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Saudi warns of strict penalties for hiring, sheltering illegal residents

Saudi warns of strict penalties for hiring, sheltering illegal residents

Saudi Arabia has been cracking down on illegal workers and residents

Saudi authorities have warned that anyone found to be hiring, transporting, or sheltering people violating the kingdom’s residence, labour and border regulations will face strict penalties including fines, imprisonment and a ban.

The Saudi General Directorate of Passports announced that those caught will be jailed and fined a maximum of SAR100,000 ($27,000).

It called on the owners of establishments not to employ workers violating the Saudi residence, employment and border security regulations.

Violators will face a prison sentence of up to one year and a ban for up to five years, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

If the company’s manager is an expatriate, he/she could face deportation and the fine amount will be multiplied by the number of violators.

The directorate urged those entering the country to respect the time period granted in the visa and avoid overstaying illegally.

Saudi Arabia has been cracking down on illegal workers and residents since November 2017.

In its latest report, the kingdom announced that the roundup has resulted in the arrest of more than 2.54 million violators.

Read: Over 2.5 million illegal workers, residents arrested in Saudi crackdown

The crackdown is taking place amid a wider exodus of legal foreign workers, which comes amidst increasing fees on expats as well as a strict Saudisation policy in the retail and wholesale sector.

Also read: Saudi landlords go to court after several expats ‘shut shop’ and leave

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