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Bahrain Working on Legalizing Papers of Over 40,000 Illegal Bangladeshi Migrants amid COVID-19 Crisis

2020-05-13 - 9:36 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Over 40,000 undocumented Bangladeshi migrants have been in the process of being legalized in Bahrain under its ongoing general amnesty that began since early this month amid COVID-19 crisis, the Bangladeshi New Age website reported.

"Amid COVID-19 pandemic, it is good news that Bahrain is legalizing Bangladeshi undocumented workers," said Bangladesh labor councilor in Manama Sheikh Mohammed Tauhidul Islam.

He told New Age on Monday that about 16,000 foreign irregular migrants had already been legalized and most of them were from Bangladesh.

"As per our estimate it is over 40,000 undocumented Bangladeshis who will get the opportunity under the amnesty. Until December 31 this year, the workers will get the opportunity," he said.

Meanwhile, a total of 341 Bangladeshi migrant workers, mostly detainees and six dead bodies of migrant workers had been repatriated from the Kingdom of Bahrain, he said.

Over 200,000 Bangladeshis are currently working in Bahrain, according to officials of the foreign ministry.

In April, Bahrain's Labour Market Regulatory Authority has announced an amnesty for irregular migrants who would not need to pay any fines to regularize their residency status or leave the country. The LMRA has also cancelled monthly work permit fees and fees related to issuing and renewing work permits for three months beginning April 1, 2020.

The LMRA also announced that it has cut fees for the Flexi-Permit by 60-78%. The Flexi Permit now costs Bahraini dinar 167 ($443) for one year and the cost of renewal will be BD 72 ($191). It was earlier BD 427 annual fees and BD 322 for renewal. Flexi-Permit holders will not be charged any monthly fees until the end of June.

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