REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA — There are about 1,606 Indonesians without valid visas in the immigration detention center at Tarhil, Shumaysi, Jeddah, according to official information.
Based on official information from the Consulate General of Indonesia for Jeddah received by Antara here on Tuesday, 17/12, at least 323 Indonesians without valid visas have been sent back to Indonesia as of December 15.
The 323 Indonesians consisted of 92 women, 214 men and 17 children, who were deported to Indonesia on a special Saudia Airlines flight.
Apart from arranging for the special flight, the Consulate General of Indonesia for Jeddah is also helping some Indonesians who overstayed their Umrah/Hajj visas to return at their own expense.
This is consistent with the Saudi government’s policy, which states that individuals who overstay their Umrah / Hajj visas can be sent directly back to their home countries at their own expense without being sent to the Tarhil Shumaysi detention center.
From November 27 to date, at least 287 Indonesians who overstayed their Umrah/Hajj visas have received exit permits as a result of the assistance from the Indonesian Consulate General of Indonesia for Jeddah.
The total number of Indonesians without valid visas deported to their home country stands at 9,891. The number of Indonesians still detained at the Shumaysi center has, as a result, reduced to around 1,606, comprising 531 women, 745 men and 330 children.
Deporting individuals without valid visas is part of the policy of the Saudi Arabian government, which states that as of December 1, the Kingdom will provide 16 special Saudia Airlines flights to deport Indonesians who have been sent to the Shumaysi immigration detention center (estimated at around 7,200) because they overstayed their visas.
Previously, the consulate had estimated that the entire deportation process would be completed in eight days, assuming two flights every day. However, given the paperwork required for processing these individuals, several Indonesians still remain at the deportation center.
According to the Arab News newspaper, since an amnesty scheme for foreign workers without the required legal documents to remain in Saudi Arabia ended on November 3, about 150 thousand workers without valid visas have been deported to their home countries.
The Arab News daily also quoted an economics expert as saying that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia could save at least US$7 billion as a result.