Amnesty expires for illegal Ethiopian residents in Saudi Arabia

The Ethiopian government urged its undocumented nationals residing in Saudi Arabia to take advantage of the three-month amnesty which ended on Tuesday.

Photo by: Reuters Archive
Photo by: Reuters Archive

An undocumented Ethiopian worker arguing with a member of the Saudi security forces while waiting to be deported in Manfouha, Southern Riyadh.

The amnesty given by the Saudi government to Ethiopian citizens illegally residing in Saudi Arabia expired on Tuesday.

Of the 400,000 Ethiopians living illegally in Saudi Arabia, only 85,000 people applied to take advantage of the amnesty provided by Saudi Arabia to return to Ethiopia. Less than half of those have actually returned.

The three-month amnesty was an opportunity for Ethiopians to leave the country without paying fees or fines; and be imprisoned or deported for violating their visas by overstaying or switching jobs.

Those who left in the grace period will also be allowed to apply for another working visa in the kingdom.

The Ethiopian government has requested an extension of the Saudi amnesty deadline.

TRT World 's Coletta Wanjohi reports from Addis Ababa.

TRTWorld, TRTWorld and agencies