Saudi to begin crackdown on visa violators

The kingdom has confirmed the end of an extended amnesty period for illegal workers



Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior will on Wednesday begin a crackdown on foreign residence, labour and border security violators as an amnesty period comes to an end.

The kingdom announced on March 28 that violators of its visa rules had 90 days to correct their status and leave without penalty.

This period was later extended by a month and then until November 14 despite officials initially saying it would not be.

Read: Saudi passports head says no extension to amnesty

Around 600,000 violators left the kingdom during the first four months of the amnesty.

The ministry will begin inspections from November 15 to capture foreign violators of residence and labour laws.

It called on citizens and residents to not hide, shelter, transport or support violators. Those found engaging in any of these activities will face penalties.

In a separate report, Arabic newspaper Al-Watan cited statistics from the General Organisation of Social Insurance as confirming 302,473 expats had left the labour market in the first nine months of the year.

Many expatriates have seen job opportunities diminish in the kingdom as economic pressures and a drive to limit some roles to Saudi citizens takes it toll.

Read: Only Saudi women can now work in female clothes, accessory stores in kingdom

Last year, tens of thousands of foreign construction workers were also left jobless after a slowdown in the sector and delayed government payments hit companies like Saudi Oger and Saudi Binladin, leading to the closure of the former.

Read: Struggling construction firm Saudi Oger shuts down – report

Comments

comments