Saudi firms want Nov 4 worker amnesty deadline

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share
Asian labourers work at a flyover construction site in eastern Riyadh. Saudi Arabia gave illegal foreign workers a three-month grace period to legalise their status. (AFP/Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

Asian labourers work at a flyover construction site in eastern Riyadh. Saudi Arabia gave illegal foreign workers a three-month grace period to legalise their status. (AFP/Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

Contractors in Saudi Arabia have called on the government to extend to November 4 a deadline for illegal workers to correct their visa status, it was reported.

Much attention has been drawn in recent months to Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on illegal expatriates, which has seen more than 200,000 foreign workers leave the country so far.

As things stand, foreign workers have until July 3 to correct their status or leave the country.

“There are huge numbers of workers still waiting for their turn to correct the status and the remaining few days will not be enough to handle them,” Abdullah Ridwan, chairman of the contractors committee at Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Arab News.

He called on King Abdullah to extend the deadline to November 4, which marks the start of the next Islamic year.

Violations of visa laws outlined by the Ministry of Interior include forging documents and employers sheltering those who overstay visas. Companies could be hit with fines of up to SR30,000 ($8,000) per illegal worker and be named in the press.

Out of Saudi Arabia’s population of close to 30m, close to 10m are expats, primarily from other Arab countries and South Asia.

The policy is the latest move in an apparent drive to bolster employment among Saudi citizens, where the jobless rate currently stands at more than 12 percent.

Following the introduction of the tax in November, employers with a higher proportion of foreign staff than Saudis must pay SR2,400 each year per overseas worker.

The policy is aimed at encouraging more private companies to hire Saudi nationals, which according to government estimates make up less than one-tenth of all employees in the sector.

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Women edge into Gulf boardrooms as economies, societies shift

Women edge into Gulf boardrooms as economies, societies shift

Amina al-Rustamani, CEO of TECOM Investments, is leading the...

2
Concerned for stability, Saudi Arabia tightens curbs on dissent

Concerned for stability, Saudi Arabia tightens curbs on dissent

Gulf kingdom intensifies crackdown on domestic dissent, raising...

Frustrated Kuwaitis ask, why is Kuwait falling behind?

Frustrated Kuwaitis ask, why is Kuwait falling behind?

Citizens wonder why oil producer Kuwait is not as dynamic a hub...

4
Most Discussed
  • 17
    Germany puzzled as UAE think tank ordered to close

    Matt, your words sound kind of funny given the role the Britain has played in this region for so many decades.
    And given the democratic tradition that... more

    Thursday, 17 April 2014 7:10 PM - one of the joes
  • 11
    What will happen next to Dubai's property market?

    I purchased 1 bed from Emaar in 2008 for 2,5 in Downtown, the current selling price is nowhere near the original price in my case as current selling value... more

    Sunday, 20 April 2014 11:56 AM - Alex
  • 2
    $2.5 trillion in projects underway in MENA

    Saudi Arabia on the long run will be the pioneer in the real estate green buildings reneovation and re-construction.
    Mecca gets productive steps for... more

    Sunday, 20 April 2014 11:54 AM - Abbas Al Taweel
  • 54
    Three UAE women attacked with hammer at London hotel

    I really feel that Arabian Business.Com should now close this comments page. This should be all about sympathy for the families not what it is/has turned... more

    Wednesday, 16 April 2014 1:06 PM - Adrienne
  • 51
    Why Dubai isn't a plastic city

    What is definitely not a plastic city. The Arabs have a culture dating back to several centuries. 50 years back Dubai was just a fishing village. Today... more

    Tuesday, 8 April 2014 3:49 PM - P. MADHUSUDAN
  • 48
    DMCC boss Ahmed Bin Sulayem entertains Robert Mugabe in Dubai

    @fga ''However today, simply because he decided to dispossess a few white farmers of their land and redistribute to the poorer indigenous blacks'' more

    Sunday, 13 April 2014 3:02 PM - Matt Williams