Sept 01, Colombo: Sri Lanka Foreign Bureau of Employment (SLFBE) yesterday urged all undocumented migrants workers in Saudi Arabia to return to Sri Lanka before the deadline set for them to correct their status.
Saudi Arabia in July extended the amnesty period for undocumented migrant workers in the Kingdom to correct their status by four months until 4th of November.
The workers who are overstaying their visas as illegal migrants are urged to come back following a new law introduced by the Saudi Government prohibiting them to change sponsors.
According to the General Manager of the SLFBE, Mangala, although around 8,000 Exit Permits have been issued to the Sri Lankan migrant workers only half of them had chosen to come back while others are staying to work and earn more money illegally.
After the grace period ends the Saudi authorities will crackdown on overstaying workers and the SLFBE will not be able to negotiate for any further extensions with the Saudi Arabian Government, the SLFBE official told local media.
He cautioned that if all the workers waited until the last minute, the airlines will not be able to accommodate them.
Randeniya said if the migrant workers stayed in the Kingdom after the 3 November 2013 deadline, each will have to pay around Rs, 3 million as well as serve a one-year prison term and urged the Sri Lankan workers to come back as soon as possible.