The Cabinet issued a decision granting migrants and visitors with irregular status, whose residency permits or visas expired prior to 1 March 2020, an exemption period of 3 months starting 18 May 2020 during which they could leave the country without having to pay any of the fines incurred for expiration of visa, ID or work permit. The Cabinet decision also noted the possibility for beneficiaries from the exemption to return to the country in the future once they have met the necessary visa requirements.
Malta and Libya have signed an MoU, valid for three years with an option to extend for an additional year, that sets up coordination centres, one in Malta and one in Libya, funded by Malta to coordinate and support regulation of migrant boats from Libya to European countries. It further stipulates that Malta propose to the EU Commission for increased financial support to strengthen Libyan border security including “for the interception and follow-up of human trafficking activities in the search and rescue region of the Mediterranean basin.”
Towards a Renewed Parternership between the French Republic and the Union of Comoros (Vers un Partenariat Renouvelé entre la République Française et l’Union des Comores)
Through this partnership, the Union of Comoros and the French Republic intend to jointly initiate a new dynamic of partnership and to make reciprocal commitments in terms of the fight against uncontrolled population movements and the safeguard of human lives at sea, and in development.
The MOU between Italy and Libya includes cooperation in combating irregular migration, human trafficking and migrant smuggling, and on reinforcing border security between the two countries. Libya and Italy also agreed to set up a joint operations centre to identify migrant smugglers and human traffickers, facilitating cooperation between the coastguards, the Department of Combatting Illegal Migration, the Libyan Attorney General, and intelligence services from both countries.
Decree No. 1061 waived the fine for overstaying visas, which was 20 Tunisian dinars for every week of irregular overstay in the country with no capping of fees, for vulnerable migrants including victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrant students wishing to leave the country.
The flexi-visa scheme enables regularization for migrants with irregular status working in “non-specialized occupations” through self-sponsorship, with the possibility to work for different employers in exchange for a fee. The purpose for introducing the Flexi-permit scheme was to combat irregular employment and that migrant workers benefiting from the scheme occupy jobs that are not sought by Bahrainis. In February 2019, the fee was increased as part of the National Employment Programme to promote the employment of Bahraini nationals, with a two-year permit costing BHD 1,469.