Saudi Arabia deports over 800,000 illegals since 2017

A total of 3,202,192 people were rounded up in the ongoing crackdown on illegal residents in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — As many as 804,360 foreigners living in Saudi Arabia in violation of residency and labor regulations were deported from the country since November last year, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

A total of 3,202,192 people have been arrested by the Saudi security authorities in an ongoing crackdown against illegal residents.

Of them 2,495,567 were arrested for violating the system of residency and 494,316 for violating the labor regulations while 212,309 others were caught for breaching border security.

The officials said 53,620 people, most of them Yemeni and Ethiopian nationals, were caught while sneaking into the country across its southern border with Yemen. They also said 2,357 people were arrested while attempting to leave the country illegally across its land borders.

The Ministry of Interior launched the nationwide campaign on Nov. 15, 2017, in coordination with

19 government departments including the Directorate General of Passports (Jawazat) and the Ministry of Labor and Social Development. In addition to those who have been deported, campaign officials said 426,243 violators were referred to their concerned embassies and consulates to issue them with travel documents while 539,751 others who obtained their documents were completing their travel procedures ahead of their final departure from the country.

According to the officials, 11,347 violators are currently held in various detention centers in the Kingdom. They include 9,764 men and 1,583 women.

As many as 3,849 people, including 1,308 Saudi nationals, has been arrested for providing shelter and transportation to illegal residents since the start of the campaign.

The ministry launched the campaign titled “A Nation Free of Illegal Residents” on March 29, 2017, with an initial 90-day grace period, which was extended several times, for all visa overstayers and violators of residency and labor laws to leave the country without any penalties.

The passport authorities and several foreign diplomatic missions had opened facilitation centers in various parts of the country to help illegal residents wishing to leave the Kingdom on their own to complete the procedures.