Thursday, November 27, 2014

'Absconders' - Finally some good news for you!

After a long time, there is finally some good news for expatriates working in Saudi Arabia declared as "absconders" by their sponsors.

The General Services Center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has now declared that all expatriates who have been declared as 'huroob' (absconders) by their sponsors can now leave the kingdom without a jail sentence. However, this comes with a few riders. 

Until now, expatriates who run away from their sponsors due to various reasons had to undergo imprisonment if they ever wished to get out of the kingdom. A common technique adopted by these people was to go and stay for days together under the infamous Sharafiya bridge in Jeddah, praying that the police would come and pick them up. They would be arrested in droves every single day, only to be replaced with a new set of absconders. After a substantial number of arrests have been made, you would periodically get a news item saying how many 'illegals'  were picked up by the cops  'from a den'. Two cheers. I had the misfortune of sitting next to one such guy on my flight home from Dammam and what a tale he had to say! No salary for months together, being forced to work long  hours in the open, doing a work completely different from what was promised in his contract - it is the same old story repeated time and again. Click here to read the latest one.

All that is thankfully going to change. As per the latest rule, these workers must now immediately register themselves with their embassies who would issue them emergency passports. The embassy would also make sure that they are finger-printed at the deportation center. All their pending fines, if any, should have been paid and there should be no criminal charges against them. Finally, they should pay for their one-way tickets back home. 

The relief given to these people is simply unimaginable. Remember the previous general amnesty where 'illegals' were given the option of returning without a jail sentence? That one did not cover 'absconders' who were forced to go back to their sponsors. The very reason why these people ran away was due to ill-treatment so it made very little sense to send them back to the same people from whom they ran away. 

The best part with this new rule is that they should leave within three days from the day they are brought to the deportation center, which means everything would be processed very quickly. As a small service to our fellow expats who are in such unfortunate situations, we must ensure that this information is passed on to each one of them. After all, such opportunities do not come by often. And there is no place as sweet as home. 


Biju said...

So true, Expatguru. I know of a person who was brought in as an electrician, but was forced to be a camel herder. He was not paid his salary for months together and finally had no option but to run away from his sponsor. I hope and pray that he gets to hear this great news.

Anonymous said...

What is the source of this information? It has not been published in newspapers

Expatguru said...


Do not believe what is published or not published in the newspapers as the truth. My policy since the day I started this blog is not to write anything unless thoroughly verified. It is this credibility which has led to more than 1.4 million readers. By the way, just to satisfy your curiosity, see the link below:

Anonymous said...

thanks a lot guru

md nazeem said...

Dear Expatguru. Hello. I am employed to work as a Specialist in my department at MOH hospital. The contract was signed on the basis of my qualifications and experience. After working for 6 months in the hospital medical dept as specialist they started assigning me duties (some duties) to work as a resdent. The HOP thru which I was selected to work at this hospital verally told me my degree is not recognised and Saudi commission does not recognise this pg degree. They asked me only if i accept to sign contract as resident doctor they can process my saudi commission and iqama. I refused. after this the medical dept where I am working started assigning me duties to work as resdent in medicine which I never agreed to at the time of signing annd I am the only secialist doctor who is targetted.
Can I offer my resignation on the basis saudi commission does not recogise my pg degree and also iqama has not been issued.
Please guide me as the HOP and medical dept have been keeping me in the dar for most part of my employement.

Expatguru said...


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