Distressed OFWs asked to register for Saudi exit visas

February 9, 2014 8:45 pm

Distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Saudi Arabia who failed to correct their work and residency statuses in the oil-rich kingdom should register with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) on or before February 18.

The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh said the registration is in preparation for the resumption of regular procedures at the kingdom’s immigration and deportation centers for the processing of exit visas.

But the embassy clarified that the advisory “only applies to Filipino workers who absconded before 6 April 2013 and whose employers filed absconding reports against them.”

“Workers who absconded from their employers on or after 6 April 2013, or those who have pending labor or criminal cases, are not covered by the amnesty guidelines. Their cases will have to be resolved through regular procedures in accordance with existing rules and regulations,” it added.

The advisory also does not apply to cases of mothers and their children because relevant authorities of the Saudi government are still studying special procedures for them.

Eligible Filipinos who want to register may email their name, contact number and other details to POLO-Riyadh at poloriyadh2010@yahoo.com or call telephone (011) 4832201-03 ext. 200 on or before February 18.

The embassy said it would include those who are registered for endorsement to Wafideen at Shumeisy District for fingerprinting and processing of their final exit visa.

Under the Wafideen procedures, immigration penalties and other fines may apply to those who failed to correct their immigration status during the correction period.

On the other hand, the embassy said those who fail or will not register with POLO would be considered to have corrected their immigration status already.