Exit process begins for stranded Indians in Saudi next week

In a special drive, Saudi authorities will start issuing final exit stamps next week to stranded Indian workers to help them leave the Kingdom during the three-month grace period announced for illegal foreign workers following a new labour policy.

Deportation centres under the Passport Directorate will start issuing final exit stamps next week under the grace period announced by Saudi King Abdullah, an Indian diplomat said in Jeddah on Wednesday.

Consul General Faiz Ahmad Kidwai said the passport authorities would fingerprint unregulated foreigners wishing to leave the country and put exit stamps on their passports or emergency certificates (ECs) from next week.

Addressing a meeting of community leaders and media personnel at the Consulate General, Kidwai said the consulate will issue new passports to Indians who want to correct their residency and work status but have their passports withheld by sponsors.

To get new passports they have to produce a letter of employment from their new sponsors, “Saudi Gazette” quoted him as saying.

Kidwai explained the elaborate arrangements made by the consulate to help unregulated Indian workers and urged them to utilise this unique opportunity to correct the status.

“The Indian Embassy and the Consulate General are working on a war footing to address this issue before the deadline of July 3. All Indians who need to rectify their status or want to leave the Kingdom should rush to complete the procedures as we have only 43 days remaining to help them,” Kidwai said.

“Any individual who wants to benefit from this drive should approach the deportation centre with their passports or the emergency exit passes. They need not produce an air ticket at the time to get the exit stamp,” he said. They, however, will have to leave the country before the grace period ends.

Kidwai said those who have expired passports also can apply for the emergency certificates.

“We are not charging any fee for the EC application form,” he said.

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