Amnesty for illegal expatriates, good news for OFWs in Bahrain

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has commended the government of Bahrain for declaring a general amnesty for illegal foreign workers, including Filipinos, who will have the chance to return to the country without much hassle.

POEA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Manama has reported that from July 1, 2015 until 31 December 2015, an illegal worker can either leave the country without paying fines or has the option to find a job so he can stay in Bahrain.

However, those who have court cases against them, including a travel ban for outstanding debts, are not covered by the amnesty.

Bahrain’s Labor Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) has announced that there will be no blacklisting for all those who voluntarily depart the Kingdom and they can return anytime regardless of their legal status. Anyone wishing to stay in the country should find suitable employer and apply for an extension to their stay at the National Passports and Residence Affairs.

An illegal worker does not need the consent of the previous employer to get legal employment during the amnesty period.

Labor Attache Felixberta Romero advised illegal workers whose passports are withheld by the employers to immediately contact the Philippine embassy in Manama which will issue emergency certificates that will allow them to leave the country without any penalty.

She also warned Filipino workers of a scam in Bahrain where middlemen or fixers collect money from workers supposedly to rectify their status.

Source: POEA