Saudi gives illegal foreign workers three months' grace
Dubai: Foreigner workers, including Indians, have been given a three-month grace period by Saudi authorities to regularise their status after panic over mass deportations as part of a crackdown on illegal migrants.
"King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud has directed the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Labour that labourers violating regulations in the Kingdom be given a grace period of three months to regularise their status," according to a statement carried by the official news agency.
"The law will be enforced against those who remain in violation following the end of the grace period," the statement said.
Authorities in Saudi Arabia have launched a massive campaign to deport thousands of foreigners who overstayed their residence permits or worked illegally or did not have the legal documents to work or stay in the country, the Gulf News reported.
The world's top oil exporter has more than nine million expatriates whose remittances home provide important revenue for countries including Yemen, India, Pakistan and the Philippines.
More than 200,000 foreigners have been deported from the country over the past few months as part of labour market reforms aimed at putting more Saudi nationals into private sector jobs, where they now make up only a tenth of the workforce.