SR100,000 Fine For Violators Of New Marriage Law

By MD Rasooldeen
Arab News | Riyadh
27 June 2011

The Shoura Council said a fine of up to SR100,000 will be imposed on Saudis who violate the regulations of the proposed marriage law that would allow Saudis to marry foreigners.

The bill was approved Monday at the council’s session chaired by Vice Chairman Bandar bin Mohammed Hamzah Hajjar.

The draft marriage law prepared by a special committee appointed by the council contained 13 articles that outlined the social, cultural, environmental and religious impact on Saudi men marrying non-Saudi women and Saudi women marrying non–Saudis.

The bill allows Saudi men and women to marry nationals from the Gulf countries since they belong to the same religion and are supported by identical cultures.

Secretary-General Muhammed Al-Ghamdi explained that applications for marriages where a Saudi marrying a non-Saudi from countries outside the GCC should be made three months prior to the official Nikah ceremony.

Such applicants have to submit their proposal to a special committee in their respective governorates. The committee would forward the application with its recommendations to the governorate for necessary approval by the Ministry of Interior.

According to Al-Ghamdi, such a committee would comprise senior government servants from the ministries of Interior, Foreign Affairs, Justice, Social Affairs and the Saudi Human Rights Commission.

It is laid down in the proposed law that the marriage should be solemnized in accordance with Islamic law and there should not be an age difference of more than 25 years between the bride and groom. It is also specifically mentioned that both parties should be free from diseases and they should not be victims of drug related problems.

The house said that violation of any part of the act will be subject to a fine of not more than SR100,000 to the Saudi national who opts to marry a non-Saudi ignoring local regulations.

It was also said that the collection of such fines should be diverted to the Ministry of Social Affairs, which in turn will offer those funds to organizations that help young Saudis get married.

The members said that family is the nucleus of society and a stable and secure family would contribute to the development of society according to Islamic law.

Shoura Approves Saudis Marrying Foreign Women
Saudi Gazette | Riyadh
29 June 2011

The Shoura Council Monday approved a bill by an absolute majority allowing Saudis to marry foreign women, according to a report carried by the Arabic daily Al-Hayat. The bill was agreed upon, with certain restrictions, after a lengthy and heated debate among the Council members.

The draft law allows all Saudis to marry women from the Gulf Cooperation (GCC) states because of the relationships between these countries and their common social characteristics.

The bill has adopted a moderate and flexible stance toward the marriage of Saudis to women born to a Saudi mother and foreign father and vice versa.

The bill stipulates that the couple’s marriage should be approved by the emirate in the region which has to set up a committee to study the applications.

It also stipulates that the members should be at Grade 12, representing the ministries of interior, foreign affairs, justice, social affairs and human rights bodies. The committee should submit its recommendation to the Ministry of Interior for final approval within three weeks after it has taken a decision.

The draft law also stipulates that the applicants should not have violated any Shariah laws and be free from communicable diseases and drugs. In addition, the difference in age between the partners should not exceed 25 years.

A penalty for violation of the law is set at SR100,000, to be deposited in a current account with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) in the name of the Ministry of Social Affairs.

It also stipulates the marriage contract of a Saudi married to a foreign woman and vice versa should be documented and certified by the authorized courts in the Kingdom after the fulfillment of the conditions. The Saudi chancelleries abroad are authorized to verify marriages taking place overseas.

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Tara Umm Omar

American married to a Saudi.

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