By Andy Sambidge
Most of the workers overstayed welcome after entering on Umrah visas in 2008.
Saudi Arabia deported more than 23,000 Indonesian migrant workers, mostly maids, in 2008, latest figures reveal.Most of these workers entered the kingdom on Umrah visas and overstayed their welcome, according to senior Indonesian officials.
“The total number of Indonesian workers deported this year will be a little more than the figure of 23,644 given by the Indonesian Consulate in Jeddah,” said Indonesian Embassy spokesman Arif Suyoko in comments published by Arab News on Friday.
“In fact, the total number of deported workers from Saudi Arabia as a whole can be higher if we include Riyadh immigration also,” added Suyoko.
Deportation in such huge numbers caused a lot of problems to Indonesia in terms of employment, especially at this time of global financial crisis, officials said.
It is predicted that the layoffs will increase next year because of the deepening impact of recession.
Of all labour exporting countries, Indonesia sends the highest number of women to work in Saudi Arabia.