Expatriates from five African countries will be exempted from paying all fees they owe to the State in exchange of their deportation.
The authorities have granted a grace period of three months for the nationals from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Nigeria and Chad to leave the country without settling their dues in terms of passports fees and fines including those for traffic violations.
Defaulters of government fee from these countries can take advantage of the three-month amnesty period, which may be extended with the approval of the concerned authorities. The new measure for deportation of expatriates from these countries will be effective in Makkah region in the beginning and it will be extended to other regions in future.
According to sources, the dues will be recorded in the account of the deportees and they must pay the dues in case they want to return later to Saudi Arabia, and that will be through coordination with the National Information Center, which provides technical support to the Directorate General of Passports.
Misbah Muhammad, consul and advisor for political affairs at the Ethiopian Consulate in Jeddah, told Okaz that they had received instructions from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this regard, and that they had held several meetings with competent authorities from the Labor Office and Saudi Arabian Airlines to make arrangements for deportation.
A committee, consisting of a number of ministries, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Interior, and Labor and Social Development, as well as the National Information Center, the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence, and Saudi Airlines, held meetings on approval of the mechanism prepared by the relevant authorities to determine individual responsibilities of the relevant authorities in connection with deportation of Ethiopians.
According to the sources, there has been an agreement in principle under which the Ethiopian side would issue travel documents and flight tickets and other documents for its citizens prior to their deportation. At least 200 documents will be issued in the Makkah region on a daily basis and no less than 400 documents in the rest of the regions.
Source: Saudi Gazette