The Indian Embassy in Riyadh has warned its citizens not to overstay their visa in Saudi Arabia and leave the country immediately once they have obtained Emergency Certificates to avoid penal action over Nitaqat law.
“Anyone who overstays their visa in Saudi Arabia beyond the grace period will face penal action including jail sentence,penalty and deportation with a ban on re-entry,” the Embassy said in a statement.
“The Embassy again urges all overstaying Indian nationals to avoid such a situation by availing the ‘concessions’ announced by the Saudi authorities during the grace period which ends on July 3,2013,” it added.
According to the Embassy,all those who have obtained Ecs from the embassy will have their original passports cancelled. They will not be able to travel out of India using their old passports,even if the date of expiry on their passports shows validity.
“Anyone wanting to change their jobs (Tanazul) in Saudi Arabia could obtain new passports after following the necessary procedures,” said the statement.
The embassy urged all Indian nationals who have applied for ECs to collect the same from the Embassy on the dates allotted to them,on or before June 20,2013.
Earlier,the Embassy had said that its officials would undertake EC verification and distribution tours to different parts of the country in order to reach out to Indian nationals staying in other cities.
The new Saudi labour law,’Nitaqat’,and the ongoing drive to identify workers who are overstaying in the Arab Kingdom was one of the main areas of focus during the recent talks held between External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and his Saudi counterpart.
The ‘Nitaqat’ law makes it mandatory for local companies to hire one Saudi national for every 10 migrant workers.
As a result of this law,a number of people who were working without valid work permits and runaways have come under the scanner.
Once the three-month grace period ends on July 3,all those expatriates who are found in Saudi Arabia without valid papers will be jailed and heavily penalised.
As of May 20,75,000 Indians have registered with the Indian Embassy in Riyadh and the Consulate in Jeddah to be processed and be send back with ’emergency certificate’. There are over two million Indians in Saudi Arabia.
According to official figures,off the total processed applications of 56,734,there are 21,331 people from Uttar Pradesh as against 3,610 from Kerala.