21 November 2014 update: A friend of mine went to the Passport Office to inquire about the new law for non-Saudi mothers. It is only for divorced and widowed non-Saudi mothers. Non-Saudi mothers who are still married to a Saudi cannot apply for an iqamah, their husbands must do it.
I think this is fabulous news however I have a few concerns. One issue that is not being discussed is whether ex-wife or widow is in possession of her marriage papers, divorce papers and birth certificates of her children in order to be eligible for this. Please ladies…make sure that you have all of the required papers because you never know what will happen. Allah forbid that the ex-husband or the deceased husband’s family try to keep the documentation away from you. Another issue I am questioning is whether the non-Saudi mother needs to prove her residence status is legal with an existing iqamah. What if she has no iqamah, can she still apply? What if the ex-husband or her deceased husband’s family takes her iqamah away and refuses to give it to her, can she still apply? Finally, my understanding is that the iqamah is not forever since details need to be updated every five years. So basically, whatever your marital status at the time of applying for another iqamah, you must prove whether you are re-married, divorced or widowed with the correct papers.
No Iqama Fees For Expat Mothers Of Saudi Children
By Adnan Al-Shabrawi
13 November 2014
The Directorate General of Passports (Jawazat) has started receiving applications from expatriate mothers who have children with Saudi men to be issued with regular residence permits (iqamas) in accordance with a previous decision by the Council of Ministers.
Jawazat spokesman Lt. Col Ahmed Al-Lihaidan said the iqamas would be granted free of charge, without any need for a listed sponsor and for a validity of five years.
“According to the Cabinet decision, the regular iqamas will be issued to expatriate women with children from Saudi husbands whether they are still married, divorced or widowed,” he said.
The spokesman said the government will bear the iqama issuance fees but the woman has to prove that she is married to a Saudi man and has children with him.
Al-Lihaidan, however, did not explain what would happen to those with no children.
The spokesman said there is no age limit for the children of expatriate mothers wanting to be issued with regular iqamas.
“It is not a condition that the expatriate woman should be still married to her husband.
“Divorced and widowed women are also entitled to be given iqamas but will have to update their details every five years,” he said.
Under the decision of the Council of Ministers, non-Saudi women who are mothers of Saudi children will be given permanent iqamas in the Kingdom free of charge and without any sponsor.
According to the decision, these women can work for the private sector and will be considered as Saudi citizens in the Nitaqat program that enforces Saudization policies.
They will also be treated as full-fledged Saudi nationals in general education, universities and health services.
Photo Credit: Ministry Of Interior