New rules for expat husbands in Saudi Arabia

Published:  7 Aug at 9 AM
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Saudi Arabia has introduced new laws for expatriates who marry local women, allowing them to remain in the country more freely.

With an expat worker population of 9.2 million, the issue of foreigners marrying local women has long since been a bone of contention in Saudi Arabia, with many viewing the legal protection provided as not good enough.

In recent years, the Gulf state has attempted to improve the situation for married couples in such situations, but moves have been largely unsuccessful. Children of such couples have been granted the same benefits as their Saudi parent, while generally foreign women who marry Saudi men have been afforded the same right.

However, up until now, foreign men have found themselves not treated so well, with many being deported upon the expiration of their visa despite being married to a Saudi woman.

But that is all now due to change as husbands are soon to be entitled to the same residence visas as their wives, meaning they will be able to stay in the country without fear of being deported. They will be allowed to work in the private sector, and their marriages will be formally recognised by the state.

In addition, the government is set to consider them fully-fledged Saudi citizens, enabling them to enjoy the security and benefits on offer.
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