Saudi Arabia extends amnesty for illegal immigrants till November 3

Dubai, July 3 (ANI): Indian workers in Saudi Arabia are going to benefit with Saudi Arabian King Abdullah's decision of extending amnesty for illegal foreign workers in order to obtain legal status in the country from the previous deadline of July 3 to November 3.

Director of the branch office of the Labour Ministry in Riyadh, Fahd Bin Ali Al Khilaiwi said that a massive public campaign against violating expatriate workers will be launched giving details of the new extensions and penalties applicable, Gulf News reports.

Recently Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had lauded the gesture of Saudi Arabian Government to grant three months respite to Indian immigrant workers overstaying or illegally residing in that country as nearly 150,000 workers from Kerala feared losing their jobs after Nitaqat came into force.

Ministries of Interior and Labour in the country have asked everyone to meet all the statutory requirements and correct their situation as soon as possible during the extended grace period and those who do not respond to it would be likely to have the maximum penalties allowable applied against them in accordance with the provisions of the law.

According to the report, the country began its crackdown on foreign workers who have violated their visa terms with surprise check on streets and in company offices as a result of which tens of thousands of people were deported back to their lands.

However, the rapid deportation raised concern about possible damage to the country's economy and thus the government announced its amnesty plans with which the workers would be forgiven any fees or fines for violating the visa norms.

The report further said that the number of illegal immigrants working in the country is estimated to be close to two million, out of which 180,000 have left in addition to more than 200,000 unregistered workers expelled at the start of the year under new regulations to stamp out illegal immigration. (ANI)

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