RIYADH: About 300,000 foreigners have been deported from Saudi Arabia over the past five months, Saudi newspapers have quoted the authorities concerned as saying.
More than 15,000 foreigners residing here illegally are reported to be in detention centres awaiting deportation.
Saudi Arabia has an expatriate population of roughly nine million with the country’s total population being 27 million. The number of Pakistanis is reported to be close to two million — second to Indians.
Although the exact number of Pakistanis deported in recent months is not known, it runs into thousands, analysts say. On the other hand, there is an influx of new expatriate workers entering the kingdom on valid visas.
Those deported were found to be violating rules about foreigners’ employment. Some of them were found working on the so-called free visa, working for themselves privately and paying a fixed amount to the sponsor. Many others were found working for employers other than their original sponsors.
Published in Dawn March 24th , 2015