Saudi offers easier marriage contracts for expats

02 Jan 2018, 14:47

File Photo: Reuters

The Saudi 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, reports the Arab News.

On29 December, 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 Saudi ministry 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.

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.