An estimated of 81,000 illegal Indonesian workers have little hope of rectifying their status to remain working here or getting travel documents to go home before the Nov. 4 amnesty deadline, said an Indonesian consular official here on Friday.
“Some 88,000 Indonesians have approached our consulate in Jeddah to make use of the grace period, with only 1,000 being able to fulfill requirements to return home. In addition, only 6,000 regularized their job status with new employers,” said the official.
“There is little hope that 81,000 of our nationals will be able to use the grace period in the remaining 29 days, which is a matter of concern for us,” the official said.
The situation is particularly dire for women domestic workers. To regularize their status here, they need to sign contracts with Saudi sponsors. However, there is no labor agreement currently between the Saudi and Indonesian governments.
The Indonesian government stopped recruitment from the country in 2011 and demanded that its housemaids be paid a minimum of SR1,200 a month.
Jakarta also wanted Saudi sponsors to identify family members and submit house plans. The Saudi Ministry of Labor has said this is an invasion of privacy.
Workers face other hurdles, particularly when applying for travel documents.
They must now include copies of their employment contracts signed by their Saudi employers and proof of Indonesian citizenship.
After fulfilling these mandatory requirements, they are then able to obtain iqamas from the Saudi Passport Department and then get an Indonesian passport.