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Nitaqat deadline ends today

Nitaqat deadline ends today

Jeddah/ Thiruvananthapuram: Thousands of illegal foreigners are rushing to leave Saudi Arabia before an amnesty expires on Sunday as they risk being fined or even jailed.

The Saudi Labour Ministry warned illegal workers and employers stating the countrywide raids to find illegal migrants would start on Monday.

“The inspection of commercial premises will begin on Monday as planned. Various arms of the Ministry are ready for the inspections. The government agencies, however, will not arrest those holding relevant documents and waiting to legalise their status or be repatriated,” Hattab Al-Enezi, Ministry spokesman, told reporters.

"We have not asked for extra time," explaining Indians had been urged to "abide by the rules, and we have had quite remarkable success," said Indian foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin.

State Minister for Diaspora K.C. Joseph on Tuesday said the Saudi Arabian authorities would not extend the deadline for those illegally residing in the country to regularise their papers.

"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.

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.

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