Bahrain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Embassy have announced that the Kingdom and United States of America have reached an agreement to extend the validity of tourist visas, granted to citizens of both countries, from five to ten years. The American Chamber of Commerce in Bahrain (AmCham Bahrain) believes the agreement could be very good for business.
“The 10-year visa promotes easier access for eligible citizens to travel between the two countries which is good for all business sectors as it will further support the use of the US-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (FTA) as citizens travel to establish business opportunities,” said AmCham Bahrain President, Qays Zu’bi.
Since the FTA was initiated, bilateral trade between the U.S. and Bahrain has more than tripled from $782M in 2005 to $2.5B in 2019. “AmCham provides a platform that highlights information, introductions, and opportunities to encourage trade and help businesses use the FTA and the 10-year visa will support our effort,” stated Mr. Zu’bi.
“Applying for a visa can be time consuming – the 10-year visa will save time, money and stress – which is beneficial for both business and tourism. Tourism and trade are vitally important to both economies and the new 10-year visa will certainly enhance both countries as preferred travel destinations,” he added.
The new 10-year visa is available to Bahraini and US citizens only, and applies to B1/B2 visas, which are for business and tourism trips.