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Nitaqat: Many illegal Indian expats stranded in Saudi

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Nitaqat: Many illegal Indian expats stranded in Saudi
Riyadh, Nov 5: Even as Saudi Arabia government's Nitaqat deadline ended on Sunday, around 3000 illegal expatriates from Kerala are still stranded in the gulf country, according to the Kerala government help desk in Saudi.

On Monday Saudi government began a crackdown on illegal immigrants. Public places, offices and work cites are being raided. Following this, many illegal Kerala expatriates have gone on hiding, reports Mathrubhumi. If caught these workers will be deported immediately and will be blacklisted and banned from returning to the gulf country forever. Keralites returning home told The Hindu that a spacious jail with a capacity of several thousands had been prepared exclusively to deal with the illegal residents.

While most of the Indian immigrants utilised the Nitaqat grace period to legalise their work permits and other documents, many have not done the same. Also, in the hope that the deadline might be extended, many immigrants had not applied for the emergency certificate issues by the Saudi government. As the strict orders had been issued to the embassies that assistance shouldn't be provided to those without emergency certificate to fly back home, Kerala government is trying to find other ways to help them, reports Malayala Manorama. Sources say Kerala government might bear all the expenses to the travel expenses.

Nearly 90,000 Indians came back from Saudi by the end of October

While professionals and skilled workers employed in different sectors could either reularize their work permit papers or transfer their services to new employers, by changing job titles, unskilled immigrants who thrive on various kinds of visas, including that of servant, driver, and housemaid, are the ones suffering the most.

By the end of October, nearly 90,000 Indians came back from Saudi Arabia. About 4,66,689 Indian workers have renewed their Iqamas (resident permit) over the last five months of the grace period, 359,997 workers have transferred their sponsorships and 355,035 workers changed their job titles to legalise their status, reports Financial express.

OneIndia News

(With agency inputs)

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