Please Advise A Saudi Woman How To Get An Elusive Iqamah For Her Non-Saudi Husband

Born in Tuscon is a Saudi woman who is married to a non-Saudi man. She has successfully petitioned the Ministry of Interior (MOI) for the marriage approval. Now she has the problem of obtaining an elusive iqamah for her husband to live in Saudi Arabia. If the MOI recognizes her marriage as legal then what is the obstacle? Is it her marriage certificate not being accepted by the Passport Office as in my own case? We are in the same boat and I feel an affinity for her. She has emailed me to publish her dilemma on this blog in desperation. Understandably, she requested to remain anonymous. Please pay special attention to the second to last statement she made, it is deeply profound. Insha’Allah someone can offer her guidance on how to solve her husband’s iqamah problem. She will be reading and hopefully responding to follow-up comments. Thanks, Tara Umm Omar

Dear Tara Umm Omar,

I hope my email finds you in the best health and spirit. I came across your blog while searching for answers to my dilemma. You asked on your page that after reading about the Saudi marriage permission process, would you still marry a Saudi? I take the liberty to answer this question on behalf of my Canadian-Arab husband. Yes! He married me!

We met in March 27, 2007. It was a Tuesday and my memory clearly recollects all the wonderful details of that day. On June 25, 2009, him and I celebrated our first marriage anniversary in Montreal – where I am right now. Why? I can’t get him a residency so we could both live in Jeddah where we got married and where my work is. The irony is that we complied with all the procedures and we obtained a permit from the Ministry of Interior. However, my husband owns his own company and never lived or worked in Saudi Arabia. He was only on a business visit when we both met.

How desperate do you think I am to write to you just to vent and to ask for any tips you could provide that could help us in this situation? I applied at the Interior Ministry, I hired those people called ‘”Mo’akib” in Jeddah, I asked those who are connected, I did everything you could imagine just to get my God given simple right of having an iqama for my hubby so he could live with his wife in her country. Nothing yet. I had to fly to Montreal last June after he was kicked out of Jeddah due to some complications in his visit visa.

I just want to make one thing clear. I got married to my Arab-Canadian husband in June 24, 2008 after obtaining the marriage permit from the Interior Ministry in Saudi Arabia. We did the marriage contract in court in Jeddah. So I followed the rules. What I’m struggling with right now is only obtaining a residency/iqama for him so we could live in Jeddah or at least go back and forth to Jeddah from Montreal. To have the option.

What hurts the most is to see the huge number of expatriates working and living in my own country having the right to bring their family members to live with them and I can’t have a residency for my husband. Why? Because I’m a Saudi ‘woman’. And I chose to marry a non-Saudi man.)

Again, I really appreciate your responsiveness and your spirit. I pray to God that someone might read your blog and give a wise word of advice to help with my situation.

Born in Tucson


Published by

Tara Umm Omar

American married to a Saudi.

14 thoughts on “Please Advise A Saudi Woman How To Get An Elusive Iqamah For Her Non-Saudi Husband”

  1. >Dear saudi sister ihave an simple but perfect advice for u by virtue of which ur foriegn husband will get almost citizenship like visa without any timewaste.I myself am going to marry with saudi women insAllah….. U will have simply purchase an visa which is called ''AZADVisA'' free virtue of this ur husband is free to live with u or go will cost SAR10000.almost…go and buy it and enjoy life without anytension…Also since u r saudi ur children will get all benifits what is then problem…..thats all..take care…. Also if u don't mind.Do u have any unmarried or divorced sister?…….thanks….


  2. >Chiara- I've thought of applying for a business visa through SAGA but the requirements are staggering. For starters, you have to invest over a hundred million riyals! AND you must already have an established business in your country of origin. When it comes to owning land/residence, the qualifications are much more realistic. I think now foreigners are allowed to own property 100% without having to acquire a Saudi sponsor.Mueen- Is this a legit visa provided by the Saudi Embassy or through the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs?Umm Ismail- True.


  3. >Dear Sister Tara: It is provided by saudi embassy.But needs to be purchased from any sponser.In brief money can buy ways….please tell the saudi sister to reply to my last question?Note: Any friend who wants to meet me, iwill be available in saudi arabia in Makkah insAllah from:24-08-09 for umrah…..Also if anyone has job for mech engr then tell me…


  4. >I am not sure where Mueen gets their information from. Children born of a Saudi woman and a non Saudi man are not eligible for anything. If they live in Saudi for ten years, can provide references and prove that they read and write fluent Arabic they can apply for Saudi citizenship just like anyone else. In this matter the child of a Saudi female and a non Saudi male are just like Pakistani immigrants to Saudi. The fact that their mother is Saudi gives them no legal advantage. I am married to a Saudi woman and I can tell you it is our experience that whether or not you get help is based on wasta, reshwa, or just being lucky enough to run into the right person at the office you are visiting. We have had out application for marriage approval in for some 4 years now with no response. My sister in law teaches English at a University in Jeddah. She got her marriage recognise to her Egyptian husband with the help of her father who worked with a Prince. As to how they get his iqama, I'll ask next time we talk to them. They have been living in Saudi for almost ten years now.


  5. >Mueen: I do not have an unmarried or divorced sister. Your question is just 'strange'. The visa you suggested we purchase is not available for Canadians. أبو سنان : I totally agree with what you said."you get help is based on wasta, reshwa, or just being lucky enough to run into the right person at the office you are visiting." I hope I could run into the right person anytime soon. All the rules are easily broken when you know how much to pay to the right people, sadly and unfortunately.However, I only find comfort in the idea that we are all going to stand between the Hands of God one day and be judged for our own deeds. What part of Islam says it is okay to separate a woman from her husband or force them out of the country because of bureaucracy or a corrupt system?Born in Tucson


  6. >Abu Sinan- Insha'Allah you and your wife will get the marriage permission soon. It took us 3 years to get ours approved and another year trying to get our paperwork sorted out with the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC. It's still not sorted out after 7 years masha'Allah.Chiara- Thanks for taking the time to post the info on Saudi citizenship.Born in Tuscon- I feel you. I was separated from my husband when I lived in Bahrain for 2 1/2 years and only saw him once a month, sometimes twice a month. Then I moved to the US and we were separated 2 more years without me getting to see him at all. Hang in there. Its a test from Allah and only He can release you from your situation. May Allah rectify our affairs quickly ameen.


  7. >Inshallah your husband IQAMA problem can be resolved by taking the folllowing steps1. Write a khitaab (Request letter to grant permission for Iqama for your husband) c/o to Prince Ahmad Naib.2. Submit application with rest of the doc's in the MOI head office in Riyadh3. Within 10 days IA you will get the positive feedback. System is getting better in this country.4. Finally fullfilled rest of the formalities for IQAMA from jawazaat.IA Always keep positive faith, do your best leave the rest on Allah


  8. >Mohammad- Allahu akbar! Bless your heart for posting this. Can this procedure also be used to request the marriage court in Riyadh be instructed to issue me and my husband a new marriage certificate and subsequently my iqamah from the passport office?Are you a non-Saudi married to a Saudi or a Saudi married to a non-Saudi? If so, please share your marriage success story and I'll post it to this blog so others can benefit insha'Allah. Email it to and you can remain anonymous.


  9. >Anonymous- The first step would be approaching the Ministry of Interior in person to inquire on how to apply for the marriage permission. In the time being, you may peruse the category list located on the right-hand side of this blog such as marriage permission, marriage permit, Ministry of Interior, Saudi and non-Saudi marriages, marrying non-Saudis etc.


  10. >salam ahlaykoum,bismillah wa rahman wa rahim,Im a french man who just married with a saudi woman and i have the same problem to get a iquama for to join and live with my wife in saudi,so if i understood from Mohammad they have a issue inshallah,just write a khitab to prince Naib and submit the file to MOI and wait 10 days right,to have a agreement for MOI?and then go to jawazad right,just a question did you sure it will be good by this way?al hamdulillah i found this blog and thank you for you advice may allah bless you and all muslim…ahlaykoum salam wa rahmatallah wa barakatu


  11. >Salam ahlaykoum,quel agreable surprise chiara permettez-moi de vous dire que vous parler parfaitement bien le francais,so i would like to say you thanks a lot for you answer and i hope it will be good for all of us…Merci Wsalam…the frenchman(lool)


  12. >Salam,je vous remercie pour votre reponse,effectivement je suis plus a l aise en francais..que me conseiller vous de faire, pour obtenir cette fameuse iqama ya til une solution pour que je puisse rejoindre mon epouse en Arabie(ps:mon clavier est en anglais donc desoler pour les accents lool),j apprecie votre aide meme si ce que des mots mais ils nous apporte un certain reconfort…quant a la paraphrase de stendhal,moi je me pose pas de question,l amour na pas de frontiere et la vie sans amour est comme une plante qui se meurt…je suis fier et heureux d avoir epouser une saoudienne les soucis materiels n altererons pas mes sentiments mais mais rafermirons mes efforts…Merciwsalam


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