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Saudi Arabia

Illegals head for exit

Illegal expatriates made frantic efforts Saturday to get final exit stamps on their documents following the Labor Ministry’s announcement that there will be no further extension for legalizing work status.
Expatriate workers who have received their emergency certificates (ECs) from their embassies are in a hurry to leave on final exits to avoid a two-year jail term and a fine of SR100,000. Naseem Ahmad, an Indian worker, told Arab News: “I have taken my EC from the embassy and will go to the deportation center on Sunday to collect the exit paper to go back home.”
Aijaz Cheema, a Pakistani, expressed concern that problems continue to crop up at various stages of the process and especially in recording biometric details, which he said is time-consuming.
Bangladeshi Abu Nasir said: “There is no point in staying here anymore, as we have to pay a big chunk of our earnings to the sponsor every six months and we also have to pay for a change of sponsorship.”
The Philippines and Pakistan, along with other Asian countries, have appealed to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for another extension as the paperwork of many expatriates has yet to be completed.
Ezzedin Tago, Philippine's ambassador, told Arab News on Saturday: “We are working overtime to accomplish the task but the numbers are just overwhelming. We are open today despite it being a weekend to distribute free tickets to OFW’s. We have distributed about 50 free tickets so far.”

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