OVER 700,000 expatriates who were in the Kingdom in violation of residence and employment regulations have returned to their respective countries, Director of General Directorate of Passports, Maj. Gen. Sulaiman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Yahya, revealed on Thursday.
The expatriates did so under the amnesty campaign "A Nation without Violators."
Maj. Gen. Al-Yahya expects about 46,000 others to leave the country in the next phase.
The campaign’s amnesty period ended at the beginning of July. Authorities have already started the second phase of the campaign which involves tracking violators and implementing the rules and regulations related to them.
The initial grace period was 90 days, starting on March 29, 2017. It allowed expats in violation of the rules to leave the Kingdom without being subject to fines or being blocked from reentering the Kingdom legally. The grace period was extended by a month on June 25.
At the end of the amnesty, Maj. Gen. Al-Yahya told Arabic press that four months given to violators of residency and labor laws to leave the Kingdom voluntarily were enough. Al-Yahya warned that those who did not benefit from the amnesty will be apprehended and punished.
"The amnesty was a golden opportunity for the violators to leave voluntarily and be able to come to the Kingdom any time legally," he said.
Al-Yahya explained that those who benefited from the amnesty were not given Murahal (deportee) fingerprinting, so it was easy for them to come back legally. - Al Arabiya English
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