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Tardy correction work irks illegals.

Several expats have been complaining that the correction process for illegals has slowed during Ramadan. Expats, however, often fail to submit the documents required for sponsorship transfers despite the extension of the amnesty period by four months.Expats complain of slow processing at passport departments and embassies and sponsors' laziness.

Chris Abrah, an Indonesian maid who has been trying to transfer her sponsorship for the past two months, claims that Ramadan has had a negative impact on the process. "I have submitted my medical reports and completed formalities, including registering my biometrics and paying the late fee. I have spent SR 11,000 in the past two months, but am yet to receive my new iqama," she said, adding that when she paid a visit to the Passport Office, the process was extremely slow despite the fact that there was no overcrowding.Dahi Amin, an Egyptian driver who has lived illegally in Jeddah for the past three years, said he found a sponsor two months ago, but has still not received his new iqama. "I have been trying for my sponsorship transfer for the past two months. There are several factors to blame for the delay. For example, Ramadan has reduced productivity to a large extent at the Passport Office and the Egyptian Consulate. I am not worried that my sponsorship transfer may not come through. I am concerned about the crowds I will have to face again after Ramadan." Somaya Hassan, an Ethiopian maid who has been trying to transfer her sponsorship, says her embassy is delaying her documents and that her sponsor has also been ignoring the issue since the beginning of Ramadan. "I have been trying to transfer my sponsorship for the past three months, but failed because of the crowds. I was happy to think there wouldn't be any crowding during Ramadan, but the sponsor has refused to do anything until after Ramadan," she said.

The option of going through the sponsorship transfer process smoothly during Ramadan by employing a middleman is available, but at a premium.

"I waited for my new sponsor to complete formalities, but he was put off by overcrowding. He began the process only recently. My sponsor found a middleman who asked me to pay SR15,000 as opposed to SR10,000 -- the rate prior to Ramadan. The additional SR 5,000 is for the middleman," said Atef Basamah, a Yemeni driver who escaped from his sponsor three years ago.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Jul 30, 2013
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