CAIRO: Seven Egyptians arrived in Cairo International Airport Friday after being deported from Saudi Arabia, Youm7 reported.
The deportees arrived on the Saudi Airlines from Jeddah with travel documents issued by the Egyptian consulate there.
As the authorities questioned the Egyptian nationals, they said they left their passports with their Saudi sponsors after disputes, and stayed in the Kingdom to find another job. However, they were arrested by the Saudi authorities and eventually deported.
The Saudi sponsorship system entitles business owners to hold the passports of foreign workers as long as they work for them. But some Egyptian workers stay in the Kingdom despite expired visas in hopes of finding another job.
In three other waves earlier in October, 65 Egyptians were deported from Saudi for overstaying their visa. On Oct. 15, 19 Egyptians were deported with travel documents, also because their passports were withheld by Saudi sponsors.
According to a report issued by the Saudi Labor Department in 2014, the number of Egyptians working in the Kingdom was estimated at 968,000 at the end of 2013, representing about 40 percent of the total Arab expatriate workforce in Saudi Arabia.
In 2013, the Saudi authorities deported about 200,000 foreign workers in four months due to illegal residency. Thousands others have reportedly been deported in 2014, as many workers overstay their visa in hopes to find a new job.