Saudi Arabia’s Grace Period for Illegal Workers Comes To an End- Thousands Arrested

On Monday, Inspection squads started massive raids across Saudi Arabia to catch labor and residency law violators following the end of the amnesty period.

Thousands of illegals were apprehended in various regions of the kingdom. Roughly 5,000 unregulated men and women were apprehended over the course of one day.

Inspectors raided several public places and squares as well as places where illegals used to gather in various parts of the city.

A long queue stretched down the road outside a visa office as foreign workers tried to leave without paying fines for overstaying. Some carried personal possessions in hopes of leaving immediately.

In the Batha district, home to many low-paid foreigners, some shops were shut and only Saudi employees were working in others. Market stalls had vanished from the normally busy street where vendors hawk fruit, vegetables, clothes and mobile phones.

Before the amnesty period expired on Monday the government issued repeated warnings to foreigners to correct their status or face punishments including prison, fines and deportation. Companies employing expatriates without proper visas will also be fined, as will people or firms that charge expatriates a fee to sponsor their visa.

Posted By: Brittany Lintner


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