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The Financial Express

Migrant workers urged to wait until Monday for Saudi response

| Updated: September 23, 2020 22:41:49


Migrant workers urged to wait until Monday for Saudi response

The expatriates’ welfare and overseas minister on Wednesday called upon the aggrieved migrants willing to go to Saudi Arabia to get an update from Riyadh about visa and iqama for Bangladeshi workers.

Imran Ahmad told a delegation of workers that his ministry sent a note verbal to the Saudi authorities to extend the duration of visas and work permits for at least three months.

Dhaka is expecting a response by Sunday and the ministry will convey the message to workers by Monday, the FE reporter quoted the ministry officials as saying.

Imran Ahmad and his colleagues held talks with the migrant workers who laid a siege to the ministry housed at ProbashiKallyanBhaban on Wednesday morning.

The workers took to the street for the third consecutive day demanding extension of Saudi visas and validity of iqama (work permit) so that they can join their services in the oil-rich country.

Many workers also held a demonstration in Karwanvazar demanding issuance of tickets by Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) for allowing the migrant workers to join their assignments.

They gathered in front of the Saudiaoffice at Karwan Bazar in the morning laying a siege to Sonargaon crossing around 9:30am. Movement of traffic came to a halt then, the police said.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said Dhaka has requested Riyadh to extend tenures of valid visa and iqama of expatriate Bangladeshis for another three months as they have been stuck at home due to the pandemic. 

According to workers, many of their visa and work permits would expire on September 30. They would lose their jobs if they fail to go to the destination before the deadline.

“We made the request yesterday . . . we are working sincerely to resolve the problem,” the foreign minister was quoted by BSS as saying at his office after an inter-ministerial meeting with expatriates welfare and civil aviation ministries.

He also expected a positive outcome from the Saudi side regarding extension of the Bangladeshi expatriate workers’ visa there. 

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