Saudi Arabia grants legal status to 0.8m Pakistanis

Oct 30, 2013| Courtesy by :

Saudi Arabia decided to grant legal status to 0.8 million Pakistanis living in the kingdom.

These Pakistanis were living in Saudi Arabia as illegal citizens and were due to be evicted on November 3. However, in an interview with Arab News, Pakistani ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Muhammad Naeem Khan said that they have been granted legal status, Radio Pakistan reported.

Khan urged Pakistani workers to contact the consulate general in Jeddah for attaining legal status and jobs.

Earlier, Saudi Arabia had told foreign workers – about a third of its 27 million population – to make sure their visas were in order before a planned crackdown in November, or face possible deportation.

Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, Lebanon, Ethiopia, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines all have large numbers of citizens working in Saudi Arabia and all rely heavily on their remittances.

Till the end of June, reports indicated the presence of at least 50, 000 illegal immigrants from Pakistan working in Saudi Arabia.

Remittances sent home by overseas Pakistanis touched $12.8 billion in 11 months (July-May 2012-13) of the current fiscal year with the hope that the figure will cross $15 billion by year-end.