6,000 Indians in regular jobs since Saudi amnesty

Riyadh, Sep 16 (IANS) Nearly 6,000 Indian workers have secured full-time employment in Saudi Arabia since an amnesty was announced April 6 this year to enable workers staying illegally in the country regularise their residency.

Faiz Ahmed Kidwai, Indian consul general in Jeddah, said the diplomatic mission helped 10,000 Indians to correct their status, either by transferring sponsorship, renewing residence permits or changing professions, reported the Arab News.

"When we saw the large number of people who came to the consulate asking for work, we invited companies to come and hire regular employees who had corrected their status. We organised three job fairs and more than 200 Saudi and Indian companies participated in these fairs, and around 6,000 Indians got full-time jobs as a result," the Arab News quoted Kidwai as saying.

The Saudi government July 1 extended an amnesty for foreign workers to obtain legal status in the country till Nov 3, from the previous deadline of July 3.

The consul general said 95 percent of the workers got hired in contracting and technological sectors, while around five percent were absorbed by engineering, accounting and hotel sectors.

Kidwai expressed his gratitude and appreciation to Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Andulaziz Al-Saud for extending the status correction period.

The consul general said some of the Indian nationals were facing problems because they lost their passports and did not even have photocopies.

He, however, assured them all kinds of help.

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