By Courtney Trenwith
Authorities warned residents not to shelter illegals or they would face fines and potential jail terms
Saudi Arabia will reportedly conduct raids to identify illegal expats from March 8.
Denying earlier reports there would be another amnesty, the director general of the Passports Department said instead a crackdown would be initiated.
There are about 9 million foreigners in Saudi Arabia, accounting for one-third of the population. Hundreds of thousands are estimated to be in the kingdom illegally, including those who have incorrect visas, have overstayed their visas or have crossed borders illegal. Some of the poorest have no identification papers.
More than 1 million foreigners left the kingdom in 2013 under a seven-month amnesty that allowed illegal residents to leave without penalty. However, some were unable to exit because they did not have identification papers.
Passports Department director general Sulaiman bin Abdulaziz Al Yahya told Saudi Gazette deportation facilities were being prepared to house the thousands of people expected to be detained during the raids next week.
He warned residents not to shelter illegals or they would face fines and potential jail terms.
It is time higher authorities in Dubai also took some action against illegal operators in the UAE.
Professionals from Europe or other countries who can enter UAE with just a stamp at the immigration counter have no visa cost, no license cost, no local sponsor cost, no local establishment cost and they compete with professionals like me who have all of the above plus staff salaries, insurance etc. to take care of. Every 35 days or so they do the "Hatta Run" - driving out of UAE , making a U Turn at the border and getting a fresh stamp for another 40 days stay. These fly by night operators take trade away from legitimate businesses who have stuck by this country through thick & thin by undercutting us on every quote simply because they have no overheads. They also come during the busy season and return to their countries during the lean season - while we are still burdened with all the expenses & very little income 5 months in a year.
Will the authorities do something ?