Friday, July 19, 2013

Undocumented Sri Lankan migrant workers in Saudi Arabia gets extended amnesty period to leave

Tue, Jul 2, 2013, 10:36 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.
July 02, Colombo: A royal order issued by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has extended the amnesty period for undocumented migrant workers in the Kingdom to correct their status by four months.
The extended grace period until 4th of November will allow the illegal migrant workers to leave the country without a penalty. The original three-month grace period was to end on July 4.
Around 14,000 Sri Lankan migrant workers registered at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh during the three-month amnesty to leave the kingdom or to legalize their status and only 2,400 out of that have returned to Sri Lanka.
Minister of Foreign Employment and Promotion Welfare, Dilan Perera has said that a special programme has been set in place to bring all the overstaying employees back during the extended grace period.
The Embassy in Riyadh has been operating round the clock to assist the Lankan migrant workers, the Minister has said.
Several embassies and consulates as well as Saudi business groups have asked for an extension of the deadline, saying the July 4 deadline was not enough considering the huge number of expatriates seeking to take use of the amnesty program.
During the amnesty period the overstaying Sri Lankans are asked to report to the Saudi Immigration and Emigration Department to obtain a pass to leave the country without being punished.
Minister Perera said the employees who come back to Sri Lanka during this grace period will be able to apply again legally for jobs in the Kingdom.

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