Report: Top Saudi Civil Servants, Security Officials Need Special Authorization Before Marrying Foreigners

Published March 22nd, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

The Saudi Council of Ministers has passed a new law barring a long list of top civil servants and security officials from marrying foreigners without permission from the king, Al-Watan daily reported Thursday. 


The Arabic daily added the list includes ministers, judges, employees in the Royal Court and Cabinet, Shoura members, diplomats and administrative staff in the Foreign Ministry, civil servants posted overseas and chairmen of boards of private companies. It also includes staff of the Defense Ministry, National Guard, internal security, intelligence service, public prosecution and customs. Saudis who marry foreigners without prior authorization will no longer qualify for any of these jobs. 


The restrictions also apply to Saudis studying abroad. Violators risk disciplinary action including sacking and even trial. Ordinary Saudis must obtain a prior permit from the Saudi interior minister to marry a foreigner, except if he or she is a citizen of one of the other GCC member states. But ordinary Saudis can tie the knot with non-Saudis born in the Kingdom and who have a legal residence permit in the kingdom. Such non-Saudis, however, must not be from those “unwanted for personal, nationality or religious reasons, including those having faiths not recognized by Islam.”  


In the event of violation of the rules, foreign spouses will be denied entry into the Kingdom, and their residence will be revoked if they are living in the Kingdom, the newspaper added. (

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