Pay fine, legalize status

Updated 11 November 2013
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Pay fine, legalize status

The Labor Ministry announced on Saturday that it would continue to accept applications from undocumented expats to legalize their status despite the end of the amnesty on Nov. 3.
However, it insisted that such workers have to pay fines or face other penal measures for the delay in legalizing their status.
Faisal Al-Otaibi, director-general of inspections at the ministry, also pointed out that it would not accept any request for exemptions from raids being carried out by the ministry and security officials to rid the country of labor law violators.
“The correction process is continuing and those who want to legalize their status can do so through our electronic services and labor offices,” he said.
The ministry’s statement has been widely welcomed by expats and private companies whose activities have been hampered by raids that are being conducted throughout the Kingdom to crack down on undocumented workers.
Hundreds of illegals have been reportedly arrested in different parts of the country and many companies have suspended operations to avoid raids.
“Companies with a ‘closed’ sign on their window will not be exempt from questioning and search and our teams will visit such firms several times,” Al-Otaibi said, adding that the raids were aimed at creating a secure and organized labor market in the country.
Abdul Rahman Al-Zamil, president of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, urged expats to make use of the ministry’s offer that aims at legalizing workers in the country and protecting their rights.
“Saudi Arabia has changed. It will not accept anymore illegal workers and illegal coverup businesses,” he told Arab News. He refuted suggestions that the raids would affect the Kingdom’s economic development.
The ministry has deployed 55 teams in Riyadh, 45 in Jeddah and 64 in the Eastern Province to inspect firms. Every team includes at least two inspectors and a security officer. “We have deployed these teams in major cities and townships considering the number of firms there,” he said.
The ministry has prepared a list of companies for inspections and it covers firms in different sectors and varying sizes. Teams appointed by the ministry conduct about 80 percent of raids.
“The raids will be carried out at any time, not necessarily during the government working hours of inspectors. It will be conducted during the working hours of private firms,” Al-Otaibi said.
The ongoing labor raids have affected the work of many companies, as a considerable number of their foreign workers could not legalize their status during the seven-month amnesty.
The ministry has promised it would issue visas to companies that have complied with Saudization regulations and have ongoing projects in order to meet their manpower shortages.
“The ministry’s offer will help stabilize the labor market and bring down the prices of goods and services,” said Ibrahim Al-Hodaithy, deputy chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
He said the raids would affect the market because of a shortage of workers doing jobs that cannot be done by Saudis. “Failure by the ministry to issue visas to compensate workers who have already left the country will lead to a hike in prices of goods and services,” Al-Hodaithy said, adding that Saudis would be the first victims of such effects.


Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

Updated 26 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

  • Total relief provided by the Kingdom since the war began now stands at about $1billion
  • Latest package announced by Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir at conference in Brussels

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the people of Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The announcement of the latest aid package was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir on April 25 at an international conference on the future of Syria and the region, held in the Belgian capital Brussels. He pointed out that the meeting comes after the suspected chemical attack in the city of Douma, in eastern Ghouta, which killed dozens of civilians, including women and children.

“The world is facing a regime allied with terrorist militias who believe that spreading atrocities and committing crimes will bring victory to it, and that war crimes are bearing fruit,” said Al-Jubeir. “In addition to bombing civilians with explosive barrels, the policies of starvation and siege, ethnic and sectarian cleansing, and the demographic change of Syrian cities and towns, its use of chemical weapons have shocked the entire world.”

He said that the only acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis is a peaceful political resolution, and that Saudi Arabia has been working to achieve this since the crisis began, while also working with others to end the continuing human tragedy in the war-torn country.

The Kingdom has played a role in unifying the ranks of the Syrian opposition and encouraging them to speak with one voice, he added. After the Riyadh 1 Conference in 2015, Saudi Arabia hosted the Riyadh 2 conference for the Syrian opposition in November 2017, which succeeded in unifying the factions and establishing a negotiating body to take part in the rounds of talks held since then, earning praise from the United Nations.

The foreign minister also reiterated his country’s support for the efforts of the UN secretary-general’s envoy, Stephan de Mistura, to resume negotiations between all sides of the conflict.

“The Kingdom hopes that the agreements endorsed by the international resolutions on the ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to its beneficiaries will be implemented throughout Syria, regardless of their ethnic, religious, sectarian or political affiliations, and calls for the speedy release of detainees and abductees and clarifying the situation of those absent,” said Al-Jubeir. “It also renews its demand to punish individuals and institutions for war crimes and to prevent their impunity.”

He added that the worsening humanitarian crisis affecting refugees inside and outside of Syria should add to the urgency of finding a political solution and resuming the negotiating process as soon as possible.

Since the war began, the Kingdom has taken in about two and a half million Syrians and treats them like its own citizens, Al-Jubeir said, providing them with free health care, work and education. Saudi universities and schools have more than 140,000 Syrian students. He added that Saudi Arabia is also supporting and helping to care for of millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, in coordination with the governments of those countries. The humanitarian assistance provided so far totals about $1 billion.