Saudi Arabia is a prime destination and source of remittances from workers for many coun- tries in Asia and the Arab world. As of mid-2013, expatriates made up 32 percent of the Kingdom’s population, most of them coming from South Asia. They accounted for 56.5 percent of the employed population and 89 percent of the private sector workforce. Since September 2011, and in spite of a spurt in foreign labour recruitment starting in the mid-2000s, a voluntary policy called Nitaqat aims at ‘Saudising’ the Kingdom’s workforce. The most recent data also show the scale of the irregular migration phenomenon in Saudi Arabia: the amnesty campaign which started in April 2013 allowed 4.7 million foreign workers to regularise their status, while an ongoing crackdown on illegals forced one million to leave the Kingdom in 2013 alone, of which (as of November 30, 2013) 547,000 were deported.

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