Expats married to Saudi men can now apply for citizenship

Foreign wives and widows of Saudi men will now be allowed to apply for a Saudi nationality after the Ministry of Civil Affairs resumed receiving requests.

Applications for a nationality by foreign wives will be reviewed by a committee of six members, who will then score applicants based on a  point chart.



For an application to be processed, the foreign female applicant should score at least 17 points, those of which will be granted depending on where the woman was born, her education status, and the duration of her stay in Saudi Arabia.

According to Article 16 of the Saudi Arabian Citizenship System, “the foreign wife of a Saudi may acquire the Saudi Citizenship if she abandoned her original identity to obtain the Saudi Citizenship.”

Earlier this month, Walid Al-Sama’ani, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Justice and President of the Supreme Judicial Council, granted divorced Saudi women custody of their children if there is no dispute between the former couple.



This isn’t the first time Saudi Arabia takes major steps in an effort to improve women’s rights in the kingdom.

In September 2017, the kingdom finally lifted the ban on women driving in the country and even announced plans to launch its first-ever women’s driving schools.

Following that decision, the kingdom approved proceedings controlling the marriage of minors or child brides, granting funds to divorced Saudi women, and approved a three-year law diploma for female members of society.



Saudi Arabia also vowed to create 80,000 job opportunities for women as part of the country’s Vision 2030 initiative launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

According to figures provided by the Ministry of Labour and Social Development, the number of Saudi women working in the private sector increased by 130 percent between 2012 and 2016.