Manama: Bahraini authorities will grant entry visas and two-year renewable residence permits to retired foreigners who worked in the kingdom or in any of the other five Gulf Cooperation Council countries for at least 15 years.

Foreigners who own houses worth at least 50,000 Bahraini dinars (about Dh487,193) or who have shares in an investment project worth a minimum of 100,000 Bahraini dinars (about Dh974,386) will also benefit from the new measure announced on Sunday by the Cabinet.

No date was announced for the implementation of the new measure, but the Cabinet said that the interior ministry has been tasked with preparing the relevant regulations.

The decision to allow self-sponsorship residence permits for GCC residents is seen as a move by the local authorities to encourage foreigners to lead retired lives in Bahrain.

Currently, most visitors to the kingdom need a visa, but its requirements and fees depend on the visitor's nationality, length of stay, and, on the occasion, the time of year among other things.

Have your say
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Your comments

At least after retiring one will have peaceful and calm life which will be missed: this is not good approach but it will put more dent on the pockets of nationals who are stuggling to cope with higher prices.
Khobar,Saudi Arabia
Posted: August 14, 2007, 13:04

Yes it's a good move. I hope UAE also follows that specially for expats who were born here and worked here and retired..
Posted: August 14, 2007, 12:05

I don't think it is a good thing because it will increase the price of the shares and real estate market. Instead of helping the people to stay it will make a pressure on them and i think in this way they will help the inflation rate to increase more and more.
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 14, 2007, 09:47

This is definitely a huge positive step taken by the Bahraini Government and the UAE should follow suit. Not only will it retain knowledge and talent in the region but it will create a sense of fullfillment to all those that have considered the UAE their home as well and given this country a part of their life.
Posted: August 14, 2007, 09:45

A visionary step in right direction, belatedly though, but generous to include expats in other GCC countires too. Will bring about a positive approach in considering the predicaments of long serving expatriate, who over the time have almost lost touch with their native countries and can't fathom to return to a land which has drastically changed while they were serving abroad. It seems a solution of my problems too - Have served a reputable bank with total dedication and integrity for 35 years, opted for retirement 3 1/2 years ago, have investment in local stocks and real estate, but still got no peace of mind as far as my residence status is concerned. Maybe Bahrain has a solution for my problems.
Posted: August 14, 2007, 09:20

I think it is an excellent idea. The Gulf region offers a peaceful and calm life, and I am sure many people would love to spend their retired life here.
Posted: August 14, 2007, 08:44

This is very good move. This will also encourage investment in GCC country rather than expat to send money back home for retirement. They also can plan to settle their family in GCC country.
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: August 14, 2007, 08:18

Bahrain has set a great precedence to apprecaite teh work of expats which is a great contributor to Gulf economy. Many expats made Gulf their home and are not thrilled to go back home to unknown friends. Retired expats will keep their money in Gulf and spend it here contributing to the economy. I hope UAE follows suit.
Al Ain,UAE
Posted: August 14, 2007, 07:40

I think its a good move, GCC countries should think about changing their visa policy and this step by Bahrain is a first setp, if they are successful in making this a real second home type offer like many other countries in the world, then it will help the region. Just the same way Freehold visa policy should also be modified to make it more realistic second home policy.
Posted: August 14, 2007, 01:10

I think it is a brilliant idea for other GCC countries to follow, which will stop the flow of the funds outside the country as expatriates will invest in the residing country and will attract lot of foreign investment from people who would like to live in this part of the world.
Posted: August 14, 2007, 00:52