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Employers to pay higher fees for hiring expat workers.

Manama: Sponsors of foreign workers living in Bahrain will have to pay higher fees under a national scheme that takes effect on July 1.

Employers will pay BD200 (about Dh2,000) biennially for each worker to cover his or her new or renewed work permit, residence permit, return visa, medical check-up and identity card. Another BD10 will be paid monthly for each worker to the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA).

The LMRA, an independent government organisation, will also levy a BD90 fee every two years on each family member of the worker as part of the scheme announced by the government on Thursday. The scheme was initially resisted by the business community amid concerns that the higher fees would have negative effects on the local business market.

Small businesses have complained that the scheme would more than double the cost of recruiting labourers and would jeopardise their operations.

Under the existing fee structure, hiring an expatriate worker costs BD172, including BD100 for the work permit, BD42 for the residence permit and entry/re-entry visa, BD20 for the No Objection Certificate (NOC) and BD10 for the medical checkup. Starting July 1, employers will pay BD440 for each expatriate worker.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jun 7, 2008
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