RIYADH — More than 200,000 foreigners staying illegally in the Kingdom were deported during the first four months of the current Hijra year, official figures have said.
According to the General Directorate for Passports, 201,350 foreigners who were not properly documented were deported during the period, local media reported Tuesday.
The deportees included people who were smuggled into the Kingdom and expatriates who did not regularize their stay or were not allowed to extend their stay.
A security check to ensure there were no pending cases was performed before the deportees were cleared to leave the country, a statement from the department added.
Officials this week reported that 106,696 foreigners, mainly Yemenis, were apprehended as they were trying to infiltrate Saudi Arabia in the last four months.
All companies and establishments as well as Saudi citizens and residents have been warned against hosting, accommodating or employing foreigners without proper documents, the directorate said.
“All those who become aware of irregular situations should report them,” it said.
Saudi Arabia is home to around 10 million foreigners, mainly Asians working in the construction and service sectors. Many of the expatriates have been working in the Kingdom for several years, but a drive by the authorities to curb reliance on foreigners is set to reduce their presence by at least three million. — SG