Saudi Arabia warns illegals will face jail after July 3

Illegal foreign workers risk being slapped with prison sentences and fines after a three-month grace period runs out.

Afp May 10, 2013

The Saudi government warned on Friday that illegal foreign workers risk being slapped with prison sentences and fines after a three-month grace period runs out on July 3.

Additionally, employers or those who shelter illegal workers will be liable to up to two years in prison, the interior and labour ministries said in a joint statement.

Last month, Saudi Arabia amended its labour laws, setting tough restrictions for overseas workers to qualify for employment. The new changes barred sponsors from letting their workers work for others. They also barred them from employing workers of other sponsors, which resulted in employees being bound to work with their sponsors only.

At the same time, the Saudi labor ministry launched a crackdown against the foreign owners of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

It urged those whose work and residency permits have expired to take advantage of the amnesty without penalty, including "special measures" that would allow a change of employer under certain conditions.

The amnesty does not cover those who entered the oil-rich Gulf state illegally.

Saudi Arabia hosts eight million foreign workers, mostly in very low-paid jobs, according to official figures, but economists say there are another two million unregistered non-Saudi workers in the kingdom.

New regulations introduced by the labour ministry aim to reduce the number of foreign workers to create jobs for millions of unemployed Saudis.

Yemenis and South Asians -- Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis -- who work in low-paid jobs across the kingdom will be worst affected.

Some 200,000 people were expelled from the kingdom in the first three months of the year, according to the immigration service.

According to the labour ministry, there were at least 250,000 SMEs that didn’t employ a single Saudi worker and most of those firms were run by foreigners.

Reports indicate that at least 2 million expatriates may lose their jobs or leave the kingdom shortly due to the new laws. A large number of expatriates, including Indians, Pakistanis, Yemenis and many others have been arrested for violating residential permit and labour regulations.


Dr. Rizwan | 9 years ago | Reply

Best explanation .... Saudi has the right to do that but at the same time peoples are suffering who are living with their families @Arif:

michael | 9 years ago | Reply

Warning to all subcontract july 3

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