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Saudi Arabia Extends Foreign Worker Amnesty to Nov. 3

  • Reuters

Foreign illegal laborers wait in a queue at the Saudi immigration offices at al-Isha quarter in al-Khazan district west of Riyadh, June 30, 2013.

Foreign illegal laborers wait in a queue at the Saudi immigration offices at al-Isha quarter in al-Khazan district west of Riyadh, June 30, 2013.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has extended an amnesty for foreign workers to obtain legal status in the country until the end of the Islamic year on Nov. 3, from the previous deadline of July 3, the official Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

Earlier this year the kingdom began to crack down on the many foreign workers who have violated their visa terms with surprise inspections on streets and in company offices.

Tens of thousands of people were deported or decided to leave the country under this pressure, raising concern about possible damage to the economy if deportations continued.

The government then announced an amnesty during which workers would be forgiven any fees or fines for visa violations such as overstaying or switching jobs, but bureaucratic delays mean many have still not regularized their status.

Security forces will resume cracking down on illegal workers in the new Islamic year, SPA said, quoting a government statement.
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