Gulf Labour Markets, Migration, and Population (GLMM) Programme

An international independent, non-partisan, non-profit joint programme of a major Gulf think tank and a globally renowned academic migration centre.
The programme provides data, analyses, and recommendations contributing to the improvement of understanding and management of
Gulf labour migration, population, and labour markets, engaging with and respecting the viewpoints of all stakeholder.

Saudi Arabia: Deportations from Saudi Arabia by month (3/2011-11/2014)

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Monthly figures Cumulated figures
3/2011 33,323 33,323
4/2011 34,311 67,634
5/2011 30,504 98,138
6/2011 38,703 136,841
7/2011 29,724 166,565
8/2011 30,751 197,316
9/2011 43,704 241,020
10/2011 36,087 277,107
11/2011 53,014 330,121
12/2011 54,384 384,505
Total 3 to 12/ 2011  384,505
1/2012 47,473 431,978
2/2012 48,826 480,804
3/2012 46,413 527,217
4/2012 49,296 576,513
5/2012 50,734 627,247
6/2012 53,851 681,098
7/2012 44,693 725,791
8/2012 60,972 786,763
9/2012 51,963 838,726
10/2012 41,944 880,670
11/2012 51,049 931,719
12/2012 47,288 979,007
Total 2012 594,502
1/2013 46,579 1,025,586
2/2013 51,009 1,076,595
3/2013 52,322 1,128,917
4/2013 53,713 1,182,630
5/2013 61,203 1,243,833
6/2013 50,157 1,293,990
7/2013 30,585 1,324,575
8/2013 29,395 1,353,970
9/2013 34,266 1,388,236
10/2013 32,300 1,420,536
11/2013 137,569 1,558,105
12/2013 96,854 1,654,959
Total 2013 675,952
01/2014 55,062 1,710,021
02/2014 52,290 1,762,311
03/2014 46,628 1,808,939
04/2014 46,628 1,855,566
05/2014 49,437 1,905,003
06/2014 50,543 1,955,546
07/2014 44,396 1,999,942
08/2014 43,728 2,043,670
09/2014 56,700 2,100,370
10/2014 43,002 2,143,372
11/2014 46,246 2,189,618
Total 1 to 11/ 2014 534,659

Source: Ministry of Interior.

1. Definition

Saudi Arabia for years has been routinely performing deportations of illegal workers, during amnesty periods and rounding up operations of various scales.
Nitaqat, a massive program of saudization of the work force, was formally launched by the Saudi Ministry of Labour in September 2011 (Ministerial Resolution n°4040, dated 12/10/1432 H.).
The regulation establishes minimum shares reserved for Saudi citizens in a company’s labor force, depending on the size and on the activity sector of the business. Based on their level of compliance to Saudization quotas, the program classifies the private firms into four categories: Premium, Green, Yellow and Red.
Premium and Green categories include the companies with highest Saudization rates, while Yellow and Red include the ones with low rates.
Within this process, ahead of a crackdown on irregular workers/ sojourners, an amnesty period and mandatory regularization campaign were decided, starting April 3rd, 2013. The amnesty allows workers to try to sort out their administrative situation (renew expired documents; register their current employer as their sponsor; register changes in profession and in activity sector, etc.), or leave without paying a penalty.
Workers deported during the amnesty were the ones unable to regularise (for lack of documents, using forged ones, having a criminal record, having absconded, etc.), as well as workers found to redundant under newly established regulations for hiring foreign labourers in compliance with Nitaqat quotas.
The amnesty period expired on November 3rd, 2013. Since then, systematic country-wide raid operations are conducted by Ministry of Labour (in work sites) and by Ministry of Interior (in locations inhabited by aliens).
Deported workersare barred from coming back.

2. Institution which provides data

Ministry of interior

3. Data availability

Monthly figures for irregulars’ arrests and deportation were put online on the Ministry of Interior’s website (chapter “Security News”), until July 2015. Figures were computed by Hijrah months, in Arabic only.
As of 21 September 2015, deportation and arrests’ records are still unavailable online.

Date of access: 21 September 2015

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