Saudi expat ‘amnesty’ expires as tough penalties kick in.

Saudi Arabia’s controversial deadline for illegal expatriates to voluntarily leave the kingdom has expired, with more than 600,000 said to have left the country in the last three months.

A 90-day amnesty period, launched across the kingdom, as reported, earlier this year under the “A Nation Without Violations” campaign, was extended for another 30 days effective from June 25 to allow violators of all nationalities to leave the country without penalty.

The Kingdom’s general directorate of passports has warned last week, as reported, that strict action would be taken against undocumented expats staying illegally in the country following the expiration of the amnesty. Penalties would range from arrest, imprisonment to fines.

Last week the directorate of passports said that with a week left to run of the amnesty more than 570,000 had already left the country at that stage.

Now that the amnesty has passed Saudi officials have promised further investigations into illegal expatriates in the kingdom as it looks to ensure that more jobs are taken by Saudi-born workers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gary Robinson
Deputy Editor, International Investment and Head of Video at Open Door Media Publishing. A fully qualified journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years' financial services experience, both as journalist and originally as an IFA.

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