More than 572,000 leave during Saudi amnesty

The figure suggests that the amnesty will fall short of the one million expected to leave during the period



A total of 572,488 illegal foreign workers have left Saudi Arabia during the current amnesty campaign, the Passports Department has said.

The kingdom began the 90-day amnesty on March 29 to allow labour and residence visa violators to leave without penalties. It has since extended the period by one month.

Read: Saudi extends amnesty campaign for one month

Saudi Gazette cited the department for the figure. It was quoted as saying more than 12,000 expats that left voluntarily have since come back to work legally in the kingdom with new visas.

The rules of the campaign allow violators to leave without being fingerprinted at departure, meaning they can return if they wish.

In order to apply for the amnesty, workers must go on the Ministry of Interior’s website and book an appointment in the passport section using their residence ID and date of birth.

Around 50 reception points have been established to complete departure procedures and violators have been warned they will be jailed and penalised with fines and jail time if they register but do not leave.

Previous estimates had suggested that at least one million migrant workers would leave the kingdom during the amnesty period but this now seems unlikely unless there is a sudden surge before the deadline on July 25.

Read: At least 1 million expats expected to leave Saudi under amnesty campaign

Following the amnesty period, the kingdom is expected to begin a crackdown on illegal workers.

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