BahrainOfficial Name: Kingdom of Bahrain
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
1 page per entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Embassies and Consulates
Building No. 979
Road 3119, Block 331
Kingdom of Bahrain
Telephone: +(973) 1724-2700
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(973) 1727-5126
Fax: +(973) 1725-6242
The workweek in Bahrain is Sunday through Thursday.
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Bahrain for information on U.S. – Bahrain relations.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
Visit the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain website for the most current visa information.
Requirements for Entry:
- Passport valid for at least six months
Types of visas: Apply for two-week tourist visas online on the Bahraini government website or upon arrival in the country. Ask for 5-year multiple entry visas at Bahraini embassies. U.S. diplomatic and official passport holders can receive a no-fee two-week visa upon arrival. Journalists must have a journalism visa.
Be prepared to answer questions regarding your purpose of travel. Be sure to leave Bahrain before your visa expires; otherwise, you face heavy fines and possible arrest and/or deportation.
Working in Bahrain: To work in Bahrain you must have the following:
- Valid work visa
- Residency permit
- Local identification card
Consult Bahrain’s Labor Market Regulatory Authority for complete details.
Obtain a valid work permit and signed employment contract before arriving in Bahrain. The contract should clearly state:
- Provisions related to relocation expenses
- Type of housing and number of occupants
- Any visa fees to be paid by the employee
- Salary payment schedule and any salary penalties
- Terms of probation period
- Who pays transportation expenses, should the contract be terminated
Do not work in Bahrain on a tourist visa. Even if employers advise you otherwise, Bahraini authorities will hold you personally liable if you do not have a valid work permit.
Authenticating Documents for Your Employment Permit: Have all required documents authenticated before arriving. The U.S. Embassy in Manama cannot provide this service. Contact our Office of Authentications and Authentication of American Academic Credentials for Use Abroad for authentication of U.S. issued documents.
It is illegal, but a common practice, for Bahraini employers to retain your passport. Such retention could delay your travel or grant undue leverage to your employer in case of a dispute. U.S. passports are the property of the U.S. government.
While many U.S. citizens have a positive experience working in Bahrain, we have received a number of complaints from U.S. citizens employed in the education sector.
Exit Restrictions: If you have unpaid debt or are involved in legal proceedings (including debt, labor, or custody disputes), authorities may not allow you to leave Bahrain until the issue is resolved, even if takes several years to close the case. Should this happen, the U.S. Embassy cannot pay your legal expenses or living expenses.
Residents intending to return to Bahrain: Be sure to obtain a re-entry permit valid for at least six months before leaving. Renew visas and residency permits through the General Directorate of Nationality and Passports.
HIV/AIDS Restrictions: Some HIV/AIDS restrictions exist for visitors and foreign residents of Bahrain. Although you are not required to declare HIV status upon arrival, the government revokes visas of non-Bahrainis who are HIV positive. Please verify this information with the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain before traveling.
Dual nationality: Bahrain does not recognize dual nationality, though some exceptions are made. If you are eligible for Bahraini citizenship, you must relinquish your U.S. passport before authorities will issue you a Bahraini passport.
Safety and Security
Potential for Terrorist Activity: Spontaneous and violent anti-government demonstrations occur in Bahrain, particularly at night and on weekends. Demonstrations sometimes result in blocked highways and unofficial checkpoints, and participants occasionally throw rocks, Molotov cocktails, and utilize improvised explosive devices and shotgun-like projectile launchers. The Ministry of Interior maintains official checkpoints and routinely uses tear gas, stun grenades, and other crowd dispersal techniques against demonstrators.
Avoid all demonstrations, as foreigners could become victims of collateral damage. To date, no U.S. citizens have been specifically targeted during protest activity. Local media outlets have sometimes expressed anti-U.S. sentiment, and demonstrators have occasionally burned U.S. flags.
Remain alert to local security developments. For assistance, call the local police at 999.
Restricted travel: The U.S. Embassy restricts its employees from traveling to specific areas and advises all U.S. citizens to do the same. Please check the Embassy’s website for the latest travel restrictions and security updates.
Stay informed about local events through the local media.
Crime: The crime rate in Bahrain is low, and violent crime is rare. Women traveling alone should maintain caution. Thieves are active in the old market area.
Contact the police at 999 if you encounter problems.
Victims of Crime: Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime. Report crimes to the local police at 999 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(973) 1727-5126.
U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should first contact the local police and then follow up with the U.S. Embassy.
U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
The Embassy can:
- Help you find appropriate medical care
- Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- Explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- Provide a list of local attorneys
- Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
- Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical
- support in cases of destitution
- Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- Replace a stolen or lost passport
For further information:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call the State Department in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department's travel website for Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information and our embassy website for a list of local lawyers.
Criminal Penalties: Remember that U.S. citizens are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Drug Usage: Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs are severe, including long jail sentences and heavy fines. You can be arrested for public drunkenness and disorderly behavior.
Driving under the Influence: Penalties include imprisonment and/or heavy fines. Any sign of alcohol consumption may be taken as evidence of driving under the influence.
Using vulgar language or hand gestures can result in heavy fines or criminal charges.
It is illegal to photograph certain buildings in Bahrain.
Carry a form of identification with you at all times, such as a passport, local ID card (CPR card), or driver’s licence.
Child Abduction and Custody Cases: There are no treaties in force between Bahrain and the United States concerning international parental child abduction and custody cases. Bahraini courts may ignore child custody decrees issued in the United States.
Divorce: Seek legal counsel and ascertain your rights in Bahrain before visiting the country if you are a U.S. citizen divorced from/in the process of divorcing a Bahraini citizen. This is particularly important regarding child custody issues. See our website on Bahrain and international child abduction for additional information.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.
LGBTI Travelers: While the law does not criminalize consensual same-sex sexual activity between people over 21, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender activities are not accepted socially.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Transportation is not wheelchair-accessible, and sidewalks and crosswalks—even in large cities—are not accessible.
Outside of the more expensive hotels in the capital, viritually no hotels offer accessible accommodations.
There are very few accessible restaurants, shops, or historical sites. Handicap-accessible bathrooms, even in major hospitals, are generally not available.
Women Travelers: Please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Medical care: Basic medical care is available through public and private hospitals, as well as private clinics. Public hospitals have trauma and ICU units. People with chronic general medical or mental health conditions and HIV-related health issues may not be able to obtain appropriate emergency care in Bahrain. American privacy and confidentiality laws may not apply to Bahraini medical providers.
Prescription Medication: Check with Customs Affairs of Bahrain to ensure your medications are legal in the country. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging along with your doctor’s prescription.
Payment: Payment at all medical facilities is due at the time of service. Some hospitals have limited direct billing capability for certain insurance carriers. Billing and insurance practices vary among the medical facilities. We do not pay medical bills.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance (our webpage) to cover medical evacuation.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Travel & Transportation
Road Conditions and Safety: Road travel is generally safe. Highways and major roads in northern Bahrain are wide well maintained. Roads in villages and older parts of Manama and Muharraq are narrow, congested and twisting.
Traffic Laws: Traffic moves on the right. At roundabouts (traffic circles), cars within the traffic circle have right of way over those attempting to enter.
Drivers frequently speed in spite of stiff penalities, including fines and possible imprisonment.
Police can detain drivers for traffic violations.
It is illegal to use a cell phone while driving, and drivers are required to wear seat belts.
Traffic Accidents: Except for minor accidents, do not move the vehicle until you have filed a report with the traffic police. This applies to single-car accidents as well. If you move the car, insurance companies may deny coverage.
For minor, non-injury accidents, move your vehicle off the road to avoid further accidents. You do not have to wait at the scene for the police.
Filing Accident Reports: You must file a report within 24 hours of the accident.
- For minor accidents with no injuries, call 199.
- For accidents involving injury, call 999.
- For the traffic department’s main switchboard, call 1787-2222.
If an accident results in legal proceedings, both drivers may be prohibited from leaving the country until the matter is resolved. Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.
Public Transportation: Bahrain has a newly expanded public bus system that extends throughout most of the country. However, a car is still needed to access most locations.
Taxis are available in Bahrain and are typically arranged by phone. Uber also operates in Bahrain.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Bahrain, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Bahrain’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards.
See FAA’s safety assessment page for further information.