Age Requirements Increased For Saudis Marrying Non-Saudis (40 For Men And 30 For Women)

marra-640x411I was alerted by a FHWS reader who confirmed with the emarah that these new laws are in effect.

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Saudi Men Must Be Aged Between 40 And 65, Women Between 30 And 55
By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
13 October 2016
Gulf News | Manama

A Saudi man has to be between 40 and 65 years old to be able to marry a non-Saudi woman, and a Saudi woman has to be between 30 and 55 if she wants to take a non-Saudi husband, according to new rules.

Saudi nationals need special permissions to take non-Saudi spouses and the new requirements are on a 17-point list issued to govern the marriages of Saudis with foreigners, Saudi daily Al Eqtisadiya reported on Thursday.

Under the new rules, a Saudi man has to make at least 3,000 Saudi riyals (Dh2,935) a month and to have an adequate house or apartment to have his mixed marriage approved.

The woman that he wants to marry must be at least 25 years old and the age difference between the two spouses in all cases must not exceed 30 years.

If the applicant is divorced, at least two years should have passed following the separation before he applies to marry a foreigner, and in case he is married with a Saudi woman and wants a foreigner as a second wife, he must produce a certificate from a public or private hospital stating that his first wife is unable to assume all her marital responsibilities or is infertile. The certificate must be endorsed by the ministry of health.

The applicant must also sign a document stating that the approval of the marriage does not necessarily mean that his foreign wife would be granted the Saudi citizenship.

The rules for Saudi women planning to marry foreigners include a clause that stipulates that the age difference between them must not exceed 10 years.

The condition was set to ensure there is no exploitation of Saudi women, the daily said.

The only exception for the minimum age for the woman is the existence of a physical handicap or special needs, including being born to unknown parents.

In such cases, the minimum age is lowered from 30 to 27 and should be approved by the social affairs ministry.

A non-Saudi cannot take a Saudi wife if he is already married or if he had married a Saudi woman. He must also present a certificate showing that he has no criminal record in his country of origin and in Saudi Arabia.

He must also present evidence he is not suffering from any infectious or genetic diseases. He must not have been a member of the military in a foreign country, must not be on the lists of those banned from entering Saudi Arabia, must have a monthly salary of at least 5,000 Saudi Riyals and a valid residence permit and must possess an appropriate family residence.

He must not be stateless and must have a specific nationality and must prove it with a passport from his country that has at least another 12 months of validity. He must also clear all security checks to be carried out by the competent authorities in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi woman has to sign a statement that her marriage with a foreigner did not necessarily mean he or their children would have the right to be granted the Saudi citizenship.

The new regulations call for the establishment of a committee tasked with looking into all applications by Saudis to take foreign spouses.

The members should give their opinion on the request within one month of receiving the application.

Around one third of the 28 million people living in Saudi Arabia are foreigners, working mainly in the construction and service sectors.

Photo Credit: Saudi Gazette

Ministry Of Justice Surveys 160 Saudi Men Married To Non-Saudis

photocreditalarabiya5% Of Foreign Women Who Married Saudis Are Maids
Arab News | Jeddah
24 July 2016

Five percent of 160 marriages of Saudi men to foreign women in 2013 and 2014 were to domestic workers, says a Ministry of Justice survey.

The Civil Status Court in Jeddah witnesses the signing of a marriage contract between a domestic worker and her sponsor after the man obtains permission from the relevant bodies that allows him to marry the foreigner and the domestic worker gets authorization from her family to facilitate the marriage procedures, said sources.

The survey said of the 160 marriages, 90 were with Moroccan women, 30 with Indonesian women, 13 with Filipinas, 22 with Sri Lankan women and five with Tunisian women.

Ahmad Al-Mabi, member of the ministry’s governance committee, said marriage procedures are similar to those followed for marrying Saudi women: The man has to apply to the governorate, which in turn refers the application to the Interior Ministry; after the approval, it is sent to the Civil Status court, which oversees the signing of the contract.

He said domestics need authorization from their guardians through their consulates/embassies.

He said Saudis marry maids either because the wife is ill or neglects her husband, or because many women leave the running of the house to the maid, which gives them the chance to get closer to their sponsors.

Psychologist Hani Al-Ghamidi said when a man marries his domestic worker, people criticize him and the community rejects the idea, but if one looks at the situation from a humane point of view, a man marrying such a woman is perfectly normal.

He added that working women might not look after their husbands the way they should, while domestic workers who are always there, attract the attention of the men, which leads to such marriages.

Al-Ghamidi confirmed that there are many stories of illegal relations between domestics and sponsors, but there are no clear figures.

Photo Credit: Alarabiya

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2015 Statistics For Saudi/Non-Saudi Marriages

photocreditafpSaudi Women Not Far Behind Men In Marrying Foreigners
Arab News | Riyadh
23 July 2016

Saudi women have joined Saudi men in their penchant for foreigners as life partners. The Ministry of Justice revealed in new statistics that the number of marriage contracts of Saudi men to non-Saudi women last year reached 3,596, while female Saudi marriage contracts to non-Saudi males reached 3,352.

The statistical reports stated that the number of divorces among Saudis last year reached 40,000, representing almost a third of the marriage contracts in the same year, of around 133,000 contracts.

The report explained that the divorce contracts issued from Saudi courts for Saudis in Makkah region reached 10,345, 26 percent of the total divorce contracts issued by various courts in all regions of the Kingdom during the past year, followed by Riyadh, which reached 9,470 contracts, or 23 percent.

The divorce contracts in the Eastern Province reached 4,727, or 12 percent of total divorce contracts.

Statistics also revealed that the number of divorces between Saudi men to non-Saudi women last year reached 1,593, while divorces between Saudi women and non-Saudi men reached 700. The divorces between non-Saudi men and non-Saudi women reached 3,686.

Photo Credit: AFP taken from Aawsat

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Saudi Husband Kicks Non-Saudi Wife And Children Out Of The House

photocreditsabqSaudi Government Extends Helping Hand To Homeless Woman And Children
Gulf Digital News | Riyadh
10 July 2016

The Ministry of Labour and Social Development extended a helping hand to a distressed woman and her children.

The wife, who is a foreigner found herself homeless in the street as her Saudi husband expelled her along with her children from the house.

The ministry acted fast after the homeless family’s story went viral online, prompting words of sympathy and outrage.

Twitter user Turki Al-Hamad was the first to report the case of the homeless family, posting a picture of the mother and her children on his account.

Twitter user Amani Al-Ghamdi reported the case of the family who lives in the province of Tabuk, straight to the Labour and Social Development Minister.

The ministry’s official spokesman Khalid Abal Khail thanked both Twitter users, vowing to act promptly and deal with the case.

Photo Credit: Sabq

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Two Humans Got Married; Racism Wasn’t Invited

photocreditbbcIf it was good enough for the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to marry a foreigner, why isn’t it good enough for you? Prophet Muhammad’s Mixed And Interfaith Marriages: Safiyyah and Maria

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When Saudi Women Marry Foreigners
By Alma Hassoun and Lamia Estatie
BBC Trending
6 June 2016

“This is how racism falls”. These are the words of a Saudi man who attended the wedding of his relative, a Saudi bride who married a non-Saudi groom.

Perhaps the man did not know that the very short clip he posted on Twitter – supposedly showing part of the wedding celebrations – would spark a nationwide social media debate covering the kingdom’s social politics, racism and women’s rights.

The clip – whose provenance we could not verify – shows men dancing in a circle, with a traditional Syrian chant heard in the background, apparently marking the union of the Saudi woman and her Syrian beau, supposedly in the Saudi city of Medina. More than 50,000 people have used the hashtag “a woman from the Harb tribe marrying a Syrian man in Medina”. The tribe to which the bride belongs, as well as the nationality of the groom were the major points of contention in the virtual debate.

Some comments on social media were jubilant at the thought of an inter-country marriage: “What happened tonight in Medina is a good example of the Quran verse ‘Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you,'” was one message.

Others discussed the consequences of marrying ‘foreigners’.

“It is her right to marry whom she chooses, but she can’t come later and shout that her husband and children are foreigners and demand that the nationality is given to them. Think well before you take such a decision,” wrote one tweeter.

We know very few details about the couple in question, although the video seems to indicate that they had the blessing of those in attendance.

Many congratulated the couple, expressing their support for the marriage as a means of combating racism and promoting equality between Saudi men and women: “The most important thing is that he is a Muslim. Say ‘no’ to racism. The law should be equal to both man and woman…”

Others pointed to a discrepancy in attitudes towards the different sexes: “It is fine for a Saudi man to get married to a foreign woman, while the opposite case is forbidden. You wouldn’t make a fuss if a Saudi man was the one marrying a foreigner”

There are examples of interracial relationships in the Koran. And one tweeter gave examples from the time of Prophet Mohammad to show that intermarriage was accepted.

“Bilal bin-Rabah al-Habashi [a companion of the Prophet, who came from the country that is now known as Ethiopia] married Hala, from the Quraysh tribe [one of the most respected Arab tribes which controlled Mecca]. Islam took away these ignorant and racist traditions and you are resurrecting them,” wrote a Saudi architecture student.

Many Saudis were angry that the hashtag was even created to discuss such a personal event. However, many others brought to the fore notions of the superiority of some groups over others. Here are a few of the comments we saw.

“Marriage is a whole life; so it is a big mistake for a Saudi girl to marry a foreigner, a ‘Syrian’ specifically.”

“I wish that she becomes the last Saudi woman who marries a foreigner.”

Another Twitter user wrote: “This is not racism. If you have an authentic and noble steed, would you throw her onto a mule? [No], you would maintain her lineage.”

Saudi laws do not prohibit men and women from marrying outside their nationality, but those who choose to do so have to adhere to certain regulations. Similarly, the process of seeking official approval is often lengthy and drawn out.

Dr Hatoon al-Fasi, a Saudi academic, told BBC Trending that one of her female relatives married a non-Saudi and the process took around 18 months as the groom went through “a long check list.”

She also added that if the couple have children they will not have Saudi citizenship. Dr Al-Fasi said: “Only sons have the right to apply for the Saudi citizenship when they turn 18”. However, the children of Saudi women and foreign fathers get similar treatment to Saudi children in education and other sectors in the country, she added. However every year thousands of Saudi women marry non-Saudis from both Arab and non-Arab origins.

Dr Al-Fasi added that tribal divides within the country were an “increasing phenomenon in the Saudi kingdom”. She said that although the Justice Ministry dropped “incompatibility in lineage” as a legitimate reason for divorce, judges are still divorcing Saudi women from their non-Saudi husbands, in absentia, on these grounds.

Due to a system of guardianship of women in Saudi Arabia, relatives, including uncles, are able to get a woman divorced on the grounds that they have have married “outside their lineage”. Last April, a woman claimed in a video that she was forcibly divorced from her Saudi husband on that basis. Although the Saudi authorities later denied this, saying that incompatibility in lineage is not enough reason to grant a divorce.

Photo Credit: BBC

Book: Saudi Montana

photocreditarabnewsMr. Al-Rabiah’s book, consisting of 260 pages, is available for free download on Amazon.

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Saudi Narrates His Custody Battle With American Ex-Wife
By Sultan Al-Sughair
27 March 2016
Arab News | Al-Khobar

When a Middle Eastern man falls in love with an American woman, not only do their cultures clash, but they also embark on a whirlwind adventure that spans continents and countries. If their relationship ultimately fails, a custody battle over the couple’s children sparks a series of lies, outright deceptions, and may even lead to international kidnappings.

“Saudi Montana” is the title of a true story of the marital relationship and subsequent child custody battle between Ibrahim Al-Rabiah, a Saudi citizen, and his ex-wife Jennifer, an American.

On the surface, there are many differences between life in Saudi Arabia and America, and many people would say that a marital relationship between people from two such different cultures would never last in the first place.

However, “Saudi Montana” shows that while the cultures are different, people in general are much the same. “We all love; we all hurt, and we all will do whatever we can for the welfare of our children. Such was the story between Jennifer and me,” said Al-Rabiah.

“Saudi Montana” reads like a novel and takes the reader through various stages of his life and relationship with his ex-wife. It shows not only the trying times that spoiled their union, but also the happy times and how, despite their cultural differences, they were compatible, at least for a while.

Al-Rabiah said: “Like most tragic romances between people of different cultures who start a family, ‘Saudi Montana’ also details the custody battle Jennifer and I went through for our three children. Yet, the story stands alone in two important ways. First, I do not hide the fact that we both acted irrationally at times, and the story portrays the less than honorable things we both did to gain custody of our children, and those things include both lying and kidnapping.”

“The book tells in detail how a father gained custody of his children through the American legal system. In fact, finding a lawyer to represent me was a trying ordeal. The result is a story that shows the sometimes unspeakable acts parents will commit for their children — all in the name of love.

Although I currently live in Saudi Arabia, the story is geared to an American market.”

“In the events of the story, there are tragedies, sadness and extreme emotions such as anger; also kidnapping children, fighting, and accusations of mistreatment. In the end, the court decided to grant me custody of my children,” he said.

Photo Credit: Arab News

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10,000SR Penalty To Document A Marriage After The Fact

photocreditwhatisall300 Filipino Women Get Married, 12 Of Them To Saudis, In Local Courts
20 March 2016
Saudi Gazette | Jeddah

The Personal Status Courts in all regions of the Kingdom recorded 300 marriages of Filipino women, with 12 of them marrying Saudi nationals. Sources revealed that eight marriages were solemnized between couples with written agreements between the two parties but without being documented in the courts due to the complexity of procedures.

Lawyer Essam Al-Mulla said he received several cases of local residents marrying citizens without documenting the marriage in the Personal Status Court in the past three months.

There were at least eight cases with the marriage arranged by signing a paper between the bride and groom in a process known as “customary” marriage.

In such marriage relationships, problems rose after a couple of months due to the woman’s inability to prove the marriage, the lawyer said. “Most of the women involved were domestic workers or nurses,” Al-Mulla said.

He stressed that in dealing with those cases he was able to communicate with the women’s husbands and try to reach positive solutions through courts.

In the case of the husband’s refusal to recognize the woman as his wife, a lawsuit is filed in court.

“But if the husband wants to settle the issue, he should file a request with the court for documenting the marriage.

He will have to pay a SR10,000 penalty and the request is sent to the Interior Ministry after questioning the concerned parties in the presence of police officials,” Al-Mulla said.

Photo Credit: What Is All

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