All flexi work permits to be cancelled in February

ALL existing flexi work permits – which allowed holders to take up freelance jobs with multiple employers – will be officially cancelled in February next year.

Interior Minister General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa has issued a ministerial decision, which has been published in the Official Gazette, to cancel all flexi permits within three months from November 17 this year.

“All current flexi permit holders have the right to apply for a vocational work permit before the expiry of the grace period,” he added.

“The new work permits are available at the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) service centres.”

To be eligible to apply for the new permit, the applicant has to pay a fee to extend the cancelled residency permission and all late payments for a year or part of the year related to residency for work permits.

“In some cases where the worker has no violations, an exemption from late payments could be made,” said the minister, authorising the LMRA to collect the fees.

Meanwhile, Labour Minister and LMRA board chairman Jameel Humaidan issued another ministerial decision to create a new vocational card for licensed expatriate workers.

“Each worker will have to pay BD5 each month to be able to work in a licensed vocational profession,” he said.

His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and Prime Minister, issued an edict to issue the vocational work permit for two years.

“The new permit includes licensing, entry to the country, residency permit, exit permission and smart card,” said the edict.

“A monthly fine of BD5 will be levied for late payments with a maximum of BD15.”

The new work permits for expatriates was first announced in October.

Qualified and eligible workers with valid residency, who do not face any charges for legal violations, can apply for the card at worker registration centres.

The card will mention the vocational skills and other personal details of the holder.

The new work permit card follows a government decision to abolish the flexi permit which was introduced in 2017.

The GDN earlier reported that runaways and those on visit visas will not be eligible for the new card.

The LMRA said yesterday it has granted licences to various accredited registration centres. These centres will register all workers as part of the Labor Registration Programme.




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