Bahrain's expats slam new visa rules
Stricter rules on obtaining a visa for entering Bahrain – imposed on countries including the UK – have been attacked by members of the country's expatriate community.
The emirate is clamping down on its visa system in response to moves by other countries to impose their own stricter rules on Bahraini citizens trying to obtain visas to visit them.
All 27 European Union countries, as well as the United States, Australia, Canada and Japan, are among those whose citizens will be affected.
A ministerial statement said the move "comes following the violation of facilities by some citizens from other countries when they tried to obtain an entry visa at various border points."
Website Tradearabia.com reported that expats were worried the move would stop residents of other Emirates from being able to make impromptu visits, while one German expat pointed out that the move was being made just as the country badly needed the income which tourism provided.
"I think if people have to wait for applications to be approved or even rejected, it will put people off choosing Bahrain as a destination," added the man, who wished only to be known as 'Thomas'.
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