Bahrain lawmakers push for reciprocal visa treatment

April 18, 2012

Bahraini lawmakers are pushing for reciprocal treatment on the issuance of visas.

“Bahrainis are finding it extremely difficult to obtain visas to visit some countries, while their nationals are given preferential treatment here,” MP Ahamd Al Saati said. It is only logical that we apply the reciprocal treatment for the sake of our people,” he said.

The move by the lawmakers was prompted by complaints that some Bahrainis had to apply weeks in advance for the visas even though some of them had genuinely urgent reasons.

Some embassies in Manama are under pressure to issue Schengen visas to fill the void caused by the lack of sufficient diplomatic missions representing European countries.

One embassy has reportedly requested Bahrainis and Bahrain-based foreigners to apply three months ahead of their travel plans to avoid frustrations. “This is really difficult, especially that the nationals of these countries are allowed to come to Bahrain without the need for visas,” Al Saati said.

MP Mahmoud Al Mahmoud said that resorting to reciprocity would help preserve the dignity of Bahrainis. However, MP Somaya Al Jowder warned her fellow lawmakers against “precipitated decisions.”

“Enacting laws should not be motivated or driven by emotions and reactions,” she said. “When we look around us, we see that for instance Dubai has moved ahead of us after it eased restrictions,” Al Jowder said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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