Several of the expatriate workers who had violated the rules and regulations of the Hajj pilgrimage last year have now been deported. This announcement had been made by the department of passports. The expatriates, who had performed Hajj without a permit, came to the Jawazat authorities in order to renew their residence permits, also known as Iqamas, however, they were caught and subsequently handed over to the expatriates’ department in order to have them deported. This statement was made by Major Talal Al Shalhoub. The spokesman also explained that those expatriates who had violated the rules and regulations had been fingerprinted when they were caught living inside the Holy Sites.[irp]
This violation of the rules and regulations of Hajj will be automatically shown whenever the Iqama or residence permit has been presented in order to be renewed or to be issued with an exit – re-entry visa. The violators will also be deported and subsequently banned from entering the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for a period of 10 years. The sources at the Jawazat authorities have stated that there are several expatriates in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who have been unable to renew their residence permit or Iqama or have not been able to complete any of the other procedures via the electronic Abshir website, and they have found out in the middle of their sentence or punishment that they were, in fact, being punished for performing the Hajj pilgrimage without having a permit to do so.
The chairman of the coordinating council for the domestic pilgrims, Fadl Al Jihouri has stated that the punishment for those pilgrims who are violating the rules and regulations of the Hajj pilgrimage will substantially improve the Hajj services and also reduce the number of people who are squatting or living on the streets. Chairman Al Jihouri also asked the domestic pilgrims to have them registered on the e-portal of the Ministry of Hajj and to also choose a licensed Hajj pilgrimage service operator only. He also stated that there are several citizens and expatriates alike who have fallen prey to the middlemen or brokers who ultimately deceived them and took off with their money.
The Chairman further added that the council is making dire efforts in order to save some of the poor victims of scams or schemes of fraudulent Hajj service operators, from being deported and subsequently banned from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Al Jihouri also came forward and asked all of the expatriates and citizens never to perform the Hajj pilgrimage without having authentic permits to perform Hajj.[irp]
Meanwhile the Jawazat authorities repeated their warning issued to the expatriates who are currently in the Kingdom on a visit visa, not to further prolong their stay, over and above the duration stated in their visit visa, or else they will be severely punished, which includes a monetary fine of SAR 50,000, jail term of six months, deportation from the Kingdom and a subsequent ban on entering the Kingdom for the next 10 years.
Source: Saudi Gazette