Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has announced amnesty for expatriates who have violated residency and labor laws. The three-month amnesty program comes into effect on March 29.
Persons who have violated work permit (iqama), labor laws or declared huroob (unauthorized absentee) by sponsors can take advantage of the new program, which was initiated by Crown Prince Muhammed bin Nayef, the minister of interior.
Foreigners who have overstayed in the country after arriving on Haj, Umra or tourist visa can approach the Directorate General of Passports (Jawazat) to obtain final exit from airports, ports and border checkpoints.
Persons belonging to all these categories will be allowed to leave the country without facing any penalties or fines if they act within 90 days from March 29.
Foreigners with expired visa can go to airports, ports or border checkpoints with their passports and travel documents. They will be granted exit permits after matching their fingerprints and irises with a police database to ensure that they are not wanted in connection with any offenses.
Violators of labor laws and those who have infiltrated into the country will have to submit their applications through the Jawazat directorates in the respective province.
Those who avail of the amnesty to leave the country will not be blacklisted like deported foreigners. They can still try to enter the country on fresh visa.
The Jawazat Directorate has started preparations to roll out the amnesty program.
Once the 90-day grace period ends, the security agencies are expected to crack down on violators all over the country.
Hundreds of thousands of people had availed of the previous amnesty program declared years ago.