The Arab News reported on Monday that the Saudi officials have refused to accept the updated Indian passports of the expatriates. The updated document has the holder’s photo on the third page while in the previous version the photo used to be on the second page.
This is causing a lot of trouble for the Indian expats in Saudia since they have been issued new passports and have also been notified of their validity from the Indian Consulate. The Saudi authorities on the other hand are claiming that they haven’t received such notification and would only accept the new passport if contacted through the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On the basis of this claim, Saudi officials refused to update almost 200 Indian passports. The expats sought help and filed a formal complaint against the passport office in Jeddah. This is a matter of concern because the Indian government has officially announced the validity of the new passport while the Saudi government is refusing to acknowledge it. This would somewhat affect the legal status of the Indian workers and employees living in Saudi Arabia.
People are considering this move to be another way of the Saudi government to trouble the (Indian) expatriates working in the country. Recently, the Indian Embassy in Riyadh received almost 60,000 requests for Emergency Certificates to leave the Arab country because of the ‘Nitaqat’ labor law that makes it mandatory for companies in Saudi Arabia to hire at least one national for every 10 expat workers.
The law has endangered jobs of many Indians and other emigrants therefore they want to leave the country as soon as possible amid fears of unemployment and sudden deportation.
May 21, 2013