Indian family repatriated from Saudi Arabia

Riyadh, Jan 29 (IANS) An Indian family in Saudi Arabia, which could not return to India during the amnesty period granted by the country’s authorities to illegal expatriates last year, has finally been repatriated.

Members of Zahid Hussain’s family, hailing from India’s Maharashtra state, have been deported and have reached home, the Arab News reported Wednesday.
Zahid, however, was not deported as he holds a valid iqama or identity card issued to expatriates in the country.
The family wanted to return home during the grace period but could not as a woman in the family was pregnant.
International civil aviation rules prevent pregnant women from undertaking long
“I didn’t know whether I will be released or deported, but my family is back in India and that is what I have been seeking for a long time,” the report quoted Zahid as saying.
Zahid thanked the Indian consulate in Jeddah and the Saudi passport department for their humanitarian approach and considering their case even after the expiry of the grace period.
The family was lodged at the Shumaisy deportation centre in Jeddah before the deportation and Zahid is still living at the centre.
Following the implementation of a new labour policy in the country, Saudi authorities granted a seven-month grace period last year for illegal expatriates to either rectify their residency status or leave the country.
The new Nitaqat or Saudisation policy in that Gulf nation makes it mandatory for all Saudi companies to reserve 10 percent of jobs for Saudi nationals.