New Delhi, July 23 :
Indians travelling to Bahrain will be able to apply for electronic visas from October this year under new visa rules announced in the Gulf country.
Such e-visas can be obtained ahead of travel to Bahrain through a simple online application process, Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) said in a statement.
The new visa policy, which will be implemented in 2015, was announced by Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa at a cabinet meeting earlier this month.
India is among the 36 countries that can avail of the online e-visa facilities under the new policy.
The move will bring the overall number of countries eligible to receive e-visas to 101.
The visa validity has also been increased, enabling Indian expatriates to travel easily in the country for a longer period from next year.
Under the new system, visas will be valid for a month and can be renewed for up to three months.
Multiple entry visas will also be available.
The move is aimed at boosting investment, business opportunities and tourism in the country.
Bahrain is home to around 290,000 expatriate Indians.
The crown prince, who is also chairman of the EDB, said the visa reforms support the business environment in the country and will help drive forward economic growth and job creation.
The visa-on-arrival facilities have also been extended to 65 more countries under the new visa system.
“The new visa policy – one of the most flexible visa policies in the region – follows that tradition, enabling citizens from more than 100 countries to enjoy easier and quicker access to the Middle East’s most open economy, as ranked by the Heritage Foundation’s 2014 Index of Economic Freedom,” Kamal bin Ahmed, minister of transportation and acting chief executive of the Bahrain EDB, said.