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Over 19,700 Expats Violate Residence, Work Visa Rules in Saudi

During a recent inspection campaign conducted by the Saudi Ministry of Interior across the Kingdom from May 2 to May 8, a total of 19,710 violations were recorded, highlighting the ongoing challenges related to residency, border security, and labor laws. Among these violations, 12,961 were related to residency issues, 4,177 were linked to border security, and 2,572 were related to labor laws.

Of particular concern was the attempt by 979 individuals to illegally cross the border into the Kingdom. The majority of these individuals were identified as 43% Yemenis, 54% Ethiopians, and 3% from other nationalities. Additionally, 46 people were apprehended for attempting to unlawfully leave the Kingdom.

Furthermore, twelve individuals involved in the transportation, sheltering, or employment of violators were also arrested during the campaign.

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Currently, 49,407 expatriates (46,342 men and 3,065 women) are undergoing procedures to ensure compliance with regulations. Among these, 40,391 individuals were instructed to contact their country's embassy or consulate to obtain proper documentation for travel, 3,016 were directed to complete booking arrangements for their departures, and 13,383 individuals have been repatriated.

The Ministry of Interior emphasized the severity of facilitating illegal entry into the Kingdom, transportation of violators, or providing them with shelter or assistance. Such actions may result in penalties of up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to SAR1 million, with vehicles and housing used for illegal activities subject to confiscation.

The ministry underscored that these acts are considered major crimes warranting arrest, and urged individuals to report any violations by contacting emergency services at 911 in the Makkah, Riyadh, and Eastern regions, and at 999 and 996 in the rest of the Kingdom.

May 13, 2024 12:41 p.m. 4326

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