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Bahrain Tourist Visa

Geneva, Switzerland
7 posts
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Bahrain Tourist Visa

Could anyone inform me why the hotels/tourist agencies,etc... don't process and sponsor tourist visa for nationals that require pre-arranged visas. All the hotels etc... only seem to process business visas. Does the Kingdom only want tourists from those countries that can obtain visa on arrivals, as they are not making it easy for the other countries to obtain tourist visas. They mention on their websites that hotels/airlines/tourist agencies can sponsor one for a visa, but in reality none of them provide this service for tourist. The embassies don't issue visas, so that is a dead end too. Any alternative ways of securing a tourist visa,if one does not knowing a local sponsor?

Salt Lake City, Utah
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134 posts
53 reviews
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1. Re: Bahrain Tourist Visa

Tell me about it...I have run from pillar to post to try and see how to get a hotel or travel agency to sponsor but its so frustrating because none of them are cooperative on this matter. They all say - get a company/business invitation letter and we will sponsor your business visa...Arrrgh!! I almost feel like replying back on the list of sponsors listed on the Bahrain visa site and tell them that everyone on that page refuses to do a tourist visa (opposite to what is claimed). For example, I have a green card in the US but need a sponsor in Bahrain to be a tourist....such poor incentive for a tourist who is boosting revenue in their country. Very sad situation...if you find luck in the matter please let me know.

Manama, Bahrain
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56 posts
21 reviews
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2. Re: Bahrain Tourist Visa

I'm not sure if you attempted to contact multiple hotels/agencies, but try this list and see if there are sponsors you haven't tried

https://www.evisa.gov.bh/VisaBhrSLEn.html

Also, try contacting the embassy based in Switzerland:

Switzerland

Federal Republic of Germany

Mission Permanente du Royaume de Bahreïn

Auprès de l'Office des Nations Unies Ambassador: H.E. Mr. Adbdulla Abdellatif

51 Ch. William Barbey

1292 Chambesy, Geneva

Tel: (+4122) 758-2289/758- 9640

Fax: (+4122) 758-9651/758- 9650

Hours of operation: 09:00-16:00

Weekend: Saturday, Sunday

Current time:

Winter [1+] GMT

Summer [2+] GMT

(last Sun in Mar-last Sun in Oct)

Website: http://mypage.bluewin.ch/bahrain/

E-mail: bahrain-mission@bluewin.ch

Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
134 posts
53 reviews
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3. Re: Bahrain Tourist Visa

I have contacted almost all of the hotels/agencies listed in that link in the last few months and they all came back with the same answer...only business visas.

Hopefully the bahrain consulate in Switzerland works better. Let me know if they help in this matter.

Geneva, Switzerland
7 posts
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4. Re: Bahrain Tourist Visa

Hi Jac2005, did you have a look at the website of the consulate general of Bahrain in New York? Here's the link:

www.un.int/bahrain/consulate.html#vnonus

Have a look at non US passport holders. Seems that if you can get a willing local to help you out with that NO OBJECTION CERTIFICATE, you could stand a chance of applying for a visa at the consulate.

Rather bizarre when you have a look at some of those countries on the list that don't require that NO OBJECTION CERTIFICATE,, basically the ones that can obtain a visa on arrival or apply for one on the e visa government website, that don't need sponsors - especially the former soviet ones. Would imagine they are more of a threat to stay illegal if that is a reason for the bahraini government to make life so complicated for the rest of us. Am a permanent resident in switzerland, dual south african / brazilian nationalities and no interest to be an illegal in Bahrain - don't understand why they make life so complicated, just want to spend 4 - 5 days there - if i don't find a solution within the next week, will just have to re-route destination.

By the way, contacted the bahraini permanent mission here in geneva, just to get a rude response, "we don't deal with visas" in a very abrupt tone and slam the phone down; contacted the immigration people in bahrain about 2 - 3 weeks ago, 4 times, but no response from them either. Am at a loss here ! Will keep you posted if anything else come to light that may be of help.

Good luck....

Salt Lake City, Utah
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134 posts
53 reviews
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5. Re: Bahrain Tourist Visa

Hi FLY_BOYGe,

Thanks for your response. To answer the question - I did completely scan the bahrain consulate page for New York. But again - with visa or NOC, its the same deal viz. finding someone who will do it. Thats the biggest issue here.

The only reason I really wanted to visit the island was because I was born there a long time ago and never saw the face of the place for about 20 years after I left. Was just interested in seeing what life was like after all these years and visiting places that I had frequented before. Just want to stay for 2 days is all. The yearning is very strong to go and visit at the earliest. I could wait another year and a half to become a US citizen and then visit without a visa (and what does that really change to give me free passage to the country?....nothing in my opinion)

I totally concur with you about the apparent unwelcome visa situation for tourists.

Good luck with your attempts and bon voyage!! And do let me know if you ever find a visa sponsor.

Thanks,

Jac2005

Geneva, Switzerland
7 posts
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6. Re: Bahrain Tourist Visa

Hi Jac2005,

A south african friend of mine suggested to wait for the Bahrain formula 1 grand prix which will take place the first week of april 2008 - apparently they are more lax with the visa and include a few extra nationalities in the group of countries that can obtain a visa on arrival , with the requirement that one has to show some proof, such a a grand prix ticket, to show you'll attend the grand prix, something along those lines. From the bit of research i have done, south africa and brazil is definitely included on that list, not too sure about india . However i can't wait until april , as my travel plans are for the 2nd week of january, so might end up going to UAE and Jordan instead.

Can't understand why they can't just issue a visa like any other normal country through their embassies/consulates with a list of requirements without this ridiculous need of having to obtain a sponsor, and that includes all GCC countries, however the hotels and airlines in the other GCC countries (except Saudi Arabia of course) are quite acommodating to act as sponsors and sort out the tourist visa if staying at their hotel or making use of their carrier.

Anyway, will keep you posted.

Merci et bonne chance

Manama, Bahrain
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56 posts
21 reviews
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7. Re: Bahrain Tourist Visa

Sorry you guys are having a tough time obtaining a visa. I'm trying to wrap my head around this one as well.

FYI, bear in mind that some consulates close on weekends - and that there's a long public holiday (which we're currently in). Weekend + National Day + Eid holiday + weekend = holiday from the 13th of December to the 23rd.

You might wanna try those phone numbers again on the 24th.

Geneva, Switzerland
7 posts
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8. Re: Bahrain Tourist Visa

Hi Isoo,

Thanks for feedback, but unfortunately, your country's permanent mission in switzerland hasn't been very helpful at all, and as said in one of my previous posts, they don't deal with visas. As for those list of sponsors listed on your government's websites, none of them provides any tourist visa service, except for business visas. Doesn't matter how many times we are going to call them, it's the same old story. Not about to waste my money anymore on phone calls that is just a waste of time.

I read somewhere that your government became stricter with the visa rule, because of the prostitutes entering on tourist visas and then staying on illegally. Have to say, when you have a look at some of those ex soviet countries that can obtain visas on arrival and apply without a NOC, it is rather laughable - seems they are encouraging them to enter and do their trade and the rest of us have to suffer with obtaining tourist visa which are unobtainable.

Sorry for ranting, but am just fed up with all of this; 2 months of trying to sort out a tourist visa for Bahrain, and still in exactly the same place i was when i started.

Geneva, Switzerland
7 posts
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9. Re: Bahrain Tourist Visa

Isoo, here's an example of the same reply one receive from the hotels in Bahrain:

Dear Mr. ....,

Thank you for your email & Interest in our hotel.

Reference to your query, we are only arranging a BUSINESS Visa valid for 7 days. Unfortunately we are not able to process a tourist visa as requested below.

Should you require further assistance please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Remaining at your disposal

Kind Regards,

Joel Tambis

Reservations Supervisor

Crowne Plaza Bahrain

P.O. Box 5831, Manama

Kingdom of Bahrain

Telephone: 00973 17531122

Fax No. : 00973 17531363

E-mail : reservations@cp-bahrain.com

Then who arranges and processes tourist visas for the Kingdom if all the hotels have that sort of reply, since for a business visa you need to submit a letter from a company in Bahrain inviting you, and we have no business dealings in Bahrain, just touristic intentions.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
134 posts
53 reviews
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10. Re: Bahrain Tourist Visa

Yes...I have a whole stack of response emails with almost the same content and alluding to the same inability to process tourist/visit visas. Just kept them stacked in my mail folder so that I dont end up contacting them again.

I am still amazed that they are trying to filter prostitutes/illegal laborers using this kind of a screening system.

To most other consulates here in the States, I can send my application, fees, evidence of my assets in the country(property, bank balance, etc.) and evidence of my intentions to return back here(excellent job, fantastic wife, etc.). They then weigh these documents and make a decision about granting a visa. I have been granted a German and UK visa with no issues at all.

And that system works well because immediately any ill-intentioned individuals can be identified and denied a visa.

Why cant the Bahrain consulates do the same? Why would citizens or permanent residents of well to do nations and who are already well settled want to stay illegally anywhere else?

This hurts Bahrains tourism industry also.

Funny that Michael Jackson is not barred from entry to Bahrain but we are...:) Sad, slightly humorous but true..:)