By Uglobal Staff
Bahrain has become the latest gulf country to announce a new golden visa residency program for foreigners as the oil-and-gas rich kingdom competes with its regional rivals to diversify its economy and remain attractive to the global talent.
Senior Bahraini officials have said the new residency program, known officially as the Golden Residency Visa, is aimed at stimulating economic growth following the global pandemic.
“The introduction of the Golden Residency Visa is designed to attract investors, benefit our businesses, and contribute to the provision of quality opportunities for Bahrainis...” said the Bahraini Interior Ministry's undersecretary for residency affairs, Shaikh Hisham al-Khalifa in a statement.
“By retaining and attracting those with talent, experience, and internationally renowned knowledge, the government of Bahrain has adopted a dynamic approach as we emerge from the pandemic with reasons to be highly optimistic about the strength and growth of our economy.”
Eligibility criteria for the Golden Residency Visa
All foreign residents who have been living as residents for five years continuously are eligible for the new visa as long as their average monthly income totals at least 2,000 Bahraini dinars (around $5,300) per month for the entire period they've spent in the kingdom.
Those who own properties worth at least 200,000 Bahraini dinars (close to half a million American dollars) are also eligible.
Nonresident foreign retirees would have to show they have at least 4,000 Bahraini dinars (around $10,600) coming into their accounts per month; retirees who are currently residents of Bahrain would only have to show half the amount.
Bahrain also plans to issue visas to all highly-talented individuals, which according to the official government site, means foreign academics with PhD degrees, athletes, entrepreneurs who must be accredited by a recognized business incubator in Bahrain, inventors who can show a copy of their patents as well as award-winning artists, and authors.
The long-term golden visa would be renewable indefinitely provided the applicant continues to meet all the criteria, according to the official statement.
Other Middle Eastern states offering long term visas
Several gulf states in recent years have announced long term residency programs and even pathways to citizenships to foreigners.
In 2021, the UAE took several steps to make the country even more attractive for foreigners, including announcing a citizenship pathway to nominated foreigners, a new visa program for foreign retirees and global talent.
Also, last year, Saudi Arabia announced it would give citizenship to nominated foreign residents; Oman launched its 10-year renewable visa option for foreign investors. Qatar’s long term residency program for foreign investors was launched in 2020.
Other Middle Eastern countries like Jordan also announced a new citizenship program for foreign investors recently.
Powered by Froala Editor