From: SHAH FAISAL KHAN <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, Jun 29, 2013 at 1:13 AM
Subject: [aijazahmedit] "Crisis over 'exit pass' delay-SAUDI ARABIA"
Expatriates of different nationalities continue to throng their missions in search of the elusive exit pass
RIYADH: MD RASOOLDEEN | ARAB NEWS STAFF
Saturday 29 June 2013
Last Update 29 June 2013 12:02 am
With five days to go before the end of the amnesty period, thousands of expatriates who have had their paperwork processed by their embassies are now anxiously waiting for their exit papers from the Saudi government.
Dakshina Moorthy, Indian consul labor welfare, who came from his mission in Colombo on a special assignment, told Arab News that the consulate had processed 25,000 applications for amnesty beneficiaries.
This includes a number of outpasses and 5,000 workers who had their biometric details recorded.
He, however, said that only 2,500 people had received final exits from immigration authorities, with 75 percent already gone home. But more than 20,000 people are still scrambling to leave the Kingdom before the July 3 deadline.
The diplomat said the deportation center authorities had allocated Tuesday for the mission.
"We can process a maximum of 1,200 cases on that day with the help of the authorities if they work until late at night."
He said there are only four counters to process applicants.
He said that every mission is expecting an extension to the amnesty because most are unable to complete the documentation for their workers.
An official from the Sri Lankan consulate in Jeddah said it was able to process 2,400 exit passes with the help of the authorities but 3,000 workers still want final exit visas.
Pakistan Ambassador Muhammed Naeem Khan said his mission had formally requested an extension of the amnesty.
"We are trying our level best to beat the deadline," he said.
Bangladesh Ambassador Mohammed Shahidul Islam said his country's foreign minister Dipu Moni personally visited the Kingdom to request an extension to the amnesty.
Under the amnesty, more than 200,000 Bangladesh expatriates obtained their documents.
This included new passports, renewal of passports, outpasses and 20,000 travel permits.