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90-day amnesty for residency, labor law violators in Saudi Arabia

Arab20170320125735Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Naif, deputy premier and minister of interior, has revealed an amnesty period of 90 days beginning March 29, for violators of the residency (iqama), labor and border security regulations, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said Sunday.

This announcement by Crown Prince Muhammad came during the inauguration of the “Nation Free of Violators” Campaign at his office in the ministry on Sunday.

The Crown Prince stressed that the campaign, which has been approved by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, comes within the King’s wish to settle the status of violators of the residency (iqama), labor and border security regulations. The amnesty also aims to help whoever wants to settle his violation and be exempted from penalties. The Crown Prince called on violators to avail this opportunity during the amnesty period of 90 days beginning on Wednesday, Rajab 1, 1438H corresponding to March 29, 2017.

He added that all should cooperate in achieving the objectives of this campaign.

Prince Muhammad issued directives to pertinent authorities to facilitate procedures for those who take the initiative to depart during the amnesty period and exempt them from penalties.

The campaign’s inauguration was attended by Prince Abdulaziz Bin Saud Bin Naif, adviser to the minister of interior and Minister of Labor and Social Development Dr. Ali Bin Nasser Al-Ghafees, among other senior officials of the ministries of interior and finance.

Later, Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, security spokesman of the Ministry of Interior (MOI), held a press conference on Sunday and urged violators of the residency, labor and border security regulations to grab the opportunity to settle their status and be exempted of fines and penalties.

He said if the violator of the iqama (residency) and labor regulations takes the initiative to voluntarily depart from the Kingdom, he will be exempt from fines and penalties due to the violations. Moreover, he will have the right to return to work legally in the Kingdom.

“His fingerprints will not be taken — the way it is taken from those who are deported and are not allowed to work in the Kingdom again — thus allowing them another chance to come to the Kingdom,” he said, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

He said that the “Nation Free of Violators” Campaign is a continuation of the 1435H campaign, as a result of which over 2.5 million violators of the iqama and labor regulations left the Kingdom.

He said the new campaign has taken a new dimension to include all government authorities. This means that there will be close and continuous follow up of people working in all activities and in all establishments that are supervised by the government authorities.

Among those who participated in the press conference were the spokesmen of the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, Directorate General of the Border Guard, Public Security, and Passports Department.

Al-Turki called on all to cooperate so as to achieve the goals of the campaign. He added that the new campaign has been expanded to include all government authorities.

Al-Turki said that 19 government authorities are participating in the new campaign. There will be inspection campaigns with support from the security authorities.

He said the campaign is aimed at all expatriates, who do not hold valid iqamas in the Kingdom or identification papers and have the residency or labor regulation or both, or those who have entered the Kingdom on Haj or Umrah visa or transit and have not taken the initiative to depart after the expiry of their visas. This applies also to those who have violated the Haj directives by performing Haj without a Haj permit.

As regards the procedures for settling the violations, he urged the violators to take the first step by clearing all personal rights owed to them or to others before starting departure procedures.

Haj, Umrah, Ziyarah (visit) or transit overstayers can depart directly from any of the Kingdom’s seaports, airports or border posts. There is no need to visit any government authority.

Those who have come to the Kingdom on work visa and have violated the residency and labor regulations must begin departure procedures through the pertinent websites whether for the Ministry of Labor or Passports Department.

As to undocumented persons who entered the Kingdom illegally or expatriates who have been reported to the authorities (for remaining absent from their jobs) and violators of the Haj directives, they must report to the nearest Expatriates Administration (Idarat Al-Wafideen) to complete their procedures.

Al-Turki added that all embassies in the Kingdom have been informed on the campaign by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He mentioned that there are many cases of undocumented persons and most of these cases do not even have documents determining their nationalities.

All these matters have been arranged with the embassies concerned. He stressed that such cases must travel to their respective countries through legal means.


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