While the number of returnees to the state due to Nitaqat has crossed 11,000, the Saudi Government has made it clear that there will be no leniency for illegal migrants after the November 3 deadline.
An average of 70 persons are returning home on a daily basis, according to the status of returnee registration by the NORKA (Non-resident Keralites’ Affairs), as the GCC country is making its residency norms for foreign nationals stricter.
The total number of Keralites who reached the state on account of Nitaqat, a programme for companies and businesses to hire more Saudis across a spectrum of jobs, reached 11,801 on September 6, data reveals.
According to the daily status of returnee registration, Karipur airport recorded the highest number of returnees with 6,773 registering during the 168-day period from July 2. If 2,659 were registered at Thiruvananthapuram airport, Nedumbassery had only 907, while 1,462 registered online. Two days, June 6 and May 26, recorded the top numbers in terms of returnees as the former had 232, while the latter followed closely with 231.
Earlier on July 1, Saudi ruler King Abdullah had given an extension to the first three-month amnesty period in response to proposals made by the ministries of foreign affairs, labour and interior affairs, as the period was not enough to rectify the status of millions of workers heave a sigh of relief.
However, on Tuesday, the Saudi ministries urged expatriate workers to legalise their residency and labour status during the current amnesty period to avoid punitive action.
“We will not show any leniency for violators. Punishment will be imposed on violators, including expats and their employers, in accordance with the law,” warned the ministries in a joint statement.
“You have to take speedy steps to legalise the status of workers by approaching government agencies in compliance with rules,” the statement added.