Saudi amnesty offers illegals chance to leave

Updated 29 March 2017
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Saudi amnesty offers illegals chance to leave

JEDDAH: Makkah Province is “perfectly ready” for the “A Nation Without Illegal Expatriates” national campaign, Mohamed Hussain, spokesman of the Jeddah Passport Department, told Arab News.
Starting Wednesday, undocumented workers in Jeddah and Makkah can go to Al-Shumaisi’s branch of the Passport Department, located on the Jeddah-Makkah expressway, to finalize their departure procedures.
“A special section has been designated for it at the General Services Center in Al-Shumaisi to cover Makkah and Jeddah,” Hussain said.
Al-Shumaisi is one of many centers that will implement the 90-day campaign, which will include all provinces.
The initiative was granted by the Interior Ministry for undocumented workers to correct their status and leave the country without penalties.
Overstayers following the 90-day grace period will risk paying fines. “Violators who don’t initiate correcting their status and get detained will be subject to enforcing the rules and regulations of the labor law and residency system,” Lt. Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub, spokesman of the General Directorate of Passports (GDP), told Arab News.

Violating the residency system entails deportation, a prison sentence and fines. The fine can range between SR15,000 ($4,000) and SR100,000, Gen. Sulaiman Al-Yahya, director general of the Passport Department, told the Saudi state-run news channel Al-Ekhbariya.
Al-Yahya urged violators to make use of the amnesty that exempts them from fines and the consequences associated with the deportee fingerprint system, an opportunity “that may not come again,” he said.
Those who have overstayed their visas for Haj, Umrah, visit or transit should go directly to a border point with a valid passport and confirmed travel tickets.
If an “absent from work (escape or huroob)” notice has been issued, the violator will need to finalize the procedures in the local Expats Affairs Administration first.
Employers of holders of expired “resident identity” (iqama) who did not renew them before the announcement date of the campaign (March 19) shall issue a “final exit” visa online after paying all due fees and fines. Illegal workers should then leave the country.
Pilgrims who entered the country illegally should refer to the local Expat Affairs Administration to obtain a “final exit” visa before going to the designated passport center with their valid passport.
Illegal workers with valid iqama IDs, but who work for different employers or are self-employed and have an “absent from work (escape)” notice, should refer to the local Labor Disputes Committee to obtain a “proof of status” directed to the GDP.
They should then refer to the local Expats Affairs Administration to obtain a “final exit” visa with their passport and iqama ID before leaving the Kingdom.
Workers for an employer in the Red Zone, whose company has more non-Saudi employees than Saudi, should refer to the Labor Ministry to obtain a temporary work permit before going to the local Passport Department with their passport and iqama ID to get a “final exit” visa and leave the country.
According to the campaign, workers can return to the Kingdom on condition they pursue legal methods to gain entry.
Jeddah-based Pakistani Consul General Shehryar Akbar Khan and Indian Consul General Mohammed Noor Rahman Sheikh both urged their nationals to take advantage of the scheme in two separate press statements sent to Arab News.
The Pakistani Consulate said it has made arrangements to assist “Pakistani community members who desire to avail the amnesty scheme announced by the Saudi government.”
The Indian Consulate said it would provide information to Indian expats, and assured “the full cooperation of the consulate in facilitating all Indian nationals who want to go back to their mother land using this opportunity.”
A similar campaign took place in 2013 to legalize the status of undocumented workers. A 90-day amnesty was announced in April 2013 before the late King Abdullah extended the grace period to November 2013.
Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki said more than 2.5 million violators left the country under that campaign.


FaceOf: Ahmad Al-Khatib, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries

Ahmad Al-Khatib
Updated 27 May 2018
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FaceOf: Ahmad Al-Khatib, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries

  • Saudi Arabian Military Industries aims to aims to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign purchases of military products

JEDDAH: Ahmad Al-Khatib was appointed the chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) in October 2017. 

He also holds the posts of chairman of the board of directors of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) since 2016; chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Fund for Development; adviser to the general secretariat of the Cabinet; adviser to the minister of defense; and adviser to the court of the crown prince.

Al-Khatib inaugurated on Friday the new facilities of the Aircraft Accessories and Components Company (AACC) at its new headquarters at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah during a ceremony under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

SAMI aims to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign purchases of military products and become one of the top 25 global companies in the field of military industries.

“Our goal is to localize more than 50 percent of the Kingdom’s military spending by 2030,” said the crown prince in his earlier statement.

Al-Khatib is a former adviser to the royal court, was the minister of health between 2014 and 2016, and served as the chairman for the Saudi stock company established in 2006, Jadwa Investment.

Al-Khatib has 23 years of experience in banking. In 1992 he joined the Bank of Riyad, working in various departments for 11 years and helping to establish the customer investment department. 

In 2003, Al-Khatib joined SABB Bank and participated in the establishment of Islamic Banking (Amanah). He then became the bank’s general manager.