Over 19,700 expats caught violating residence, work visa rules in Saudi Arabia

979 individuals attempted to cross the border illegally, of whom 43% Yemenis, 54% Ethiopians, and 3% of other nationalities


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Published: Mon 13 May 2024, 8:09 AM

Last updated: Mon 13 May 2024, 10:59 PM

During an inspection campaign conducted by the Saudi Ministry of Interior across the Kingdom from May 2 to May 8, a total of 19,710 violations were recorded. These included 12,961 violations related to residency, 4,177 violations pertaining to border security, and 2,572 violations concerning labour laws.

Some 979 individuals attempted to cross the border into the Kingdom illegally, of whom 43% Yemenis, 54% Ethiopians, and 3% of other nationalities; 46 people were arrested for attempting to illegally leave the Kingdom.

Twelve people involved in transporting, sheltering or employing violators were arrested.

A total of 49,407 expatriates (46,342 men and 3,065 women) are currently undergoing procedures for enforcing regulations.

Among the detained people for violating legal requirements, 40,391 were instructed to contact their country's embassy or consulate to obtain proper documentation for travel, 3,016 were told to complete booking arrangements for their departures, and 13,383 were repatriated.

The Ministry of Interior has warned that any person who facilitates the illegal entry of individuals into the Kingdom, transports them on its territory, provides them with shelter or with any other assistance or service may be penalized with up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to SAR1 million, and that the vehicles used for transport or housing used for shelter may be impounded.

The ministry stressed that such acts are major crimes that warrant arrest.

It also urges people to report any violations by calling 911 in the Makkah, Riyadh, and Eastern regions, and 999 and 996 in the rest of the Kingdom.


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