Saudi grants another amnesty extension for illegal expats

Iya Estrada Cabanding, ABS-CBN Middle East Bureau

Posted at Sep 22 2017 07:34 PM

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia - The Philippine Consulate General here announced Thursday the directive of the Saudi Arabia government on another extension of its amnesty program for illegal expatriates.

The Consulate said it will resume the registration of undocumented Filipinos who wish to go home and avail of the amnesty on Monday, Sept. 25.

"Sa mga kababayan natin na sa palagay nila ay covered ng amnesty, pumunta lamang sila sa konsulado at magpatala para maschedule natin sila sa pag-endorso sa Shumaisy at malaman kung covered sila," Consul RJ Sumague said.

(To our fellow countrymen who think they are covered by the amnesty program, you can come to the Consulate for enlisting and scheduling of endorsement at Shumaisy so we can confirm if you are covered.)

Sumague added that they have yet to clarify with the deportation office if there will be changes to the coverage on the new amnesty extension. A detailed guideline will be issued next week.

The Saudi government last March 29 originally granted a 90-day amnesty period under its "A Nation Without Illegal Expatriates" program for expatriates, who are in violation of labor rules, to leave the Kingdom without being subject to fines or being blocked from re-entering the Kingdom legally.

A 30-day extension of the amnesty program was granted beginning June 25 wherein around 4,899 Filipino undocumented expats were given exit visas; 4,800 of them left the country, the Philippine Consul said.

Sumage said some 3,000 undocumented Filipinos also enlisted for the amnesty program last June but were not covered since they still have pending bank loans and ongoing police cases.

The amnesty program of the Saudi Arabia government was granted by the Interior Ministry for undocumented workers to correct their status and leave the country without penalties.