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legal marriage

Posted on March 21, 2014

How to Get Married in Saudi Arabia

Expat

With so many expats in Saudi Arabia it is only natural that they to would go through the life milestones one of which is marriage. The problem with getting married in Saudi Arabia legally is that it isn’t as easy as you may think. Regardless of your religious beliefs, getting married in a Saudi Arabia court means you are getting married the Islamic way. There are a lot of very confusing sites that make the process a lot harder than it really is. Some people will say that they got married in Saudi Arabia by simply visiting a Sheikh and paying a small
fee and they were done. That unfortunately, is not a LEGAL marriage it is a religious marriage that doesn’t hold up in any courtroom and is not legally recognized in Saudi Arabia.

I’ve decided to make this very easy-to wed guide for all you venturing on to the married life.
The first determinant of how to get married in Saudi Arabia LEGALLY is to establish who’s getting married. Because depending on the couples individuals status, things may change, so look for the below criteria that fits you best and follow.

1. BOTH PARTNERS (MALE & FEMALE) ARE OF THE SAME NATIONALITY:(NOT INCLUDING SAUDI)

Depending on where you are from you may be able to avoid the Saudi Courts altogether. If your embassy/consulate has a functioning marriage service then all you have to do is contact your embassy and perform the marriage at the embassy.
•  Many embassies do not have this service so you need to verify with your specific embassy
•  Most embassies will not perform marriage to partners of different nationalities
•  There is a fee associated with the service and must be booked in advance (plan wisely)
Once you have completed the marriage at your respective embassy and obtained the official documents you then need to notify the Saudi officials to recognize your marriage. Bringing all documentation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get it attested does this. Once completed you can take your attested documents to The Ministry of Interiors to obtain a family card and change the status of your iqamas to married. If transferring sponsorship of wife this can also be done here.

2. BOTH PARTIES ARE THE SAME SEX.

Not recognized or legal in Saudi Arabia.

3.BOTH PARTIES ARE MUSLIM BUT DIFFERENT NATIONALITIES:(NOT INCLUDING SAUDI)

You will have to get married through the Saudi Courts this is quickly done but the paperwork is plenty and the process very detailed.
•  Both parties must be present. 2 witnesses are required and the female’s father must also be
present.
•  If the female’s father is not present then someone in place must be appointed by her father
legally buy completing a form of “marriage authorization”
•  The female must also have her sponsor complete a form “no objection” and stamp it.
•  Once all forms are complete you will need to get the forms translated by an authorized
translator. (You can obtain a list from the courts of authorized translator services)
•  Now that all your paperwork is complete and in “ARABIC” then you your partner and the
appropriate appointed people can make your ways to the courts.
•  No appointment is necessary it is very simple and it is first come, first serve so arrive early!

4. MALE IS SAUDI AND FEMALE IS DIFFERENT NATIONALITY:

The key to this union is that the male will have to get pre-approval from the courts before being allowed to marry a woman of different nationality. This woman does not have to be Muslim, but will be encouraged to convert. The process of approval is said to differ between
individuals, but overall is quid simple. Once approval is granted:
•  FOLLOW STEP #3

5. FEMALE IS SAUDI AND MALE IS DIFFERENT NATIONALITY:

Currently this issue is still being debated. It is very hard for a Saudi female to marry outside her nationality. It is frowned upon within the culture but even more troublesome is that the courts also frown it upon. It is not impossible but the approval process is much more difficult.
Some of the forms that were mentioned:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.s.

If have any person-specific questions about this issue, feel free to ask!

Much Love,
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