Kenyans illegally in Saudi Arabia asked to leave during 90-day amnesty
The Kenyan embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has urged undocumented people to take advantage of a 90-day amnesty and leave the country.
This is part of a campaign dubbed ‘A Nation Without Violators’.
The amnesty that began on March 29 will keep undocumented migrant workers from paying fines and penalties relating to violations of the residency law, labour system, and border security.
It applies to those who have overstayed Umrah and Haj, pilgrims without Haj permits, those who have illegally crossed the border into the country, residents with expired permits, workers with permits but no Iqama IDs cards and runaway workers.
In a circular released on Wednesday, the embassy said Kenyans should ensure they have completed all formalities for their repatriation before the deadline.
“We urge all Kenyans to adhere to the rules and refrain from engaging in acts that will endanger their legal status in the kingdom,” read the statement.
Ibrahim Adan, Kenya’s deputy ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said the embassy had rolled out elaborate arrangements to assist Kenyans.
Adan added that they were “closely coordinating with relevant Saudi authorities for guidelines and procedures to assist Kenyans expected to avail themselves”.
“Those with valid passports will undergo the normal procedures laid out and those who don’t possess passports will be issued with emergency certificates,” he also said.
To get emergency certificates, those seeking to leave the country must provide copies of their passports and two passport size photographs.
For clearance procedures and travelt o Kenya, citizens must provide valid passports or emergency certificates, air tickets and exit visas.
The ambassador warned Kenyans against fraudsters who offer to rectify their legal status under the current amnesty.
“We are optimistic that many Kenyans, majority being house helps who have run away from their employers, will take advantage of the amnesty and leave the kingdom without facing any penalties or legal actions,” he said.
Many families in Kenya have reported that relatives who went to work in Saudi Arabia were being mistreated, had gone missing or had been killed.
The families have sought help from the government through the Foreign Affairs ministry.
In 2015, the government distanced itself from 200 Kenyans languishing in Saudi Arabian jails saying they have only themselves to blame.
“Those convicted should carry their own crosses,” said an officer from the ministry of Foreign Affairs who did not want to be named.
He said the government had no way of helping those who had broken the law in Saudi Arabia and had been convicted by courts of law.