year after a group of legislators called for action following the killing of a Bahraini national, Mohammed Jassim Dossary, 38. He was murdered allegedly by a Bangladeshi technician.
The ban however drew criticisms from various human rights groups and Bangladeshi nationals in Bahrain. They argued that all nationals of a country must not suffer for a crime committed by one person.
Bahraini newspaper Gulf Daily News yesterday reported that once the ban is lifted, Bangladeshi workers will have to provide certificate of good conduct issued by a government authority and attested by the Bangladesh embassy in Bahrain before they can qualify for visa.
They must be aged 25 or above, have health certificate attested by the Bangladesh embassy, and no criminal record, it said.
The Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) of Bahrain has already started accepting visa applications on behalf of Bangladeshi workers from their potential employers, chief executive of the LMRA Ali Radhi told the daily.
Candidates must first undergo strict security screening at the General Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Residence (GDNPR) once the LMRA processes their applications for visa.
Those applying for specialised jobs should also submit documents to prove their qualifications and skills, said a GDNPR spokesman.
Bangladesh embassy Charge d' Affaires Saiful Islam told the Gulf Daily News that he had not yet received official information from the Interior Ministry on lifting of the ban but welcomed any step in that direction.
"During a recent meeting, Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa had promised to consider resuming visas for our nationals," he said.
"We are happy to note that it is being resumed. However, we are awaiting official confirmation."
An expatriates' welfare ministry official said, "Our embassy in Bahrain is negotiating to ease the conditions."
Over one lakh Bangladeshis are working in Bahrain.