Saudi Arabia will not extend deadline for illegal residents

The Saudi Arabian authorities would not extend the Nov 4 deadline for those illegally residing in the country to regularise their papers, said a Kerala minister Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia is implementing the Nitaqat or Saudisation policy, which makes it mandatory for all Saudi companies to reserve 10 percent jobs for Saudi nationals.

Speaking to IANS, State Minister for Diaspora K.C. Joseph said this information has come from the Indian embassy officials in that country.

“Officials said the deadline was extended twice before and hence there will be no more extension. They have informed all those who continue to remain with improper documents will have to face the music and would be sent to jail or deported with a fine,” said Joseph.

He pointed that of the one million Keralites, at least 10,000 people have so far registered for their return or regularisation of papers.

“We have decided to open three offices at Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam, which would be managed by the Norka committee and all people who require assistance to return would be helped,” said Joseph. Norka committee is the Kerala government panel looking after diaspora interest in association with the Kerala-based organisations in Saudi Arabia.

The oil-rich country since early this year has been on the job for the implementing new labour laws, and, following pressure from the Indian government, decided to give some more time for renewal of papers or registration to return without any penalty.

“A good number of our people have renewed their papers and given new jobs by our own people having business there. The exact number of those who have registered to return will be known only early next month once the deadline ends,” added Joseph.—IANS