Marriage contracts for expats are now easier in Saudi Arabia

The service will initially be for non-Saudis who speak Arabic. (AFP)
Updated 02 January 2018
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Marriage contracts for expats are now easier in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Justice now gives marriage officers in the Kingdom the power to hold home-based marriage contracts for expats, just like Saudi citizens, after it was previously limited to the courts.

On Thursday, Dec. 29, Jeddah witnessed the first marriage contract for “non-Saudis” from their homes and the picture of the documented contract by a legal marriage officer went viral on social media networks. One spouse holds Jordanian nationality.

This decision will facilitate procedures of marriages to expats and will take into account the social and humanitarian dimension.

The Ministry of Justice pointed out that it will reduce the flow of couples to the courts, where it used to require the presence of the non-Saudi and the spouse in the court to sign the agreement of the marriage contract, in addition to the presence of the wife’s guardian (her father) and the witnesses.

The service is available in the personal status courts in Riyadh and Madinah in this initial stage. It will extend to 14 other personal status courts in other areas, namely, the courts of Makkah, Jeddah, Buraidah, Dammam, Taif, Tabuk and Al-Ahsa, as well as the general courts in Alkhobar, Hafr Al-Batin, Najran, Al-Kharj and Abha.

The service will initially be for non-Saudis who speak Arabic.

Ibraheem Al-Shareef a Saudi legal marriage officer told Arab News: “This permission is given to specific marriage officers under certain conditions where they get a book of contracts to document the expats’ marriage contracts from their homes.”

Petitions for a marriage contract for expats used to be submitted via a form at the court or through the electronic service to register an appointment for a marriage contract in court.

Petitions can now be easily submitted to the marriage officer. “It is important to have a valid Iqama ID, also the presence of the wife’s guardian, in case if she was divorced a divorce contract should be there,” Al-Shareef said.

“No fees are specified to be given to the marriage officer; it is optional,” he added.

Courts will only issue marriage contracts for Saudis in case one of the spouses is a Saudi citizen and the other is not. The matter requires obtaining a marriage permit to ensure that the conditions are met.


Trump: Saudi arrests in Khashoggi death ‘a good first step’

Updated 44 min 34 sec ago
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Trump: Saudi arrests in Khashoggi death ‘a good first step’

  • Trump said that Saudi Arabia has been a great ally
  • The president said he wanted to talk to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on what to do next

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Arizona: US President Donald Trump on Friday called Saudi Arabia's announcement that suspects are in custody in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi a "good first step" and said he would work with Congress on a US response.

The president spoke to the media at a defense roundtable in Arizona hours after Saudi Arabia claimed that Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor last seen on Oct. 2, was killed in a "fistfight" at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The kingdom also said that 18 suspects were in custody and that intelligence officials had been fired.

Asked by a reporter whether he thought Saudi Arabia's explanation for Khashoggi's death was credible, Trump said, "I do. I do." But he said before he decided what to do next, he wanted to talk to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"Saudi Arabia has been a great ally, but what happened is unacceptable," Trump said. Regarding the Saudi arrests, he said, "It's a big first step. It's only a first step, but it's a big first step."