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4 million foreign workers legalize status in Saudi Arabia


18:44, July 16, 2013

RIYADH, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Nearly four million foreign workers legalized their status in Saudi Arabia since an amnesty began four months ago, according to Arab News on Tuesday.

"As many as 1.12 million expats corrected their professions until July 6," said Abdullah Abuthnain, Deputy Minister for Inspections and Developing Work Atmosphere.

"We have also issued and renewed more than 1.6 million work permits during the period," he said, adding that 34 percent of correction work took place in the Riyadh region.

A total of 575,800 corrections have been carried out by the construction sector while 220,172 by the trade sector. Over 60,335 expats transferred their services to the food sector, 60,101 to downstream industries and 55,139 to workshops and maintenance sector.

He said a total of 42,836 workers transferred their services to the contracting, cleaning and maintenance sectors, 26,566 to individual sponsors, 24,506 to the transport sector, 19,659 to the social services sector and 15,675 to the agricultural and fishing sectors.

Abuthnain said foreigners can change their professions free of charge using the ministry's electronic services, without visiting its office.

On July 3, Saudi Arabia extended the amnesty of illegal expatriate workers for 4 months, according to the Arab News on Tuesday.

The first three-month amnesty ended at the end of June and the extension was ordered by Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saudi. The Ministry of Labour announced in June that more than 1.5 million foreigners benefited from the amnesty.

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