95% of Indian illegal expatriates have returned home as Nitaqat grace period ended on Sunday

The Indian Embassy will deploy officials at Tarheel in Dammam to help undocumented Indians still in Saudi Arabia even after the Nitaqat grace period ended on Sunday.

The Embassy issued Emergency Certificates till Saturday. The last date for submission of fresh applications by those who came under the concessions announced during the grace period Emergency Certificates (EC) at the Embassy was October 31, 2013, officials said.

The help line numbers in Riyadh from Monday (November 4, 2013) are as follows: Officials on Tarheel duty (phone: 0546843866/ 0546843836/.0546843746/ 0546843894) and officials on labour duty (phone: 0546843922 / 0546843734/ 0546843750/ 0548981774). The Embassy helpline numbers are (Phone: 0501699879 / 0501700106 / 0501699895 and 0501699894), officials said. The Embassy has been informed by the Saudi authorities concerned that necessary instructions had been given for issue of final exit to Indian nationals who had obtained Emergency Certificates and did not possess their original passports or Iqamas, but otherwise were covered under the concessions announced during the grace period.

Ninety-five per cent of an estimated 1 lakh undocumented Indians had returned to the country from Saudi Arabia.

The Indian Embassy in Riyadh and the Consulate prepared Emergency Certificates (EC), i.e. travel documents free of cost. Special help lines were set up at the Labour office manned by the Embassy officials to assist Indian nationals.

From Monday, the Saudi authorities began a crackdown on illegal expatriates. Hundreds of private and international schools had already been affected as most teachers were yet to transfer their sponsorship to their schools. These teachers were now under the sponsorship of their spouse.

The Ministry of Labour clarified it did not intend to carry out raids by female inspectors at homes. It also urged residents not to allow anyone impersonating as Ministry of Labour inspectors to enter their house.

The NoRKA-Roots, a field agency of the Non-Resident Keralites' Affairs Department, said officially 13,428 Nitaqat-hit expatriates had returned to the State till October 29. Of them, 7, 975 were from Kozhikode and its adjoining districts. These were expatriates who had registered their names at the three international airports — Calicut, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram — as well as at the online facility.

Embassy officials said over 10 lakh Indians in Saudi Arabia had used the concessions granted by the kingdom to rectify their status under the Nitaqat law. During the grace period allowed by the Saudi administration, undocumented migrants could go to India without facing any penal action for their illegal stay there. Besides, there would be no ban on their return to the Kingdom.

So far 3,59,997 Indians had transferred their services; 3,55,035 had changed their job title and 4,66,689 had renewed their licence since the beginning of the grace period granted by King Abdulla bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in July.

Further, about 200 companies approached the Embassy offering jobs to Indians. It had organised a major job fair in collaboration with the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce, which was attended by 500 companies and 8,000 workers.