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Indonesian Consulate General in Jeddah opens 21 hours per day JAKARTA - The Indonesian Consulate General in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, opens 21 hours a day to accelerate registration of workers wishing to obtain documents in lieu of passport (SPLP) from the Saudi government, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said on Tuesday.

From May 13 to July 3 the consulate general will serve Indonesian overstayers and illegal workers living in Saudi Arabia to register themselves and obtain such documents to make their presence in Saudi Arabia legal.

The policy is made after the Saudi government announced it will give a chance to all foreign overstayers, including undocumented workers to return to their own country independently without having to pay a fine and serve prison on violating to the rules of residence and working permit. Whereas, the Saudi government also gives an opportunity to foreigners who come to Saudi Arabia with Umroh or Hajj visa before July 3, 2008 and violate the residence permit for working legally after fulfilling particular requirements.

"Up till now 70,000 workers have been registering themselves with the consulate. The office continuously receives more applications. It opens from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m the following day to accelerate the registration process," the minister said.

Marty said the main focus now is on the follow up from the Saudi immigration office. "The immigration office can only process 200 applications a week. With the usual procedure, it is almost impossible for Indonesian workers to meet the deadline," Marty said.

He called on the Saudi immigration office to increase its capacity in processing applications for documents in lieu of passport not only from Indonesian workers but also from workers of other countries. Marty also said he will contact the Saudi embassy in Jakarta to give the latest data of Indonesians applying for the document.

Despite being praised, the Saudi government`s policy to give amnesty to illegal foreign workers has taken its toll on an Indonesian worker. On June 9, a stampede happened in front of the Indonesian consulate in Jeddah after thousands of Indonesian migrant workers who had been waiting for hours to obtain such documents turned violent. An Indonesian was killed in the incident while one security staff officer of the Indonesian consulate sustained serious injury. Since then, the Indonesian government has raised the number of officers to serve the workers.


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Posted in General @ 18 June 2013 23:53 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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