Saudi announces 90-day amnesty for visa violators

The amnesty will begin from later this month



Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry has launched a 90-day amnesty campaign for foreign workers in violation of residency and labour laws.

The amnesty, which comes into effect from March 29, is designed to allow those with expired residency permits or who have switched jobs illegally to rectify their status or leave the country without paying penalty fees.

The decision covers those who have overstayed their Haj, Umrah or any other type of visa, according to Arab News.

Prince Mohammed bin Naif, crown prince, deputy prime minister and minister of interior, urged those who have overstayed their visas to visit the nearest passport department to arrange their departure.

More than 2.5 million visa violators left during the last amnesty three years ago, according to the official.

The 2013 amnesty came during a crackdown on the labour black market in the country and was extended from three months to seven months to allow more time for workers to leave the country.

Read: Saudi Arabia Extends Foreign Worker Amnesty To November 3

In December that year, the government said the departures had allowed 250,000 Saudi nationals to be recruited.

The latest amnesty campaign follows the departure of tens of thousands of construction workers last year as delays to government payments hit firms including Saudi Oger and Saudi Binladin particularly hard.

Read: Hundreds of Saudi Oger workers fly home with unpaid dues

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