Hundreds queue up to benefit from Saudi amnesty

Indo Asian News Service

Jeddah, March 30 (IANS) Hundreds of expats with residency and labour violations thronged passport offices as the Kingdom's three-month amnesty period for visa violators began.

The 90-day amnesty began on Wednesday and during this period, the violators were allowed to leave the Kingdom without paying any fines or facing any penalties, Saudi Gazette reported.

Indian Embassy officials in Riyadh made elaborate arrangements to receive a large number of amnesty seekers. Ambassador Ahmad Javed interacted with the visitors and officials to ensure a hassle-free service to all.

Speaking to Saudi Gazette, Counsellor Anil Nautiyal said the embassy staff and volunteers were doing "a perfect job."

Nautiyal appealed to all undocumented Indians to utilise the amnesty. Over 350 applicants approached the Indian consulate for the help on the first day of the amnesty.

According to the report, violators can benefit from the amnesty by booking an appointment for processing exit visa formalities through the Ministry of Interior website (

The move came as a big relief to thousands of expatriates who were in a dilemma till Tuesday.

The Mecca region, which had the largest number of visa violators in the Kingdom, was equipped to deal with the rush of applicants, according to reports.

"Everything is working as planned," Mohammed Al-Hussain, spokesperson of Makkah region Jawazat, told Saudi Gazette.

Taif, Qunfudah and Rabigh are other offices where applicants can approach besides Shumaisy, he said.

Foreign missions also made appropriate arrangements to assist their nationals.

The Philippine consulate in Jeddah and embassy in Riyadh were running camps to help applicants.

In Riyadh region, passport offices have been equipped in Malaz in the city, Al-Kharj, Wadi Dawassir, Al-Majmah, Dawadmi, Al-Zulfi, Afif, Shaqra and Al-Quyaita to receive applicants.

In the Eastern Province, arrangements have been made in Dammam, Al-Khafji, Al-Ahsa and Hafar Al-Batin, according to Talal Al-Sholhoub, spokesperson of Directorate General of Passports in Riyadh.