Visa and Immigration

As an international student (non-resident of Bahrain) coming to study in Bahrain, you are required to comply with the mandatory requirements set out by the General Directorate of Nationality, Passport and Residence (GDNPR). The Student Services Department in RCSI Bahrain will aid and guide you in complying with these procedures.

IMPORTANT NOTE: We strongly advise all students (conditional or full accepted students) to apply for their visas early, preferably by June 2024, to avoid any delays or complications.

Due to a recent change in Immigration Law, students whose student visas are not approved in time for the start of the semester must go through an additional process to enter Bahrain and be able to obtain a student visa after arrival. The detailed process and associate fees are outlined in the below sections.

To start the application for a student visa, you are required to submit the following through registration link. This step must be done before you plan your arrival to Bahrain.

  1. A passport copy showing your name, nationality, and date of birth.
  2. Kindly state your current country of residence and attach copies of any other residency permits you have pay the visa fee of USD 650 (non-refundable).
  3. If you have already completed this payment, please just attach the receipt.

The student visa fee is payable by electronic bank transfer to:-

Bank Name

Standard Chartered Bank

Bank Address

PO Box 315, Building 180, Road 383, Block 315
Government Road, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

Account Number


IBAN Number


Swift Code


Beneficiary Name

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Medical University of Bahrain S.P.C.

Please ensure to reference payment with your application number, full name and SCB account details as above (account number, IBAN, swift code, Beneficiary Name, please also detail the reason for the money transfer (New Student Visa). Once payment has been arranged, please attach a copy of the proof or remittance and your passport copy through this link.

The granting of the Visa is at the discretion of the General Directorate of Nationality, Passport and Residence (GDNPR) of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Please note that while the University will do all that it can to assist by providing all the requisite documentation, RCSI Bahrain cannot guarantee that there will be no delay or rejection of the Visa application. If the visa is rejected, the visa fees paid are not refundable.

The student visa can take up to two months or longer to process, depending on the nationality of the applicant and other factors. You should submit the above documents at the earliest possible once you confirm your offer.

The Student Services team will start submitting visa applications to immigration to ensure the visas are valid in time for the student’s arrival to Bahrain.

Visa applications submitted less than two months in advance might not be approved on time and will be subject to a different process and additional fees.

Should the student visa not be processed in time for the start of the academic year, applicants who need to enter Bahrain without a pre-approved student visa, must follow below steps and will bear additional charges outlined below:

  1. You must contact Student Services to apply for a visit visa sponsored by RCSI Bahrain.
  2. Please note that as part of the new student visa process, you cannot enter Bahrain through self-applying for a visit visa or obtaining an on-arrival visa. While this type of visas may grant you entry into the country, it can no longer be transferred to a student visa at a later point. Students who do abide by this process, will have to leave the country and re-enter using an RCSI Bahrain sponsored visit visa.
  3. Upon entering Bahrain, Student Services will assist you in applying for the student visa. Kindly note that all expenses related to visit visa and extensions during the visa application processing period will be covered by the student.
  4. The student visa fee under this process is USD 1161.80 Additionally, a visit visa and extensions carry additional charges to the individual applicant – on top of the student visa fees – and are dependent on the applicant’s nationality.

For further assistance or inquiries, please contact Student Services directly on +973 16660201/200.

You can track your visa application with the University by using the reference number which you will receive upon completing the registration in the mentioned link.

You will not be able to enter Bahrain without a copy of your documents being sent to the immigration authorities at the airport. Please make sure that you attach the documents in the (link) otherwise you might be held up at the airport and we will not be able to provide immediate solutions..

After your arrival, you should email the student services office to book an appointment to finalise your visa arrangements.

Despite having your visa approved, the NOC is a temporary document that allows you to enter the country and pass through immigration only once. In order to get your full student visa finalised, you need to do the following:

  1. Confirm your permanent address in Bahrain:
    The student services office will assist you in finding suitable accommodation by providing you a list of accommodation options. Once you have found an apartment and signed a lease contract, you will have to get a ‘proof of address letter’ from the municipality office. The Student Services team will provide you with further details and instructions on how to get this letter when you visit their office.

  2. Apply for a Smart Card (Bahraini National ID)
    In essence, the Smart Card is an identification card, which is used to verify the holders’ identity.Personal details such as name, date of birth and nationality are printed on the card and additional information is stored on a chip on the card such as address, place of study, etc. Every Citizen and resident in Bahrain is issued with this card. The Smart Card allows you to:
    • Open a bank account
    • Register your home electricity bill
    • Register a mobile account
    • Visit and be treated at public medical centers for a nominal fee
    • The cost of the Smart card is included in the visa cost. The Student Services team will organise for you to attend an appointment at the government office to obtain your smart card, however this cannot be organised until you have a place of residence in Bahrain.
  3. Once you’ve been on your smart card appointment, the student visa process should be finalized and you should be getting back:
    • Your passport with the Multiple Re-entry Visa.
    • Your Smart Card