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Mon 17 Oct 2016 11:17 AM

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Revealed: New requirements for Saudi-expat marriages

Minimum age and salary set, plus there cannot be an age difference of more than 30 years

Revealed: New requirements for Saudi-expat marriages
(Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia has moved to close loopholes in the law governing marriages between expats and Saudi nationals.

Among the new requirements are that the Saudi man has a minimum salary of SR3,000 ($799) and is aged between 40 and 65, according to a report in Arab News.

Non-Saudi women marrying Saudi men must be at least 25 – but there cannot be an age difference of more than 30 years, the newspaper said.

If a Saudi man has been married before, at least two years must have passed since the date of divorce.

And, if the Saudi man is still married, the new couple must present a valid medical report proving that the existing wife is infertile or otherwise “unable to carry out marital duties”.

Marrying a Saudi man does not grant an expat wife the right to Saudi citizenship, the revised law states, and fingerprints of the new couple must be taken on application for marriage.

In cases of Saudi women marrying a non-Saudi man, the woman must be aged between 30 and 55 years and the age difference must be no more than 10 years.

The age requirement is lowered to 27 years “for those with disabilities or illnesses that have made her unacceptable to Saudis”, the newspaper said, or for those with special circumstances, such as orphans, subject to an official document proving this.

Non-Saudi males are not allowed to remarry if they have been previously married or are still married to a Saudi woman. They must have a monthly salary of at least SR5,000 ($1,333) and hold a valid work permit (iqama).

The requirements also stipulate that there must be “underlying social reasons” prompting a Saudi to marry a non-Saudi, and that the marriage visa of the spouse be valid for only one year.

In the case of not benefiting from the visa, at least four years must pass before making another request in this regard, with the approval of the spouse.

Last week, it was reported that Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Justice gave judges the right to rule that a non-Saudi wife or non-Saudi husband can stay in the kingdom until completion of the litigation period in the event of divorce.

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