Saudi women can now “sponsor” their foreign husbands and children, according to the Directorate General of Passports, the one in control of immigration in the Kingdom.
In a press release published on Sunday, Saudi women who are married to non-Saudis can now legally sponsor their children and husbands if they have been married “legitimately.”
Saudi women need to obtain permission from the interior minister in order to marry a foreign national.
Unlike Saudi men, Saudi women who married foreigners were not previously allowed to bring their husbands and children into the kingdom. The only way for husbands and children to stay in the country was to be sponsored by a company for work purposes or otherwise they can’t legally be in Saudi Arabia.
In the kingdom, men can give citizenship to their non-Saudi wives after they have been married for 4 years and have children. The law previously excluded women from having this right.
However, this sponsorship program adopted by the passport general department comes as a relief to many Saudi women, who have their children deported because they cannot inherit the Saudi citizenship.
“The government will be responsible to pay for all fees required for residency papers,” Colonel Badr al-Malik, Director of Media Affairs and spokesman of the Directorate General of Passports.
According to the new changes in the immigration law, husbands and children are only allowed to work in the private sector. The government however has still refused to let them be a part of the public sector.
The residency paper that will be issued to the Saudi females spouses will read “a husband of a Saudi Citizen” as his occupation.
And Finally, husbands or children with criminal records will be excluded.