Expatriates wishing to marry Saudi women have to undergo a premarital test to ensure they do not take drugs. The new measure which took effect a few days ago makes it mandatory for foreigners to run the test before submitting their marriage applications.
Jeddah health premarital centre director Ali Al-Zahrani said results of the test would be announced within three days. The health authorities have exempted foreign women, who are married to Saudi nationals, from undergoing the test.
“The marriage application is rejected automatically in case the applicant tests positive”, Al-Zahrani said, adding that the test would also cover all types of narcotics and liquor. The authorities have reported no positive cases so far among the expatriates who applied to marry Saudi women.
The premarital test would also include Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection and Acquired Immune Deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), hereditary diseases, hepatitiss B or C.
Instructions have been issued by supreme authorities to make drug tests part of the pre-marital medical check-ups especially for expatriates wishing to marry Saudi women or vice versa, informed sources have said.
The pre-marital medical check-up is obligatory for both Saudi men and women.
Authorities said foreigners should run this test before submitting their marriage applications.
Saudi men wishing to marry foreign women and foreign women wishing to marry Saudi men should obtain the approval of the concerned authorities before tying the knot.
The sources said the directives will prevent embarrassment the men and women usually experience for undergoing this particular test since it has now been made an integral part of the pre-marital medical examination.
They recalled that a number of official and public requests were made in the past few years calling for the drug tests before marriage. The sources said the test will prevent a number of family problems which might crop up as a result of one of the couples being a drug addict.
It is a shame that racism and tribalism exist in a Muslim country. Prejudice towards a certain race or tribe has no place in Islam. Its ludicrous when a woman who helps empower others is put down for her appearance and background. But you can’t hold a good woman down! May Allah grant Nawal the strength to fight the good fight ameen.
A well-known black Saudi woman, who is a family counselor and pilot, has been targeted online by racists, including with images of monkeys and gorillas, questions raised about her citizenship, and death threats.
Nawal Al-Hawsawi said that her work to help victims of domestic violence on social media, including 50,000 followers on Twitter, has been the target of mainly racist men who appear to hate women, foreigners and those who are not members of certain tribes. “In addition, pictures of my family and children have been leaked, threatening their safety.”
Al-Hawsawi said the most recent attack was launched by someone who goes by the name “Saudi Conscience” and operates under the Twitter handle @saudi100d100. He and his followers have blamed foreigners for various socioeconomic problems, including unemployment and gasoline and electricity price increases, she said.
They are a self-proclaimed “National Guard,” divide the country into three groups: “Original Saudis” (certain Bedouin tribes), “Vomit of the Seas Saudis” (Saudis of foreign descent or Saudis that are not members of certain Bedouin tribes), and “Strangers” (all legal residents and foreigners in Saudi Arabia).
They have called for the deportation of all “Strangers,” and for the citizenship of those who are not supposedly “pure” Saudis to be revoked, in addition to immediate deportation.
She said her work is a threat to the “hate agenda” of these Saudi “neo-Nazis.” “I represent everything that they hate. I am a Saudi married to an American and they are openly anti-American. My husband is white and they condemn inter-racial marriages. I am black and they believe all black people are slaves who should ‘remain in their place.’”
“I am a native Saudi from Al-Hijaz, born and raised in Makkah, and they believe people from Al-Hijaz are not real Saudis. I am a Ph.D. student, but they claim that women are not intelligent and shouldn’t be allowed to work. I also hold an FAA pilot’s license while living in a country that does not allow women to drive cars.
“They don’t like to see a strong woman standing up for women’s empowerment, undermining their misogynistic and gynophobic platform. They have successfully bullied many activists into silence in the past and they are trying to intimidate me. But they picked on the wrong person,” Al-Hawsawi said.
Al-Hawsawi said she has filed a complaint with the authorities about the death threats and the comments under the country’s Anti-Cyber Crime Law, overseen by the Communications and Information Technology Commission.
Some of her tweets that have been attacked include a message received from a Pakistani resident who was born and raised in Saudi Arabia and wanted to marry a Saudi, but her brothers objected because of the nationality of the groom.
She also posted a question received from a Saudi teacher being physically abused by her unemployed brother, who had forced her to give him money by taking out bank loans and buy him a car. He had also refused to allow her to marry an Egyptian man because of his nationality.
“Again, this was done in the name of protecting the ‘pure lineage.’ With the victim’s permission, I posted pictures of her bruises and injuries sustained when her brother beat her.”
The children of Saudi women from non-Saudi husbands will not be considered as citizens in the Nitaqat program after the death of their mothers, the Labor Ministry has announced.
“These children carry Iqamas (residence IDs). The ministry considers them as Saudis as long as they are under the sponsorship of their mothers,” Deputy Minister Ahmed Al-Humaidan said.
When the mother dies, her offspring from a non-Saudi father will automatically lose the privilege of being Saudi citizens in the Nitaqat program, he said.
The deputy minister said the presence of these children in the Kingdom after the death of their mother does not concern the Labor Ministry.
“This is a matter that should be decided by the Interior Ministry,” he added.
There are 700,000 Saudi women who are married to non-Saudis, representing around 10 percent of the overall population, according to a Ministry of Justice report issued in 2012.
According to a 2011 report issued by the Ministry of Labor, Yemenis ranked first among foreign men who married Saudi women, followed by Kuwaitis, Qataris, Syrians, Emiratis, Egyptians, Lebanese, and Pakistanis. According to the report, eight Americans, seven Brits and Europeans, and three Turks married Saudi women in 2011.
A decree issued in 2012 gave Saudi citizenship rights to children of Saudi women married to foreign men. According to the decree, the state will pay for the residence fees of children who are half Saudis but from foreign fathers and will allow them to work in private sector companies. The children will be treated as Saudi citizens in education and medical care and will be included in the Saudization program in the private sector.
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
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.
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.