Exit process of expats from Saudi Arabia to start May 18

Dubai, May 16 (IANS) Passport authorities in Saudi Arabia will start stamping the exit papers of stranded expatriate workers from May 18 to help them leave that country.

Indian Consul General in Jeddah, Faiz Ahmed Kidwai said in a community meeting that Saudi authorities will also start stamping papers issued by the consulate to expatriates who don’t have original passports and want to leave the country, local media reported Thursday.

The process does not apply to Indians and is applicable to all expatriates in distress in that Gulf nation.

Expatriate Indian workers have been thronging the Indian embassy in Saudi capital Riyadh and the consulate in Jeddah seeking emergency exit certificates after the implementation of the Nitaqat or Saudisation policy by the Saudi government.

The new policy makes it mandatory for all Saudi companies to reserve 10 percent of jobs for Saudi nationals.

Faiz also said that presenting an air ticket while submitting exit papers is not necessary.

“Any individual who wants to benefit from this drive should approach the deportation centre with their passports or the emergency exit passes,” he was quoted saying.

“They need not produce an air ticket at the time to get the exit stamp.”

Saudi rulers had announced an amnesty period for stranded expatriate workers to either rectify their residency status or leave the country. The period ends July 3.

There are around two million expatriate Indians in Saudi Arabia, many of them blue collar workers.

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