By MANDEEP SINGH,
EXPATRIATES working in Bahrain are a text message away from being able to check their visa status following the launch of a new scheme.
The Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) has teamed up with local firm Mobile Information Services to offer the portal service, which will cost only 50 fils.
Batelco users can use the service by texting their CPR number to 90168 and Zain users by sending the information to 77070.
“The idea is to have the embassies register with the LMRA for using the portal so that they could keep track of their nationals and take action,” said LMRA chief executive Ali Radhi.
“The portal will also be beneficial for the embassy staff to report runaways and co-ordinate with the LMRA on their nationals’ status.”
Mr Radhi said a recent LMRA survey of 874 expatriates revealed 89 per cent of those who came to Bahrain were not aware of their employment status.
“In addition, between 80 and 90pc were not aware of the visa laws,” he said.
Mr Radhi said only 30pc of expatriates came through the normal process of being directly employed, while of the remaining 70pc, 38pc came through manpower agents and 30pc were brought to Bahrain by relatives and friends.
He revealed 65pc of the respondents had not seen their contract or were not aware of what it contained, while 38pc were working in professions or jobs other than what they were experienced in.
The embassies portal, available at www.lmra.bh, was officially launched during a presentation at the LMRA offices in Sanabis.
Diplomats from the embassies of India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Tunisia, Bangladesh, Egypt, Palestine and Jordan attended.