Saudi Govt Extends Amnesty Deadline For Indonesian Overstayers


The Saudi Arabia government agreed to extend the deadline for Indonesian overstayers (mostly illegal) in the country to register themselves to the Indonesian Embassy or consulate office and choose either to leave or obtain legal document to work in Saudi, a press release from Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry received here said.

“The Saudi government agreed to extend the deadline of registration from the initial time in July 3 to November. This is a good news for us especially considering the high number of Indonesian overstayers in Saudi and the limited time to process all documents everyday,” Minister Marty natalegawa said.

“Up till now more than 70,000 workers have been registering themselves with the consulate. The office continuously receives more applications. It opens from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m the following day to accelerate the registration process,” the minister said.

Marty said the main focus now is on the follow up from the Saudi immigration office. “The immigration office can only process 200 applications a week. With the usual procedure, it is almost impossible for Indonesian workers to meet the deadline,” Marty said.

He called on the Saudi immigration office to increase its capacity in processing applications for documents in lieu of passport not only from Indonesian workers but also from workers of other countries.

Despite being praised, the Saudi government`s policy to give amnesty to illegal foreign workers has taken its toll on an Indonesian worker. On June 9, a stampede happened in front of the Indonesian consulate in Jeddah after thousands of Indonesian migrant workers who had been waiting for hours to obtain such documents turned violent.

An Indonesian was killed in the incident while one security staff officer of the Indonesian consulate sustained serious injury. Since then, the Indonesian government has raised the number of officers to serve the workers.

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