JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS
Published — Thursday 10 October 2013
Last update 8 November 2013 4:16 am
The Ministry of Labor has urged private organizations, individuals and the expatriate work force to legalize their status before the fast-approaching deadline of Nov. 3 marking the end of the amnesty period.
Ziyad Al-Sayigh, deputy minister for customer services and labor relations, said that the Ministry had directed the various labor bureaus to work morning and evening shifts and to work during weekends and the Eid Al-Adha holiday.
The ministry has also tripled the number of staff in the customer services center (available on 920001173) to accommodate more calls.
“I would like to stress that 90 percent of procedures can be processed electronically without physically going to the labor bureau. This can be done through the ministry’s portal at mol.gov.sa,” said Al-Sayigh.
Expatriate workers can transfer their sponsorship from one company to another and they can also change their professions, with the exception of those who need to be in possession of professional certificates,” he said.
Al-Sayigh said individuals must cooperate in achieving the objectives of the normalization campaign. “It is a national duty to help fix irregularities in the labor market. The main cause for negative growth in some sectors is the concealment and employment of labor without work permits. Authorities will begin a campaign to ensure compliance with the regulations once the deadline is up.” Anyone who has not normalized their status by the Nov. 3 deadline will be subject to fines of SR100,000 and imprisonment for up to two years,” he said. “We have issued requirements for legalization in nine languages to avoid confusion.”
The Bangladesh Embassy, meanwhile, has called for an extension of the amnesty period to legalize the residency status of 400,000 Bangladeshis.
Muhammad Imdadul Haq, labor consultant at the embassy, said huge numbers of illegal Bangladeshi workers were likely to visit the embassy in the next few days. “We expect 400,000 Bangladeshi nationals to show up at the embassy to legalize their status, but it will be impossible to process their papers before the amnesty period ends,” he said.