*** ----> New legislation bars debt-ridden foreign workers from leaving Bahrain | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

New legislation bars debt-ridden foreign workers from leaving Bahrain

TDT | Manama     

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Bahrain's Council of Representatives approved a draft law yesterday to prevent foreign workers with outstanding debts from leaving the country.

This proposed legislation mandates that departing foreign workers must present a certificate confirming the absence of any outstanding debts before being allowed to exit Bahrain.

The proposal received 24 votes in favour and two abstentions.

Second Deputy Speaker Ahmed Qarata lauded the proposal, emphasising its role in safeguarding creditors’ interests and bolstering Bahrain’s financial stability.


He stressed the need for regulations that protect business owners and curb fraudulent activities.

The Ministry of Municipalities revealed that the total amount owed to creditors by foreign workers has reached BD5 million.

However, similar to a proposal earlier this month, this draft law faces concerns regarding its potential impact on judicial discretion.

Critics argue that prioritising debt settlement over deportation for foreign offenders, even in cases of serious crimes, could hinder judges’ ability to act in the best interest of public safety.

In light of this, MP Jameel Mulla Hasan proposed the establishment of a judicial panel, similar to the system in the UAE.

“Such a panel would aim to strike a balance between public and private interests, ensuring that Bahrain remains an attractive business destination while also upholding the principles of justice,” stated MP Hasan.


In response to these concerns, MP Mamdouh Al-Saleh proposed the establishment of offices for relevant ministries at the airport to assist in preventing foreign workers from departing without settling their debts.

“This approach could adversely affect Bahraini business owners. He argued that the financial burden of returning indebted foreign workers for debt settlement would fall upon the business owners, including the cost of the flight ticket,” said MP Jalal Kadhem.

MP Mohammed Almaarafi cautioned against hasty implementation of the legislation and instead suggested the implementation of more stringent guarantees by creditors and the requirement of additional documentation.


MP Ahmed Qarata


MP Mamdouh Al-Saleh


MP Jalal Kadhem


MP Jameel Mulla Hasan


MP Mohammed Almaarafi