Amnesty deadline looms for illegal workers in Saudi Arabia

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Several foreign embassies in Saudi Arabia remained open during the Eid al-Adha holidays as an amnesty on illegal workers in the kingdom draws to an end.

Embassies of the Philippines, India and Bangladesh opened their doors during the holiday to process their nationals’ papers, the Alriyadh newspaper reported.


Illegal foreign workers have been told they need to leave the country or rectify their legal status by November 3. More than 400,000 illegal Bangladeshi workers are said to face deportation from the country, according to media reports.

Some foreign embassies expressed their wish for another extension to Saudi Arabia’s grace period, Alriyadh reported. Saudi authorities are likely to either confirm the date for the termination of the amnesty period, or announce a new three-month extension, added the newspaper.

The kingdom has already deported over 800,000 illegal expatriate workers, reported the Saudi Gazette newspaper in September.

Saudi Arabia’s clampdown on illegal foreign workers includes those who exceeded their stay periods, as well as those residing in the kingdom under other illegal terms. One aim of the campaign is to open up employment opportunities for Saudi nationals and decrease unemployment rates in the country.

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