Yemenis Trying to Legalize Status Condemn Banks’ Witness Rule

Abdulaziz Al-Rabie
Okaz/Saudi Gazette

TAIF — Illegal Yemenis wishing to correct their status have criticized a banking rule requiring them to bring witnesses to prove their identity before they can pay the fees for their new identity cards.

Mohammad Qader, a Yemeni hoping to correct his status, said the witness requirement is delaying the payment process.

He said: “There are hundreds of Yemenis waiting outside of the bank because finding a witness is not that easy.

“We just want to pay our fees and move on with the paperwork. We have our passports and our accounts are transparent to the bank so I don’t know what the problem is.”

Mohammad Qabas, another Yemeni, said the rule has created a black market. He said: “Some pay strangers money for them to pose as witnesses attesting to their identity. This will only lead to more corruption. Our passports should be enough to be able to deposit money into a bank account.”

Yemeni Deputy Consul Khalid Al-Ammari said 10,000 Yemenis in Taif have become legally resident so far and the consulate is pleased with the speed of the correction process.

Meanwhile, Baha Passport Department Director Gen. Brig. Rasheed Al-Mutairi said the department corrected the status of 6,000 Yemenis from the beginning of the amnesty period until Tuesday.

“The department issued 3,000 visitor cards and Yemenis can now get employed by registering with the Ajeer e-portal and Abshir e-service.

“There are certain requirements they must meet and official documentation they must submit but they are now able to support themselves and their families while they stay in the Kingdom.”

Yanbu Passport Department Director Lafi Samran said 200 Yemenis have corrected their status so far.

He said: “We get an average of 25 Yemenis a day. We offer the service to help Yemenis in Yanbu correct their status. The department is open every day of the week including weekends. We have special booths and hallways for the elderly and visitors with special needs.”

A consultant at the Yemeni Consulate in Jeddah, Humoud Al-Kabsi, said 170,000 Yemenis in the west and south of the Kingdom have corrected their status so far, Al-Madina reported.

According to a royal decree, illegal Yemenis residing in the country before April 9 would be eligible for status correction under the ongoing amnesty.


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