How to Enter Bahrain

Do I need a passport or visa to enter?

You must have a passport valid for at least six months and a visa to enter Bahrain. U.S. passport holders outside Bahrain may apply and pay for a two-week tourist eVisa online through the Bahraini government website or may obtain and pay for a visa upon arrival at any of the ports of entry. Bahraini authorities encourage all U.S. citizens to apply for the appropriate visa prior to arriving in Bahrain; in many cases an eVisa is available. U.S. diplomatic passport holders and U.S. official passport holders can get a no-fee two-week visa upon arrival. Prior to travel, visitors may also obtain a five-year multiple-entry visa valid for stays as long as one month from Bahraini embassies overseas. Journalists planning to travel to Bahrain for reporting should be aware that Bahrain requires a journalism visa. For more information on how to apply for a journalism visa please visit the Bahraini government website. All travelers to Bahrain face close scrutiny from Bahraini authorities and should be prepared to answer questions regarding the purpose of their travel to Bahrain. The Government of Bahrain has refused some U.S. citizens permission to enter Bahrain.

Exit permits are not required; however, visitors must be in legal status before they will be allowed to depart. You may be prevented from departing if you are involved in legal proceedings, have unpaid debt, or are a child subject to a custody dispute. Bahrain assesses heavy fines on visitors who fail to extend their legal status or depart the country at the end of their authorized stays. An exit tax is included in the ticket price for flights out of Bahrain; no additional exit fees are required upon departure. Residents of Bahrain who intend to return should obtain a re-entry permit before departing and the re-entry permit should be valid for at least six months.

For the most current information on entry and exit requirements, please contact the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain at 3502 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 342-1111; or the Bahrain Permanent Mission to the UN at 2 United Nations Plaza, East 44th St., New York, NY 10017, telephone (212) 223-6200. U.S. citizens who need to extend their visas or residence permits in Bahrain should contact the General Directorate of Nationality and Passports.

Some HIV/AIDS restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Bahrain. While U.S. citizens are not required to declare their HIV status upon applying for entry into Bahrain, the government revokes the visas of non-Bahrainis who are discovered to be HIV positive. Please verify this information with the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain before you travel.

Special Travel Circumstances in Bahrain

Individuals subject to Bahraini court orders or involved in court proceedings arising from indebtedness, labor disagreements, family disputes, or other legal disputes may be prevented from departing Bahrain until their cases are resolved. Instances have occurred in which departure was prohibited for several years since the legal process can be both lengthy and complex. Embassy Manama’s Consular Section maintains a list of local attorneys willing to represent U.S. citizens but cannot provide financial assistance for legal costs or living expenses while a person is prohibited from leaving Bahrain.

If you will be working in Bahrain, we urge you to have a valid work permit and a signed employment contract prior to arriving in Bahrain. In particular, the contract should be clear in the provisions related to relocation expenses, type of housing and number of occupants, any visa fees to be paid by the employee, when salaries will be paid, any salary penalties, who will pay transportation costs if the contract is terminated by either the employee or the employer, and whether different provisions apply within the probation period. Under no circumstances should you take up employment while in Bahrain on a tourist visa. Bahraini authorities will hold you personally liable for remaining in legal immigration status, regardless of incorrect advice received from the employer or the employer’s failure to obtain a valid work permit for the employee. It is illegal for Bahraini employers to confiscate or otherwise retain an employee's passport. Questions regarding employment in Bahrain can be directed to Bahrain’s Ministry of Labor hotlines, or to a local attorney. While many U.S. citizens have a wonderful experience working in Bahrain, some individuals have complained of unfair employment practices. Specifically, the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain has received a number of complaints from U.S. citizens employed in the education sector.

Obtaining an employment permit may require providing properly authenticated documents. Failure to provide these documents may delay the issuance of the work permit or residence permits for the employee’s family. Applicants may visit the website of Bahrain’s Labor Market Regulatory Authority for complete requirements, and the Department of State’s Office of Authentications and Authentication of American Academic Credentials for Use Abroad pages for authentication procedures.

The Kingdom of Bahrain generally does not permit dual nationality. U.S. citizens eligible for Bahraini citizenship will usually be required to relinquish their U.S. passport to Bahrain’s General Directorate of Nationality, Passports, and Residence before they will be issued a Bahraini passport. However, the Kingdom of Bahrain has been known to make exceptions. For additional information, see our information on dual nationality.

There are no treaties in force between Bahrain and the United States dealing with international parental child abduction and custody cases. Child custody decrees issued in a U.S. court may be ignored by Bahraini courts and may be unenforceable in Bahrain. Bahraini family law is different from U.S. family law. U.S. citizens who are divorced from or in the process of getting a divorce from a Bahraini citizen should seek legal counsel and ascertain their rights in Bahrain before visiting Bahrain, especially with their children.


You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, and health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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