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Dhaka Tribune

Bahrain to legalise 40,000 Bangladeshis

Update : 29 Jun 2015, 08:11 PM

The Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) of Bahrain has announced a general amnesty period for the illegal expatriates, including Bangladeshis, living there to become legalised to live and work in Bahrain.

The announcement was published on the LMRA’s website on Sunday.

Labour Councillor at Bangladesh Embassy in Bahrain Mohidul Islam confirmed the matter over phone as well.

“I was present at the meeting of the LMRA. This is the first and the last time that the Bahrain government is offering such opportunity to the illegal migrants, free of cost,” he told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday.

There are around 40,000 Bangladeshis currently living illegally in Bahrain, among a total of 150,000 Bangladeshi migrants in the country.

According to the LMRA announcement, the six-month amnesty period will commence on July 1, aimed at allowing illegal workers to either legalise their presence in Bahrain through obtaining employment legally or by returning to their home countries without penalties or being blacklisted, allowing the workers who choose to leave Bahrain during the amnesty period to return in future without any obstacles.

“We offer this opportunity to all those who may have found themselves on the wrong side of the law to rectify their situation without having to pay penalties or face legal procedures,” the website quoted LMRA Chief Executive Officer Ausamah Bin Abdulla Alabsi.

Once the amnesty period ends on December 31, mass arrest will resume against the illegal migrants who failed to legalise themselves, Mohidul Islam said.

“The Bangladeshi migrants who have lost their passports can come to the embassy as we have already opened four counters to provide service to them. Those who want to leave can collect a temporary token, and then go back to Bangladesh to return legally after finding a new employer.”

The Bangladesh Embassy in Bahrain has already translated the LMRA announcement in Bangla and have contacted the local mobile operators to send them a text in this regard.

The embassy also plans to distribute leaflets carrying information in this regard in Bangla among Bangladeshi migrants during iftar in the local mosques, Mohidul added.

He also suggested that the Bangladeshi expatriates not deal with any middlemen who offer to arrange the legal documents in exchange of money, and asked them to file a complaint with the embassy against those why try to do so.

He also warned not to fall victim to anyone offering to help get free visa to work in Bahrain, and Bahrain does not offer any such visa. 

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