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Saturday, June 22, 2013

1.58 million expats correct status to consider amnesty extension 11 DAYS TO DEADLINE

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Date: Sun, Jun 23, 2013 at 5:16 AM
Subject: [aijazahmedit] "1.58 million expats correct status/KSA to consider amnesty extension/11 DAYS TO DEADLINE"

1.58 million expats correct status

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Sunday 23 June 2013

Last Update 23 June 2013 2:44 am

More than 1.58 million expats in the Kingdom have changed their residence and work status during the amnesty since April, the Labor Ministry said while disclosing plans to Saudize 600,000 jobs in the retail trade sector.

"A total of 1,581,227 have benefited from the correction process during the past eight weeks," the ministry said, adding 926,330 among them received new work permits.

A total 329,468 workers have transferred their sponsorships to new employers and they represent 21 percent of the total beneficiaries, the ministry said. Twenty-one percent of beneficiaries changed their professions while 59 percent had their work permits renewed.

Deputy Labor Minister Ahmed Al-Humaidan, meanwhile, said jobs in the retail sector, which has an annual turnover of SR 200 billion, would be Saudized gradually, as about 80 percent of its jobs are held by foreigners.

Sibi George, deputy chief of mission at the Indian Embassy in Riyadh, said more than 40,000 Indians have corrected their status.

Speaking to Arab News, he said about 40,000 Indians have got jobs with different companies as a result of efforts made by the Indian Embassy and consulates. Some Indians, who have got emergency certificates to leave the Kingdom, have expressed their desire to make use of the job fairs organized by the embassy and consulates, he added.

In the Riyadh region, 112,200 foreigners or 34 percent of the total beneficiaries transfered their sponsorships, the ministry said. The Makkah region came second with 78,434 or 24 percent changing their sponsorships, followed by Eastern Province (66,627 or 20 percent), Madinah 16,142 or five percent and Qassim 15,836 and Asir 9,355.

About 141,000 workers have changed their professions, with 42,432 or 30 percent of them doing it last week. Twenty-four percent changed their profession to labor, 19 to marketing, 13 to driver and 9 to sales representative.

The largest number of transfers took place to companies specialized in building and construction (51 percent), benefiting 155,038 workers, followed by wholesale and retail trade (22 percent) benefiting 66,598.

Labor Minister Adel Fakeih, said Nitaqat was instrumental in reducing unemployment among the Saudis from 12 percent to 6.1 percent. "Saudis who got jobs after introducing Nitaqat were equal to 38 percent of citizens employed in the past 30 years," he pointed out.

Over 1.5m workers regularize status

Last updated: Saturday, June 22, 2013 10:15 PM

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH – More than 1.5 million expats have changed their residence status since April ahead of a planned crackdown on undocumented foreign workers, the Ministry of Labor said on Saturday. 

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah announced on April 6 a three-month grace period to correct the work and residency status of unregulated foreigners or allow them to leave the Kingdom without any penalties before July 3. 

As many as 1,581,227 foreigners have benefited from the grace period by the end of the eighth week since the start of the grace period, and a total of 926,330 foreigners have renewed their work permits during the period, said the ministry. 

Some 329,468 workers have changed their sponsorship, and this figure makes up 21 percent of the total beneficiaries. Those who renewed their work permits constituted 59 percent of the beneficiaries. 
According to the ministry, Riyadh region comes first in the number of beneficiaries.
A total of 112,200 workers in the region have changed their sponsorship and this figure makes up 34 percent of the total beneficiaries Kingdomwide.
Makkah region, including Jeddah, comes second in sponsorship change with a total of 78,434 workers (24 percent) and it is followed by the Eastern Province with 66,627 workers (20 percent). 

A total of 16,142 foreigners changed their sponsorship in Madinah region (five percent), 15836 in Al-Qassim (five percent), 9355 in Assir (three percent), 6538 in Hail, 6248 in Najran, 5917 in Jazan and 1093 in Tabuk. 
The ministry said that a total of 141,034 workers have so far changed their profession by taking advantage of the grace period. Nearly 30 percent of these workers (42,432 in number) changed their profession in the eighth week alone. 

A total of 33,484 workers (24 percent) changed their profession to labor (Amil), and it was followed by marketing specialist (19 percent) benefiting 27,337 workers. 

Other professions are heavy vehicle driver (13 percent), ordinary labor or Amil Aadi (11 percent), sales representative (nine percent), accountant and trailer driver (seven percent each), and salesman (five percent).

The ministry's statistics showed that among those who changed their sponsorship to commercial activities, 155,038 workers (51 percent) moved to construction sector while 66,598 (22 percent) changed to wholesale and retail sector. 

Other major sectors are food service (six percent), downstream industries, and cleaning, maintenance and operation (five each) and workshop and maintenance shops (four percent).

Huge crowds of foreign workers have queued for long periods in sweltering heat outside government offices and their own consulates in recent weeks, fearing fines and possible deportation if they fail to legalize their status before July 3.

More than 180,000 have also left the country, the passports authority said last week.

Registering foreigners properly has become important for the labour ministry after it imposed a new system of quotas last year that stipulate how many employees in particular types of position should be Saudi nationals.
Under Saudi law, foreigners must be sponsored by their employer and must work only in the field registered on their residence papers. In practice, many work for other companies and in different jobs.


KSA to consider amnesty extension

Last updated: Saturday, June 22, 2013 10:13 PM

Prince Muqrin Bin Abdul Aziz, Second Deputy Premier and Advisor and Special Envoy of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, receives at his palace in Riyadh on Saturday Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dipu Moni. – SPA

 RIYADH — Prince Muqrin Bin Abdul Aziz, Second Deputy Premier and Adviser and Special Envoy of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, has assured Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni that he will convey her request for amnesty extension to the King, according to a press statement issued by the Bangladesh Embassy here on Saturday. 

Moni made a request to this effect during her courtesy call on Prince Muqrin on Saturday. 

The Bangladesh foreign minister appreciated the recent announcement of amnesty and regularization of employment status for undocumented workers.

Bangladesh Embassy has collected about 90,000 passports of its nationals which were lying with Saudi immigration authorities and arranged distribution of these to its holders. 

The foreign minister visited the job fair organized by the embassy in Riyadh where several Saudi companies offered jobs to Bangladesh workers. One Saudi employer came to hire 500 workers from Bangladesh.

Prince Muqrin and Dr. Moni agreed to work closely at UN, OIC and other international organizations. They also agreed to enhance bilateral relations in the areas of investment cooperation, trade, education and agriculture. 

Enhancing bilateral trade was also discussed, particularly the export of quality pharmaceutical products, readymade garments and ceramics.
The foreign minister sought the support of Saudi Arabia for a preferential trading agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which would allow export of Bangladesh products to all Gulf countries on concessional tariff. 

Agreeing to support this proposal the Second Deputy Prime Minister underlined the need for regular and increased interaction between businessmen of both countries to enhance trade and investment. He also underscored achieving trade balance between the two countries which is currently in favor of the Kingdom. 

The foreign minister mentioned about the recent visit of a Saudi manpower delegation which learned about migration process in Bangladesh under which the government has introduced a three-tier screening process, training of the workforce, issuance of MRP and reduction of migration cost. – SG


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