Saudi Arabia: Want Saudi Nationality? You Must Have the Points!


Prior to applying for Saudi citizenship, a foreign woman married to a Saudi must have a marriage which is legally recognized by the Saudi government.  While Saudis are not forcibly permitted from marrying who they want, they can not bring a foreign wife into the Kingdom unless the marriage has been approved and she is legally recognized by the Saudi government as his wife.

Foreign women who are married to a Saudi can receive Saudi nationality.  In some cases they must give up their home country nationality and in some other cases, they can maintain dual citizenship.  Since this is not an across the board decision among all countries, a foreign woman should check with her home country embassy to find out if her country will still recognize her citizenship if she takes on Saudi citizenship.

However, getting Saudi citizenship is not an easy or small process.  The Ministry of Interior established a process towards determining whether an individual qualified for citizenship back in 1954.

The key issues and requirements at that time were as follows:

Twenty First Article Granting the Saudi Citizenship to the foreign wife of a Saudi Citizen takes place by the Decision of the Minister:of Interior according to Article (16) of the system if she applied and if the following conditions are applicable:


  • 1 Carrying out the legal marriage relationship.
  • 2 If the wife renounced her original nationality to a judge or a notary.
  • 3 If the marriage is according to the statutory regulations of marriage between a Saudi Citizen and a foreigner.
  • 4 The wife must submit a report that she was never sentenced to a criminal or ethical judgment.
  • 5 There must be no comments by the concerned authorities regarding the wife.
  • 6 The wife must be a resident inside the Kingdom.
  • 7 The marriage duration must be 5 years as minimum. However, applicants who do not conform to this condition may be considered if some or all of the following conditions are applicable



The rest of it shows ways a foreign wife can become a citizen without being married 5 years and it’s all about if she has been born in the Kingdom, or her mother or father was born in the Kingdom. There is no mention of work or college.


That was then.  It is nowhere as straightforward or simplified now.  Instead it is based on a point system and the foreign wife requires a minimum number of 17 points before she will be considered a candidate for citizenship.  As evidenced by the requirements to obtain points, the system favors the non-Western foreign wife. Points are accumulated as follows:


  • 2 points for each child not to exceed four points.
  • 1 point for each year she has lived in the Kingdom (following the official marriage approval) not to exceed 12 points.
  • 2 points if she holds a Bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • 2 points if one or more of her relatives already has Saudi nationality.
  • 2 points if the wife was born in the Kingdom.
  • 2 points if she was a resident in the Kingdom prior to her marriage.


The application for citizenship is rejected if the woman has not had any children with her Saudi husband.


Following is the official document from the Ministry of Interior (in Arabic) with the current requirements to apply for Saudi citizenship:


 صدرت موافقة صاحب السمو الملكي الأمير نايف بن عبد العزيز آل سعود ولي العهد نائب رئيس مجلس الوزراء وزير

الداخلية على تعديل مادتين من مواد اللائحة التنفيذية لنظام الجنسية العربية السعودية.

وأوضح المتحدث الرسمي للأحوال المدنية محمد بن جاسر الجاسر , أن التعديلات الجديدة على اللائحة التنفيذية لنظام

الجنسية العربية السعودية اشتملت على تعديل المادة 7 من اللائحة التنفيذية التي تتعلق بالمادة 8 من نظام الجنسية

السعودية الخاصة بالمولودين في المملكة لأب أجنبي وأم سعودية , وتعديل الفقرة 6 من المادة 12 من اللائحة التنفيذية التي

تتعلق بالمادة 26 من نظام الجنسية الخاصة بمنح الجنسية العربية السعودية للمرأة الأجنبية المتزوجة من سعودي.

وقال الجاسر: “إن التعديلات نشرت في الجريدة الرسمية أمس الاول وإنه تم إبلاغ فروع الأحوال المدنية بمناطق المملكة

للعمل بالتعديلات الجديدة.

وفيما يلي نص التعديلات:-

أولا: التعديل على المادة 7 من اللائحة التنفيذية جاء على النحو التالي: “في ضوء ما يقدمه صاحب الطلب من معلومات يتم

تقييم طلبه من لجنة مكونة من ادارة التجنس في فرع الأحوال المدنية في المنطقة من خلال خمسة عناصر موزعة على

النحو التالي:-

. إذا كانت إقامته دائمة في المملكة عند بلوغه سن الرشد فيحصل على نقطة واحدة.

. إذا كان يحمل مؤهلا دراسيا لا يقل عن الشهادة الثانوية فيحصل على نقطة واحدة.

. إذا كان والد الأم وجدها لأبيها سعوديين فيحصل على ست نقاط.

. إذا كان والدها فقط سعودي الجنسية فيحصل على نقطتين.

. إذا كان لصاحب الطلب أخ أو أخت فأكثر سعوديين يحصل على نقطتين.

إذا حصل صاحب الطلب على سبع نقاط كحد أدنى توصي اللجنة بالمضي في دراسة طلبه، وإن لم يحصل على هذا الحد فترفع

اللجنة توصية بحفظ طلبه مع إفهام صاحب الطلب بذلك”.

ثانياً: تعديل الفقرة ) 6 ( من المادة 12 من اللائحة التنفيذية جاء على النحو التالي:-

“في ضوء ما تقدمه صاحبة الطلب من معلومات يتم تقييم طلبها من لجنة مكونة من إدارة التجنس في فرع الأحوال المدنية

في المنطقة من خلال ستة عناصر موزعة على النحو التالي:-

. إذا كان واحداً أو أكثر من أقاربها سعودي ) الأب أو الأم أو الأخ ( فتحصل على نقطتين.

. إذا كانت مولودة في المملكة فتحصل على نقطتين.

. إذا كانت تحمل مؤهلا دراسيا لا يقل عن الشهادة الجامعية فتحصل على نقطتين.

. إذا كانت مقيمة في المملكة لمدة لا تقل عن عشر سنوات متتالية قبل تاريخ الزواج فتحصل على نقطتين.

. عن كل سنة تمضي بعد موافقة الجهة المختصة على الزواج تحصل على نقطة واحدة بحد أعلى إثنى عشرة نقطة.

. إذا أنجبت مولوداً واحداً تحصل على نقطتين وفي حال أنجبت مولودين فأكثر تحصل على أربع نقاط، وفي حال عدم الإنجاب

من سعودي لا ينظر في طلب منحها الجنسية السعودية.

إذا حصلت صاحبة الطلب على سبع عشرة نقطة فتوصي اللجنة بالمضي في دراسة طلبها، وإن لم تحصل فيتم إفهامها بعدم

حصولها على الحد الأدنى من النقاط المطلوبة”.

22 Responses

  1. Are you saying the point system refers to the many immigrants that are in the country? I know for an expat married to a Saudi takes a few months, and the point system does not pertain to her. In my circle of friends, all of them have dual citizenship. One of my friends is from Venezuela, two from Mexico, another from spain and one from the U.S. Before receiving the Saudi citizenship, one must go to their Embassy and tell them they are turning in their passport in order to receive Saudi citizenship. Upon receiving your Saudi passport, you can go back to your embassy and request a new passport. Takes about two to three weeks max.

  2. Norma,

    These new regulations pertain to the foreign women who have married Saudis, not to immigrants. Additionally, not all countries accept the dual citizenship so a foreign woman should check with her respective embassy first. Some embassies may have also changed their rules on dual citizenships too.

    On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 4:32 PM, American Bedu

  3. Right, and I am sure many women/men probably keep their dual citizenship a secret. 🙂

  4. Norma, where are you getting your information? It is NOT a quick and easy deal to get Saudi citizenship, even if you’re married to a Saudi. As a matter of fact, this is the whole point of American Bedu’s post. You’re right, though, on the second part of your post where foreigners must surrender their original’s country’s passport before getting Saudi nationality. I’m sure that if you ask each of your friends who have gotten Saudi citizenship that they have fulfilled the requirements AB has outlined before nationality was granted. (Maybe I misread your post and you were saying that once the necessary points were accumulated and the process started, then it takes months. If that is the case, then you are probably right, though I’d say it takes many months rather than just a few.)

  5. I did say it took months. I meant it takes about three weeks to retain a new passport. I am aware of the post, and I am speaking on personal experience. 🙂

  6. There is a point system, but if you are an expat married to a Saudi with children(marriage recognized), procees is much faster. Sorry for confusion.

  7. even tough you are a Foreign women who are married to a Saudi with childern an haven met all the requairment it is still not that easy .. it take amy mom a year to have one and still not finish

  8. Most ex-pat women married to Saudis who are not born in the Kingdom or have no close Saudi relatives, have a much stricter list of requirements. A non-Saudi woman who is born in Saudi or has Saudi relatives only needs to acquire 7 points compared to the 17 for the ex-pat born outside the country with no Saudi relatives. In addition the Saudi-born non-Saudi woman only needs to complete high school to qualify and does not have to have children. The outside of Saudi born applicant must have at least one child (but will need two to have enough points) and must have a 4 year college degree. That is a 10 point difference.

  9. السلام عليم ورحمة الله وبركاته
    لا أريد أن أطيل الشرح في الموضوع وباختصار شديد أني دخلت المملكة منذ ٩ سنوات مع والدي سعودي الجنسية بتذكرة مرور من جاكرتا أندونيسيا عن طريق مطار الملك عبد العزيز وتوفي والدي من اربع سنوات ومازالت معاملتي تحت الدراسة ومن خلال هذه التسع سنوات حرمت من إتمام الدراسة ومن الوظيفة ومن الزواج. إلخ ً……بسبب عدم حصولي على الجنسية أرجو منكم الرد السريع ماذا أفعل لأحصل على الجنسية لأني أريد السفر لرؤية أمي التي لم أراها منذ تسع سنوات.
    I really need some helps cause I’m so stressed and depressed in waiting, I wish you can help me or at least I get information about this case. Thanks

  10. i am indian . i want saudi citizenship

  11. My question is very important for me,is that,that i was born in saudi arabia and i know arabic language and im 17 but the government of Saudi did,nt gave me id,passport or any thing that shows that im the citizen of Saudi.please help me in this issue what i have to do get my passport now im using my Pakistani id.

  12. Ohhh sorry guys
    I did born in saudi and i have no a nationality or citizenship
    I am 24 years old.
    And they will not gave anybody becuse they are not a human.
    You can see me i am 24 yeas without passport

  13. There is no chance of getting Saudi Nationality even if you have been born in KSA and live 100 years more on this land, unless you have good relations with Prince or Royal family (Ya3ni yabela waasta jamid)

  14. Why anyone in the world would like to have Saudi Citizenship.. Even if you become a citizen — you still will be 2nd class even 3rd class citizen. Everything in Saudi Arabia goes by which clan / tribe you belong to- preference goes by the last name and than who you know among the elites ie. not so royals. I won’t even take it even if they knock on my door.

  15. Hi I’m Indian women and I have married to Saudi men I passed 7 years in Saudi Arabia after my official approval marriage and have 2 babies but still no nationality and want to know how much I collect my points and how to apply for the nationality if some one help me it’s better. Thank you all

  16. @nadia, according to the point system, 2pts for being married to Saudi man, 2pts each for child, u have 2 children that is 4 pts, and 1 point for each year spent in KSA, that is 7 pts in your case. Add all points that comes to 13 points which is less than required 17 points for citizenship eligibility. You’re not eligible at this time. If you stay married for another 4 years, maybe you’ll qualify. Good Luck!!

  17. I have a quick question, although I am not married to a saudi but I was born and raised up in saudi for the past 20-ish years. I haven’t left the country for the past 5 years. In addition to that I study and work in saudi. Doesn’t that give me the chance to get the nationality?

  18. Thank you Ali. For ur comment but I want to work here, when I’m applying for vacancies they want me too have citizenship and when I apply for Indian vacancies they want me to transfer my iqama as u know what I couldn’t,that’s why I want to have early citizenship.

  19. @nadia
    if you have four year degree you might qualify to add more points with that.

  20. I was bron in jeddah saudi arabia since 20 year now can any one guide me how to become a saudi

  21. i was born here in Saudi Arabia on 2001 and still living here, I am studying in Arabic school and never gone out of Saudi Arabia since birth. my parents are both Filipinos, can I apply for Saudi citizenship ?

  22. i am almost 13 years work in saudi arabia nothing eny problem in saudi iam migrator belong to pakistan kashmir i love saudia like culture honestly peace i like so so mutch islamic culture eny thing really really good I want sty in KSA all of my life i am a honest mane i have tow sons fahad rashid and riyaan rashid thank you

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