A number of expatriates who violated the Haj rules and regulations last year were deported, the passports department has announced.
“The expatriates, who performed Haj without permit, came to the Jawazat to renew their iqamas (residence permits) but were caught and handed over to the department of expatriates for deportation,” spokesman Maj. Talal Al-Shalhoub said.
The spokesman explained that the violating expatriates were fingerprinted when they were caught squatting in the Holy Sites.
“The violation of Haj rules will automatically show when the residence permit is presented for renewal or for the issuance of exit-reentry visa. The violator will be deported and banned from entering the Kingdom for 10 years,” he said.
Jawazat sources said a number of expatriates, who were not able to renew their iqamas or do any other procedures through the Abshir electronic site, later discovered that they were being punished for performing Haj last year without permit.
Fadl Al-Jihouri, chairman of the coordinating council for domestic pilgrims, said the punishment against the violating pilgrims will improve Haj services and reduce squatting on streets.
He asked domestic pilgrims to register on the Haj Ministry’s e-portal and to choose licensed Haj operators. He said a number of expatriates and citizens were victims of brokers and intermediaries who deceived them.
“We are making efforts to save from deportation some of the poor victims who were deceived by fake Haj operators,” Al-Jihouri said asking all expatriates and citizens never to do Haj without authentic Haj permits.
Meanwhile, the Jawazat on Monday repeated its warning to expatriates who are in the Kingdom on visit visa not to prolong their stay beyond the visa duration else they will face harsh punishments which may include fines of up to SR50,000, imprisonment of at least six month, deportation and prevention from entering the Kingdom for 10 years.[Source: Saudi Gazette]