Saudi Arabia: Increased benefits for foreign husbands of Saudi women

Published:  8 Jun at 3 PM
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Expat husbands of Saudi Arabian women who travel to the country for Haj, Umrah or any other kind of business will now be offered regular residence permits known as iqamas.

Furthermore, a royal decree issued just under three years ago also entitles children with Saudi mothers and foreign fathers the same rights as Saudi in education, work and medical treatment. However, the decree does not exempt husbands from being deported following the expiry of the visa they arrive on.

The new rules state that expat husbands can transfer their iqamas into their spouses’ names if they are staying in Saudi Arabia, while their wives can also sponsor them to enter the Kingdom if they are residing abroad.

If they hold valid passports, their marriage contracts are officially documented and their marriages are approved by the Saudi authorities, then the husbands are permitted to work within the private sector. But when their Haj, Umrah or visit visas expire, husbands and children of Saudi women will have to leave the country just like all other expats.

The new rules are believed to have been put in place to save the husbands and children from immediate deportation, and they would now be considered Saudi citizens in terms of the country’s quotas if they work for private companies and organisations.
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