Saudi Arabia launches crackdown on illegal expats

Authorities arrest 24,000 immigrants in 3 days
A total of 24,000 people were arrested in a campaign by authorities against violations of residency and labour regulations, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported Saturday.
By Staff writer
Sun 19 Nov 2017 10:59 AM

A total of 24,000 people were arrested in a campaign by authorities against violations of residency and labour regulations, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported Saturday.

Among the detainees, 15,702 had breached residency laws while 3,883 had tried to enter the kingdom illegally, with a further 4,353 in violation of labour regulations.

The majority of those arrested (42 percent) were apprehended in the Holy City of Makkah, while 19 percent were rounded up in the capital, Riyadh.

A further 11 percent were detained in the south-west Asir region, 6 percent in Jazan, and 5 percent in the Eastern provinces, while a total of 394 were apprehended trying to cross the border illegally.

Authorities reported that a total of 25 Saudi nationals were arrested for abetting and transporting illegal immigrants.

Expats with expired residency visas will be allowed to stay up to 60 days after the issue of their Final Exit Visa, the Saudi General Directorate of Passports (GDP) tweeted.

The tweet responded to a question tweeted by an expat asking: "I have a final exit visa and my Iqama [residency permit] has expired. Is there a problem with this?" The GDP replied "There is no problem, provided the departure is within 60 days of the date of the issuing of the visa."

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