Over 2,000 Pinoys who applied for amnesty in Jeddah get exit visas
Officials from the Philippine Consulate confirmed on Thursday that 2,332 undocumented Filipinos in Jeddah received their exit visa as of May 17 under the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's 90-day amnesty program that started late March.
Consul Rj Sumague told GMA News Online that the number increased after the Saudi government allowed Filipinos without “Hurrob” or runaway status to apply for amnesty.
“The inclusion of the no Hurrob (runaway status) on the list of qualifications helped us speed up the process of the exit visas of our kabayan," Sumague said.
Overstaying OFWs from Umrah and Hajj and those with visit visas, as well as OFWs with expired or unreleased iqamas, or who escaped or absconded their employers stand to benefit from the amnesty.
Applications of Filipinos with pending cases, meanwhile, will be processed without punishment.
Applicants will be given exit permits, exempted from getting a certificate of no objection from their employers, and removed from the "deportee fingerprint system," allowing them to return to Saudi Arabia.
Sumague said 3,508 of the 5,378 undocumented Filipinos who applied for the amnesty were endorsed to the deportation center after immigration authorities allowed the Philippine Consulate to endorse Filipinos thrice instead of only once a week.
The consulate has endorsed some 350 undocumented to the deportation center, 300 of them were children and parents.
Sumague called on Filipinos qualified for the amnesty to apply with the consulate before the deal expires in the last week of June.
The Philippine Consulate in Jeddah covers Tabuk, Madinah, Yanbu, Taif, Makkah, Jizan, Najran Region, and the Asser Region. —with a report from Rie Takumi/LBG, GMA News