JEDDAH: The Ministry of Interior has revealed that more than 32,000 illegal expatriates have left the country since the beginning of the government campaign “A Nation Without Illegal Expatriates” that was launched on March 29.
It said it has arrested 100,000 violators of the country’s residency laws since the launch of the campaign.
The drive entailed an amnesty period of 90 days, during which illegal expatriates can leave the country without being subjected to any penalties.
Deputy supervisor of the campaign in Riyadh Col. Safar bin Dlaim called on violators to make use of the grace period and leave before it ends.
“Those [violators] who do not leave will be required to pay all fines and fees and will be considered a wanted person in the system. The goal of the campaign is for every resident to be legal.”
Less than 50 days remain before the amnesty period expires.
The campaign – which is participated in by 19 government entities — has resulted in large numbers of expatriates showing up daily at 78 offices of the Passports Department – 16 offices in the Eastern Province, 12 in Makkah, 10 in Riyadh and 7 in Qasim. King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah has been particularly crowded with expats wanting to take advantage of the grace period.
The government announced that those who respond to the campaign will be exempted from being registered as “deported,” which will allow them to come back to the Kingdom legally.
The number of violators before the campaign was launched was estimated at one million, including more than 285,000 reported as “absent” by their employers.
The last similar campaign in the country took place more than four years ago and resulted in the deportation and the correction of residency status of more than five million illegal expatriates and labor law violators.