Saudi extends deadline for undocumented residents

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

MANILA (Updated) — The Saudi Arabian government has extended to November 3 the grace period for undocumented residents to legalize their status, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Tuesday.

The implementation of the Saudization law, which prioritizes the employment of Saudi nationals and allows a crackdown on illegal workers, was set on July 3.

Raul Hernandez, DFA spokesman, said in a press briefing that they received official word from the oil-rich kingdom regarding its decision to grant the extension of the deadline sought by the Philippines and several other nations.

Aside from the Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan also have hundreds of illegally staying citizens in Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom is home to more than one million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), a majority of whom have already overstayed their visas. Those who transferred employments are also at the risk of violating the new immigration law passed by the Saudi Arabia government.

The Philippine government has repeatedly asked Saudi to extend the deadline since more than 300 Filipinos are still staying in the camp outside the Philippine mission in Jeddah.

Some 226 women and children are still seeking shelter in the consulate-provided facilities, Hernandez said.

The Philippines, since the Filipinos started camping outside the consulate in Jeddah and the embassy in Riyadh by mid-April, already repatriated some 800 distressed Filipino workers — 412 from Riyadh eastern region and 388 from Jeddah.

On Tuesday, about 25 Filipinos arrived in Manila from Riyadh, while 54 undocumented Filipinos also arrived during the weekend.

Vice President Jejomar Binay thanked Saudi’s King Abdullah “for once again showing his kindness and compassion in allowing the extension.”

Reports said the announcement of the extension was made by the Deputy Labor Minister of Saudi Arabia.

“We also join the appeal to the Saudi government to address the urgent concerns raised by Saudi companies and employers on the need to expedite the processing of documents of affected workers,” Binay said.

“The extension definitely eases the anxieties of thousands of kababayans and their families. Once again, I appeal to our kababayans to utilize this additional time given them to submit all the needed requirements to the Philippine Embassy,” he added.

The Vice President and the Foreign Affairs department said the Philippine missions in Saudi Arabia will continue to process the documents needed by the distressed Filipinos to correct their statuses or repatriate them back to the Philippines. (CVB/Sunnex)

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Comments

Saudi extends deadline for undocumented residents — 16 Comments

  1. That the poor Eritrean immigrants in the kingdom might be expelled from SA may only be welcomed by the hungry exploiters back home – getting a chance to inflict even more worse evil into them back home. Whenever the pfdj sees Eritreans suffer, it celebrates. That is what it is for

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  2. I doubt Saudi government will hunt law abiding Eritreans in their country . Do not forget Eritreans conditions
    have familiarity within Saudi people for too long and they know well our situation lately and recently .
    In fact , our people in S.Arabia had been extorted financially because they bear Eritrean passports since independence .
    At the same time the opportunity is scarce and the pay is far less than the old good times because of immigrants from
    Asia with cheap labor . It is frustration situation to talk about !

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  3. Eritrean problem is getting worst every day so sad may god bless us all

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  4. they have to find alternative country, because to get work permit it’s a very expensive. if they don was going to have massive problem. believe me it’s a big headache.

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