The Kenyan consulate in Saudi Arabia has given Kenyans living in the country a three months amnesty to leave the country. The amnesty has been in place for two weeks now starting March 29.
Those who choose to leave will be exempted from paying fines and penalties relating to offenses of immigration law, labor system, and border safety.
The 90 day amnesty is for the immigrants who have exceeded their Umrah and Haj stay, pilgrims who do not possess Haj permits, those who entered the country at other locations than the official government entry points, those with expired permits, legal workers with permits but lack Iqama IDs cards and runaway workers.
The Kenyan embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday sent out a circular urging Kenyans in that region to be keen in completing all formalities to beat the amnesty deadline.
“We urge all Kenyans to adhere to the rules and refrain from engaging in acts that will endanger their legal status in the kingdom,” part of the circular read
Deputy ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ibrahim Adan, said they have made ample arrangements to help Kenyans and that they are in close coordination with Saudi officials for easy procedures to help those Kenyans who avail themselves.
To get clearance, Kenyans will be required to provide valid passports or emergency certificates, air tickets and exit visas.
The ambassador told Kenyans to keep away from scammers offering to make right their immigration status under this amnesty.
“We are optimistic that many Kenyans, majority being house helps who have run away from their employers, will take advantage of the amnesty and leave the kingdom without facing any penalties or legal actions,” said the ambassador.
Many Families in Kenya have lost loved ones to torture in the Middle East, while many others have reported of their relatives being mistreated and having gone missing while working under contracts, especially in Saudi Arabia.
By 2015, there were over 200 Kenyans withering in Saudi Arabian jails after being convicted of crimes such as prostitution or theft. When Kenya government authorities were asked to comment on the issue, one official, on condition of anonymity said ”the government had no way of helping those who had broken the law in Saudi Arabia, they should carry their own crosses”.