On Wednesday, the Bahrain Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) officially announced an initiative that will allow the Philippine Embassy in Manama to purchase two-month visas for previously undocumented migrant workers from the Philippines, Philippine News Agency reported.

The visas will allow undocumented Filipinos to seek employment and make their stay in Bahrain legal and documented. Sarah Lou Arriola, DFA undersecretary, said that Bahrain had made reforms on sponsor-less work permits as well as in the legal, operational and social aspects of domestic workers.

“These reforms are, to our mind, the most progressive in the countries comprising the Gulf Cooperation Council and give a lot of hope to countries of origin like the Philippines that widespread change in that region is coming,” Arriola said.

According to the DFA, there are around 60,000 Filipinos in Bahrain, an estimated 2,200 of whom are undocumented.