It is a great opportunity for expatriates living in Saudi Arabia to marry Saudi nationals and secure their career in in Saudi Arabia. However, securing career does not mean the guarantee of job but it only means the stay in Saudi Arabia. If you are an expatriate and want to marry and expatriate girl, procedure is very simple and have been described in this article. One thing is very clear that getting married to a Saudi is very difficult now days. Detailed procedures are mentioned below. Here we will assume that an expatriate wants to marry a Saudi girl. However, requirements are same for both of them with a small distinction that Saudi boy can represent himself in the government departments while only father or elder brother of Saudi girl can represent her. I have explained the benefits for expatriates marrying to a Saudi Girl.
Imarah: 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. Father of the girl needs to go to the Imarah office. Here, he will submit an application to the authorities containing the fact that her daughter wants to marry an expatriate. Reason of marrying will also be mentioned. Keep in mind, reasons like family relations, cousin marriages are more likely to be accepted. Following documents are required to submit along with application for getting married with Saudi girl. After filing the application, a receipt will be generated to follow further process
- National identity card of Saudi girl
- National identity card of father of girl
- Copy of Iqama of expatriate
- Copy of the passport of expatriate
- Passport size photos of both girl and boy
Police Clearance: After two weeks of filing application in Imarah office, next step is to go to police station to get clearance certificate. According to the personal experiences of my friends shared with me, it is really a big problem which can take 4 to 6 months. At police station, they need to perform following procedures before giving you NOC to marry to a Saudi girl.
Finger Prints: First of all, they will take your finger prints and check with their systems that you are not involved in any criminal activity. Although they have already taken your finger prints at the time when you entered to Saudi Arabia, but they will still take it. Moreover, they will check all the record related to your Iqama for the criminal activities. For example, if you are defaulter to a bank for the nonpayment of credit card, this is not a criminal activity. But if you have committed fraud by falsifying documents, it is fraud and criminal activity.
Medical Tests: You and your wife will be asked to perform medical tests from a designated hospital. These tests will confirm that you do not have any diseases which can spread with the marital relations. These diseases are hepatitis, HIV etc. In this regard, it is better if you go to a private laboratory and perform the same tests. If any infectious disease is detected in your blood test, you may face consequences which may reach to Exit. So, it is even better that you don’t provide your Iqama details to even private laboratory. If the result of private laboratory is perfect, you can go for medical test in the designated hospital. This process can take a month or so because you will have to take an appointment for tests from the hospital. Result of test needs to be submitted to the police station.
Confirmation from Kafeel: In our article “Kafeel System in Saudi Arabia”, we have explained that you need to have permission of Kafeel to do any type of activity in Saudi Arabia. Now when you are getting married with a Saudi girl, police department needs confirmation from your Kafeel that you are his legitimate employee. He needs to give you a letter which should be attested by the chamber of commerce. Letter should be directed to the police department specifically. You can also ask from the police department to give you a format of letter to be taken on the letter head of your kafeel. We have listed down some important points for attestation of documents from Chamber of Commerce. I would recommend you to read them before personally visiting chamber of commerce. Letter should contain following details;
- Full Name
- Date of Joining
- Gross Salary
- Profession on your Iqama
Personal Visit of Saudi Girl: Saudi girl will be asked to come to police station only once in the process. She is required to visit to police station so that police officer can ask from her that she wants to get married without any pressure or force from any person in his family whatsoever. After performing all these process which can take 4-6 months, you will be issued a No Objection Certificate from the police department. You need to submit this NOC to Imarah office. Police department reserves the right to reject your application and not to give you NOC due to any reason.
Ministry of Interior: Once the documents are submitted to the Imarah office, next step is Ministry of Interior. Your documents will be sent to the Ministry of Interior within 2 weeks of submission to the Imarah office automatically. You can ask from the Imarah office, the status of your application. Normally it takes 1 month in the Ministry of Interior. It means that you need to wait for 6 weeks after submitting the NOC from the police department. Your contact point will remain Imarah office. If permission is granted by the ministry to marry a Saudi girl, you can go to special court for marriages and divorces on the specified date.
Special Court: Following People Must be Present in Special Court. You need to go to the special court along with the groom, the bride, and bride’s father or brother and 2 witnesses. It is better if you reach there in time.
Documents required to get married in Saudi Arabia: It should be kept in mind that all of them should have the real residence permits (Iqama) or National Identity Cards with validity with them. If you are Egypt national, you need to bring your passport as well. It is better to take copies of all the required documents.
Procedures in the Special Court: Girl’s father will go to the first window and fill an application in Arabic. You can ask for the help of some other person if you are handicap in Arabic.
In this application, he will have to write the name of the bride, his own name, name of the groom and residence permit or national identity card numbers of all of them. This application along with the residence permits of all above members will be given to the guy in the first window. He will register you and ask about the Mahar.
Bride’s father will let them know about the agreed Mahar and your application will be electronically processed.
After this, you will be required to go to a secretary of Qazi. Secretary again, will check the accuracy of the electronically filed application and make sure that all the written names are as per residence permits. He will also make sure that above mentioned five persons are physically present in the hall. After that, he will ask you to wait for your turn in waiting area.
Groom’s name will be called after sometime from the Qazi’s office so you need to be active that time. All five persons will enter into the room and Qazi will ask about all the persons individually.
He will ask groom and then bride about the marriage acceptance. He will also ask from the father of the bride, whether he has received the Mahar.
Here it is very important to know that bride’s father must say that he has received the Mahar. Otherwise, he will ask the groom to pay the Mahar first and then come for the marriage.
If everything goes fine, you will be congratulated by the Qazi. You will be given 3 copies of the marriage certificate duly stamped by them and an original marriage certificate.
These copies are very important since you will have to present them in numerous occasions to the authorities. We have discussed about it in some other article. Enjoy your marriage!!!
Consequences of Not Getting Permission of Saudi Government: It is very important to get permission before getting married to a Saudi girl, absence of this can lead to following consequences.
Disciplinary action can be started against Saudi national.
If marriage is taken place without permission, it will not be considered legal in Saudi Arabia. Hence, they may catch you from your house for living with a girl who is your wife (religiously) but not officially.
Expatriate who has done such an activity will be penalized by cancelling the residence permit.
Mahar: Mahar is the money or any other item including gold and jewels given by the groom to the bride as a gift. This money is property of wife and wife has full discretion to spend it in anyway as she wants. It is better to negotiate about the Mahar first.