The Saudi government has extended its deadline for the departure of illegal immigrants by another 30 days.
The decision was taken to provide an opportunity to the immigrants who failed to take advantage of an ongoing general pardon to leave the country. The announcement came on June 25, reports the state-owned Saudi Press Agency.
Saudi Arabia set up a massive operation to deport illegal immigrants from the country in April, offering them a general amnesty from visa violation offences, setting up reception points across the country and asking the immigrants to leave the country at their own expense.
The majority of these offenders are migrant workers whose visas have expired, many of them Bangladeshis.
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Earlier this month the Bangladesh embassy in Riyadh said around 35,000 Bangladeshis had obtained travel permits from Saudi authorities under this offer.
A source from the Saudi Immigration Office said that even though 110,000 foreign nationals had so far left Saudi Arabia, a total of 525,000 visas had been issued since June 15 for illegal immigrants under the Saudi government’s general pardon initiative.
Another 415,000 immigrants were waiting to go back home as well. These numbers could increase further, according to offices working with the issue.
Because of the pardon, the immigrants will later be able to return to the Kingdom by regular means.
Saudi government has warned of strict measures against those who fail to leave Saudi Arabia within this time.
The violation of labour or residency laws usually results in mandatory jail time and a hefty fine ranging from 15,000 to 50,000 Saudi riyals and a ban from re-entering the Kingdom for several years.