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Update On Bahrain Taxes And Immigration

During our February 16 webinar "Cross-Border Business Development; Palm Beach & Bahrain" we were honored to have so many diplomats and professionals speak about the evolving relationship between the business and educational communities of Palm Beach and Bahrain, including V. K Thomas, Managing Partner, THOMAS & ASSOCIATES Corporate Consultants.

Thank you very much. First of all, my sincere thanks and gratitude to the organizers for giving me an opportunity to be part of this distinguished panel. I will very briefly deal with two aspects, one tax and another immigration for visa purpose.

First I will go with tax. Although America has called a lot of complicated tax laws - Bahrain has no tax law. There is no corporate or personal taxes in Bahrain. Nor any wealth tax or capital gain tax except in oil exploration, production and refining.

There is a tax code. Why are value added tax? What it was introduced since 2019 those an individual or an entity who has a turnover of US dollar $100,000. He's supposed to register with the doing business not personal. So now the current life is 10% of the value. Now basic food items and constructions all are zero rated. There is no what on those items. Now these are the tax regime in Bahrain. Very simple.

Now turning back to the immigration part, government has a very investor friendly immigration and labor policies. Any entity coming to Bahrain is free to hire employees although the government policy is to bring priority to the Bahrainis. If there are no qualified or experienced Bahrainis they allow you to employ expertise.

Now I will first touch upon the recent introduction of the golden visa in Bahrain recently, to encourage investment. Bahrain introduced a unique visa called golden visa which is valid for ten years. These are allowed for four or five type of residence or non-residents in Bahrain.

First is like retired those who have a basic salary or income of BD $4,000 that is equivalent to US dollar $10,700 - then you will be granted a golden visa valid for ten years.

The second category is talented individuals nominated by government or any accredited agency. He will be given golden visa. Then people who are working in Bahrain earning a salary of not less than Bahrain in $2000 BD = $5,350 USD to apply for a golden visa. The people working in Bahrain retired from here, they are also an agent and they should have a basic salary for last five years of BD $2000. So if you have this request you will be entitled to get your own golden visa, plus you are indicted to get results for your family and children. These are the golden visa recent and the requirements are very minimal.

There is one more category called property owners. If someone owns a property in Bahrain valued at US Dollar $5.3 million that is equal to get a golden visa. Golden visa allows people to work also here. Golden visa you can only work for your own employer. This one you can work for others and it is recently introduced you get to know the certain other requirements or conditions and there's a condition to stay in Bahrain for minimum three months every year and visa is renewable at the time of renewal. Also you must meet these requirements so it is recently introduced. This is just one week or two weeks ago so I am not very clear about too many details on these conditions or details of business.

Now coming to our business visas or employee visas. Any individual business owners are granted two kind of visas one as a businessman by the labor market regulatory authority which is the regulatory body for employment in the Kingdom of Bahrain. So they gave me an investor or a director and which is valid for two years and that the family and children onto the visa.

Moderator: I will be distributing your contact information after this event and if you have any materials that you would like us to attach to the distribution please provide it but at this point I think we're getting a little bit too far into the detail of the law.

Thank you.

— V.K. Thomas, Immigration Lawyer - Bahrain


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