The announcement of amnesty by Crown Prince, Muhammed bin Naif, did take the nation by surprise but was not totally unexpected. There have been amnesty granted by previous King and many expatriates benefited from them.
This time’s amnesty starts from 29 th March and ends on 26 th June which is two days after Eid. That means after Eid holidays, there maybe normal police raids and patrol and anyone who is illegal will be jailed and deported.
Considering that the last month of amnesty will be in Ramadan and things move slow in Ramadan, it is important to take benefit of amnesty in first two months itself.
The positive thing about the amnesty is that you can normalize your iqama and those who are deported, will be immediately allowed to return. (There will be no black listing/ ban )
So, who all can benefit from amnesty? We give below the categories of the people who can benefit from it.
1. Workers with no iqama
Expatriates who have come to Saudi Arabia on valid work visa but their sponsors did apply fortheir iqama (work permit) within the specified 90 days. Such workers have two options:
a. They can find another company and transfer their sponsorship to the new company/sponsor without the approval of previous sponsor/company.
b. Or go back to home country without going through any procedures.Those expatriates who have their iqama but do not know about their sponsor/kafeel can report to labor office and get a letter acknowledging their status.
2. Workers with expired iqama
Expatriate whose iqama is expired has the following two options under amnesty:
a. Find another sponsor/company and transfer to new company/sponsor without the permission of existing sponsor
b. Leave the country with renewing the iqama
3. Workers whose company are in Red Category
Those who work in Red category companies, can go to Ministry of Labor and obtain temporary stay paper for work. Then only they can go for exiting the country. These persons will have to visit the Jawazat with their passport, iqama & temporary stay paper to apply for final exit visa.
4. Hajj or Umrah overstayers
They can go back to their home countries without undergoing process of deportation. They will not have any restriction on coming to Kingdom later on any other visa.
5. Huroob cases
Expatriates who have been put under huroob by their sponsors can go back to home country with out any ban. They will not require their sponsor’s permission and they can come back on any visa later. They need to go Expatriates department of Jawazat.