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Saudi issues new laws for foreign marriages

Saudi issues new laws for foreign marriages

The new rules set strict requirements on age difference, earnings and even bar marriage to nationals of certain countries

The Saudi government has issued new stricter requirements for the marriage of Saudi men and women to non-Saudis.

The new rules appear an attempt to discourage marriage to foreign nationals with strict criteria and a list of approved countries the spouse can come from.

Saudi men are now required to have appropriate housing, an income of at least SAR3,000 and be aged between 40 and 65 to marry a foreigner, according to Arab News.

The non-Saudi woman must be at least 25 years old with an age difference between the two of no greater than 30 years.

For previously married Saudi men, at least two years must have passed since the date of the divorce.

If the man is still married to a Saudi woman at the time of the request a medical report from a hospital approved by the Ministry of Health must be provided proving the wife is unable to carry out marital duties or is infertile.

The man submitting the request must also agree to adopted decisions by the authority including that the approval does not grant the wife the right to obtain Saudi nationality.

All civil records and fingerprints of the applicant must also be registered.

Saudi women seeking to marry a non-Saudi husband must be aged between 30 and 55 with an age difference of no greater than 10 years.

However, the requirement is lowered to 27 for those with disabilities or illnesses that have made them “unacceptable” to Saudis, according to the publication.

This also applies to orphans and other special circumstances.

Documentation must be provided proving the non-Saudi husband does not have another wife or was previously married to a Saudi woman.

He must also prove he has a clear criminal record and submit medical documentation showing he is not suffering from any infectious or genetic diseases.

Other requirements include proof he has not worked for a foreign army or was included on a black list for entry to the kingdom.

The non-Saudi husband must earn at least SAR5,000 and have appropriate housing.

Saudi woman must also sign documentation acknowledging that the marriage does not grant the husband or their children automatic Saudi citizenship.

For both Saudi men and women there is a list of nationalities they are forbidden from marrying.

Their spouse must possess a passport valid for 12 months with a valid Saudi residency permit and both parties will be subject to a security check.

In addition, underlying social reasons prompting the Saudi’s marriage to a non-Saudi must be proven.

Should the marriage be approved the non-Saudi will be granted a one-year marriage visa.

The new requirements reportedly come following numerous court cases relating to custody and inheritance issues between Saudi and non-Saudi spouses.

Last week, the country’s Ministry of Justice ruled that non-Saudi wives could stay in the kingdom until the completion of litigation, after husbands issuing final exit visas forced many out.

The country’s Shoura Council is also studying the possibility of granting children of Saudi women married to non-Saudi husbands citizenship.

Read: Saudi’s Shoura Council to consider citizenship for children of non-Saudi fathers

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