Saudi nationality law(Saudi Citizenship Law)
officially called the Saudi Citizenship law System, is the law that determines who is a Saudi citizen. Foreigners are not given citizenship even if they meet the terms and conditions.
Original Saudis(Saudi Citizenship Law)
Anyone who was born or resided on Saudi Arabian land from 1332 Hijra – 1914 A.D. until 22/3/1345 Hijra provided that they did not acquire a foreign citizenship prior to this date.
By birth(Saudi Citizenship Law)
A child born in Saudi Arabia to a non-Saudi father and a Saudi mother has the right to Saudi citizenship upon reaching the age of majority if they fulfill the following:
- have permanent residency
- be fluent in Arabic.
- the grandfather of the mother must be Saudi.
- getting an approval from the highest authority in the country (The King).
Children born to unknown parents in Saudi Arabia automatically get citizenship until the identities of the parents are known. Children born to foreigners do not have the right to citizenship,
but may be given nationality if they have a Saudi father.
Before the 1970s, anybody who was born in Saudi Arabia had the right for a citizenship. They had to apply for the citizenship at the age of 18, before turning 19.
Children born to a Saudi father or an unknown or stateless father and Saudi mother could be a Saudi citizen if the conditions are satisfied.
A foreign woman who marries a Saudi man has right to citizenship provided that she gives up her foreign citizenship.
Saudi women who give up citizenship upon marriage to a foreign husband (the marriage should complete 10 years and should have 3 children)
has the right to take up Saudi citizenship if she divorces or returns to Saudi Arabia. One can only apply for citizenship if he is mature.
Additional conditions are in place before the government will recognize a marriage by a Saudi woman to a non-Saudi man and allow a citizenship application.
Saudis working in various sensitive occupations, as well as members of the royal family, are not allowed to marry foreigners at all.
How to Apply for Citizenship
The applicant or his legal representative can apply to the Civil Affairs department or the Kingdom’s representative abroad.
The Interior Ministry Agency of Civil Affairs is responsible for receiving and registering applications to be reviewed.
A committee is formed, consisting of three members, whose ranks are not below the eighth rank, one of whom is legally qualified to verify the following:
- The applicant must have entered the Kingdom in a legal manner and hold a valid passport that enables him to return to his country without restrictions or conditions.
- The applicant must have resided, for a period of no less than ten consecutive years, under a regular residency permit in the Kingdom, with the provisions of its own system.
- The applicant must be working in one of the professions that the country needs.
Conditions for Obtaining Citizenship
The following is required for an applicant for the Saudi citizenship:
- At the time of submitting the application, the applicant must have reached the age of maturity.
- The applicant must not be mentally unstable.
Upon submitting the application, the applicant must:
- Acquire the status of ordinary permanent residence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the provisions of its system for a period of no less than five consecutive years.
- The applicant must be of good conduct.
- The applicant must not have been sentenced to imprisonment for a moral offense for a period exceeding six months.
- The applicant must prove that he earns his income in a legitimate way.
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