Up to 6,000 undocumented Pakistani nationals in Jeddah and Madinah have reportedly sought assistance from their consulate following the start of Saudi Arabia’s amnesty.
Saudi Gazette cited Pakistan’s consul general Shehryar Akbar Khan as saying the consulate had made departure arrangements for almost 5,500 applicants in Jeddah and 500 in Madinah.
The consulate is providing a help desk to assist amnesty seekers during the 90-day grace period for visa violators, which began on March 29.
In Jeddah alone some 2,000 Pakistanis have applied for travel passes and 800 applied for the extension of their passports.
The consulate is also visiting different parts of the region to assist applicants, with a recent camp in Madinah assisting 500 people seeking assistance and travel passes.
Saudi Gazette also reported this week that more than 3,600 Indians had applied for documents to leave the country since the amnesty took effect.
In order to apply for the amnesty, illegal 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.
Some applicants have already encountered difficulties because appointments are based on having a valid residence card and registered phone number
The publication reported there was confusion among those seeking to utilise the amnesty without valid permits as they were being directed back and forth between The Directorate General of Passports and the Labour Ministry to update their details.