Thousands of Ethiopians are still stuck in Saudi Arabia after a 90-day amnesty for undocumented migrants expired on Tuesday without all of them leaving , the Ethiopian government has said.
Communications Minister Negeri Lencho told the BBC that the government has asked for the amnesty to be extended.
He said more than 45,000 citizens had so far returned but there were many more waiting to go back home.
Ethiopians have been employed in Saudi Arabia in building and domestic work.
Mr Negeri said that the government was expecting "a positive response" from the Saudi authorities for its request to extend the amnesty.
Mr Negeri says that there was a slow uptake during the amnesty period because some people were sceptical the Saudi authorities would take action during the just ended period of Ramadan.
Minister Negeri added that a taskforce and money has been set aside to receive and resettle the Ethiopian returnees.