The Egyptian embassy in Amman called on Sunday for all Egyptian migrant workers in Jordan to immediately rectify their status in the country by registering with the Jordanian labour offices.
The call comes as the Jordanian labour ministry and the Egyptian embassy agreed on terms to deal with illegal Egyptian migrant workers in Jordan. Jordan has 167,000 registered Egyptian migrants, but the Egyptian embassy estimates that there could be as many as 800,000 people working within the kingdom.
The disparity between the number of documented and undocumented migrant workers in Jordan prompted a crackdown on the practice late last year.
The agreement reached, according to the state news agency MENA, is that the Jordanian government will suspend all campaigns targeting Egyptians until 7 March. Egyptians have untill then to register themselves at the appropriate offices, and the process will be facilitated by the government.
The embassy said in a statement on Monday that it urged all Egyptians to comply with Jordan’s laws and regulations, and to make use of this grace period to rectify their position or face legal consequences in the kingdom.
Similar deals will be made with other Arab countries that have a high migrant worker population present in the kingdom. These workers will be given the chance to apply for the appropriate work permits, dependant on the profession and place of work, which will allow for better handling of poverty and unemployment in Jordan.
Last December, the Minister of Manpower and Immigration flew to Jordan to discuss the situation. During his stay the minister met with his Jordanian counterpart and spoke at length about the possibility of such a grace period and other problems faced by Egyptian migrant workers.
Jordan has stringent laws surrounding work permits, often making it very difficult for migrant workers to obtain the necessary documentation. Migrant workers frequently face discrimination in their employment, ranging from a lack of pay to physical attacks. Undocumented workers are often left without legal representation when such abuses occur.