Instructions For Acquiring Permanent Iqamah For Non-Saudi Wife/Widow/Divorcee

permanent_iqamaDear FHWS readers,

It has been a while since I posted and for that, I sincerely apologize. I am very busy and relegate my time towards replying to comments on the blog and in private. I don’t post unless there is something extremely important. Which is right now. I bring to your attention that on 22 March 2015, I was forwarded the below image via Twitter from a FHWS reader who wishes to remain anonymous. I thank this person profusely for their kindness and also my husband for translating the Arabic into English.

Please note that the Saudi husband of a non-Saudi woman is her sponsor and thus he must apply for the permanent iqamah for her. If the non-Saudi woman is widowed or divorced and has a Saudi child or Saudi children, see 9a and 9b. The instructions for the permanent iqamah requirements will have a separate page which will be located at the very top of the blog under the heading, Permanent Iqamah.

Insha’Allah I hope to write about the end of our marriage permission journey when I have more time this summer and can sit down with my husband to develop an outline of everything that has transpired since the last post, Let Me Tell You How I Got Here. It has been a long, bumpy road being here but I get nostalgic just thinking about the first time I walked on Saudi soil.

May Allah expedite your marriage permission approval and permanent iqamah ameen!


Passport Office Requirements For Acquiring A Permanent Iqamah For A Non-Saudi Wife, The Mother Of Saudi Children
Submitted by Anonymous
Transcribed by Tara Umm Omar
Translated by Abu Omar

1. Iqamah, original

2. Passport, original

3. Husband’s national ID, original

4. Marriage permit, original and notarized

5. Family card, original

6. Child’s birth certificate, original

7. Iqamah request form

8. Copy from all of the above (1-7)

9. In case of the widows/divorced:
a. Renew iqamah under current sponsor
b. Or visit the concerned government office to open a file in the system using her own iqamah to be her own sponsor

10. Fingerprints must be done for the wife

Click on image to view it bigger

Click on image to view it bigger

Director General Of Passports: No Iqamah Fees For Non-Saudi Mothers


21 November 2014 update: Someone I know personally 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
Okaz/Saudi Gazette
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

Taking A Saudi Woman As A Second Wife

Wa alawhatdoyouwanttoknowikum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

Yes, it is allowed. I have been a witness to this type of arrangement where the brother of a Saudi woman helped her get permission to marry a non-Saudi whose first wife was also a non-Saudi. So your Saudi should go with her brother to the emarah and apply for the marriage permission. Please note that if you choose to marry a Saudi woman, any children born to the union will not have Saudi citizenship and neither will you ever be able to obtain it. To get a better idea of the issues resulting from this marriage choice, peruse the category, Saudi Women Married To Non-Saudis/Foreigners. Best wishes!


Assalam alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I have been through your blog and found it very useful.

I have started communication with a Saudi woman, who would like me to take her as a second wife.

She is 35 years old (which I have seen makes thins easier) and her father has passed away. Although she does have a brother and mother who is supportive of her decision.

I know that the process is long but would this be even acceptable? Are non Saudi men allowed to take a Saudi woman as a second wife?

Thank you


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