Stranded Indian family finally gets exit visas

Members of the Indian family who are going home this week after staying illegally in the Kingdom for 14 years.

Members of the Indian family who are going home this week after staying illegally in the Kingdom for 14 years.

The Saudi government has granted an Indian family of eight final exit visas so that they can go home to Hyderabad.

Maj. Mohammad bin Nasir, in charge of the deportation center, said the government granted the family’s request on humanitarian grounds because it is the holy month of Ramadan.

The family had been living illegally in the Kingdom since 2000. The Indian father and husband, Abdulaziz, came to the Kingdom 19 years ago to work as an assistant pharmacist.

He brought his wife Aneesa Begum and two children Hannan and Hadi on a family visa in 2000, but the same year he had a dispute with his employer and left his job to become a driver and do other work.

He neglected to renew his iqama for 14 years and did not register his four children born here — Noora, Aisha, Subhan and Mannan. They never went to school. However, they learned Arabic at home and can read the holy Qur’an.

Anisa Begum said the family had not been able to make use of last year’s amnesty to go home.
“We tried our best to get an emergency certificate to go home during the grace period but were unable to do so because we did not have the required documents.”

She said her husband had stayed illegally in the Kingdom because he wanted to support their poor family back home.

Abdulaziz has been held at the Shumaisi deportation center for the past four months after being arrested in a routine inspection by the Riyadh police in the Batha area.

When he was arrested, the family faced further problems because their landlord evicted them for not paying the rent.

The family stayed for some time at the SAPTCO station in Azizia, but eventually received aid from the Indian community, social workers and the embassy.

The Indian embassy asked Shihab Kottukad, a consultant with the Non-Resident Keralites’ Affairs Department (NORKA), a welfare organization, to help the family get exit visas.

The family was moved to the Shifa Al-Jazeera polyclinic and is now staying in a rented house until they go home.

Abdulaziz, his wife and two children who came on a family visa were given exit papers first. The four undocumented children were given exit papers on Sunday.

Abdulaziz’s sponsor never declared him an absconder although he had not been in touch with him for almost 15 years.


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