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