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Non-Saudi wives issued permanent residence permits

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A Cabinet decision taken two years ago granting permanent residency to foreign wives, widows and divorcees of Saudi citizens, has come into effect.

The decision will also give permanent iqamas to foreign mothers of Saudi children, with the state bearing the license fees.

“These women will be counted as Saudis for Saudization purposes if they are employed, and they will be treated like Saudis when it comes to education in schools, universities and government hospitals,” a source linked to the Cabinet, told Arab News.

Lt. Col. Ahmed Al-Leheidan, spokesman of the Passport Department, said the applicants should produce evidence to prove they are/were legally married to Saudi citizens and had children with them.
The applications will be reviewed in Riyadh before the permits are issued, and once they are, they will be valid for five years, renewable every five years. There is no specification regarding the age Saudi children must have to receive the passport.

“The wife of a citizen, or the mother of Saudi children can receive the permit after presenting her official marriage certificate, or the birth certificate of her Saudi children and her passport.

In the case of a divorced woman, she would have to bring her divorce document, family card and children's birth certificates,” Al-Leheidan stated.

Al-Lehidan explained that the permits guarantee foreign women rights, whether they are divorced or widows, as well as their children's rights.

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