Staff Reporter :
The Interior Ministry of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Sunday launched "A Nation Without Violations" campaign to give residency and labour law violators 90 days to leave the country without penalties, Arab News reported on Monday.
Prince Mohammed bin Naif, crown prince, deputy prime minister and minister of interior, urged violators to take advantage of the 90-day grace period, which becomes effective from March 29, to correct their status and make use of the assistance provided.
The crown prince directed authorities to facilitate the procedures of people who seek to leave the country within the specified period and relieve them from all sanctions.
Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki said that 19 government agencies will carry out the campaign. He said, the decision covers those who overstayed their Haj or Umrah visit, or any other type of visa.
He said procedures will be finalized for violators with no residence or work permits who infiltrated the borders illegally. Travel permits will be issued for those individuals.
The General Directorate of Passports and the Immigration Department completed preparations to facilitate the departure of violators.
Al-Turki said residents with no identity cards or who overstayed their Haj visa must visit the nearest Passport Department to complete the procedures. He also urged citizens and residents not to employ individuals who violated their work or residency permits, or cover up for them.
He urged people to report violators by calling 999.
Once the grace period passes, penalties will be charged against violators who remain.
Al-Turki said the same campaign was launched three years ago with more than 2.5 million violators departing under the programme.
Marine Col. Saher Al-Harbi, spokesman of the Border Guard, said his department had returned thousands of illegal infiltrators who arrived via land and seaports.
Earlier on January 3, the Saudi embassy in Dhaka withdrew the restriction on visas for male migrant workers.
Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh's largest overseas labour market, made the announcement after it lifted a seven-year ban on recruitment of Bangladeshi male workers.
Saudi Arabia, home to some 13 lakh Bangladeshi migrant workers, imposed the restriction in early 2008, alleging malpractices in the recruitment system. The decision led to a decline in labour migration from Bangladesh to the Middle East country.
A total of 1.32 lakh Bangladeshis migrated to the oil-rich nation in 2008 but the number drastically dropped to 14,666 in 2009, shows official data.
Since then, Saudi job market was beyond the reach of Bangladeshi male workers. Some male workers, however, got visas through their relatives or agencies by spending Tk 5 lakh to Tk 10 lakh each.