Philippine officials in Saudi Arabia encouraged Filipino Hajj, Umrah and visit visa overstayers in the Kingdom to avail of an amnesty period where they can complete the processing of their repatriation.
The Philippine Embassy and Consulate-General urged the overstayers to proceed to the Saudi Immigration Office (Jawazat) in their region and complete the processing before the March 9 deadline.
"All concerned Filipinos are strongly urged to avail the amnesty before the deadline,” said a spokesman for the embassy, according to a report of the news site Arab News.
The embassy also advised all Filipinos against dealing with so-called “fixers” who claim they can facilitate repatriation in exchange for money, the Arab News report added.
The mission pointed out the amnesty period was extended after it initially expired in September last year.
However, Arab News also quoted the embassy spokesman as saying added the amnesty does not apply to:
• those with expired iqamas
• those who went to the Kingdom for employment and have stayed beyond the validity of their iqamas
• those who have absconded from their original employers and are seeking repatriation.
The spokesman said the authorities have made it clear all overstaying nationals, including those taking advantage of the amnesty, will be blacklisted.
Overstaying foreign nationals apprehended after the deadline will face heavy fines and could face jail.- VVP, GMA News