Saudi Arabia's ruler King Abdullah has extended the current amnesty for workers without proper visas to to gain the necessary paperwork or leave the country until November 3.
The four-month extension had been requested by the contractors committee of Jeddah's chamber of commerce, who were concerned that not all of the workers who had been trying to correct their residential status would have been able to do so by the previous deadline, which was due to expire today (July 3).
The Saudi Press Agency said that the Kingdom's Ministry of Labour called on "all concerned companies, individual sponsors and illegal expatriates" to correct both their residence and labour status during the extended amnesty period.
Deputy Minister of Labour Dr. Mufreh Al-Hagbani told a press conference that the extension came following requests from businesses and from a number of embassies from countries where many of these labourers originated.
The ministry also said that 'companions' of expat workers will be allowed to hold certain jobs so long as they are aged over 18 and had spent longer than a year in the Kingdom as the worker's companion.
It was also warned that security forces will continue a crackdown on illegal expat workers once the amnesty period has ended.