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How to apply for Saudi Citizenship?

6 mins read

After King Salman of Saudi Arabia announced last week to grant citizenship to distinguished individuals, a lot of queries pertaining to the requirements for Saudi citizenship have popped-up all over the discussion forums, and a great number of desirous people are inquisitive and excited to apply for Kingdom’s nationality.

Saudi Arabia’s plan is to attract experts in forensic and medical science, technology, agriculture, nuclear and renewable energy, oil and gas, and artificial intelligence, in addition to specialists involved in arts, sports and culture.

Here are some of the Saudi citizenship’s prerequisites listed down by the government:

Granting Citizenship to Newborns (Children of Saudi Citizens)

  • Saudi citizenship is granted to children born inside or outside the Kingdom if they were born to a Saudi father.
  • Saudi citizenship is also granted to a Saudi mother and a father of an unknown nationality or a father who is stateless.

Granting Citizenship to Foreigners

A child born inside or outside the Kingdom, to foreign parents or to a foreign father and a Saudi mother, and a child born abroad to a known foreign father and a Saudi mother, may select the Saudi Arabian nationality upon reaching the age of maturity, if the following conditions are met:

  • The applicant must be of good conduct and behavior and has never been convicted of a criminal offense or imprisonment for a moral offense for a period exceeding six months.
  • The applicant must be familiar with the Arabic language.
  • The applicant must submit the request after reaching the age of maturity to be granted Saudi Arabian citizenship. As for the disabled or individuals with mental disorders, each of them follows their father in relation to care if the father is alive. If the event of the father’s death, the legal resident must select the Saudi Arabian nationality for him after completing the previous conditions.

In the event that the father obtains a Saudi nationality, the children who have not reached the age of maturity, if they reside in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, are considered Saudis and have the right to choose their father’s original nationality within a year from the date of reaching the age of maturity. However, if the if they reside outside the Kingdom, they are considered foreigners and have the right to choose their father’s Saudi Arabian nationality within a year from the date of their reaching the age of maturity.

How to Apply for Citizenship

The applicant or his legal representative can apply to the Civil Affairs department or the Kingdom’s representative abroad. The Interior Ministry Agency of Civil Affairs is responsible for receiving and registering applications to be reviewed. A committee is formed, consisting of three members, whose ranks are not below the eighth rank, one of whom is legally qualified to verify the following:

  • The applicant must have entered the Kingdom in a legal manner and hold a valid passport that enables him to return to his country without restrictions or conditions.
  • The applicant must have resided, for a period of no less than ten consecutive years, under a regular residency permit in the Kingdom, with the provisions of its own system.
  • The applicant must be working in one of the professions that the country needs.

Once the information is provided by the applicant, the committee will evaluate the application based on three components, representing a total of 33 points to be distributed as follows:

  • Residency of the applicant for at least ten consecutive years with a total score of ten points.
  • The profession of the applicant is proven through scientific qualifications and is based on the country’s needs. The total points should not exceed 13 points and only one qualification of the applicated is counted as follows:
    • Doctorate degree in medicine or engineering allotting thirteen points
    • Doctorate degree in other sciences allotting ten points.
    • Master’s degree allotting eight points.
    • Bachelor’s degree allotting five points.
  • Family ties, ensuring that the applicant has Saudi relatives. The total points should not exceed ten points, distributed as follows:
    • If the father is Saudi, he is allotted three points.
    • If the mother and her father are Saudi, three points are allotted, however if only the mother is Saudi and her father is not, two points are allotted.
    • If the wife and her father are Saudi, three points are allotted, however if the wife is Saudi and her father is not, one point is allotted.
    • If the applicant has more than two Saudi children and brothers, two points are allotted, however if there are no more than two, one point is allotted.

If the applicant obtains 23 points as a minimum score, the committee recommends that he continues reviewing his application. In the event that he doesn’t not achieve the required limit, it is recommended that the application be kept. The applications are reviewed, and the rest of the procedures are completed and submitted to the Naturalization Committee, in order to issue the final recommendation and present it to the Minister of Interior.

The following actions are taken in relation to applications for citizenships:

  • Registration of the application in the records of the serial entry at the time of submission. The applicant is given a voucher indicating the number and date of the application.
  • Fill out the citizenship application form with the applicant’s signature, photo and stamp from the administration.
  • Fill out three copies of the information form.
  • Submit an original copy of all documents supported by the applicant.
  • Inform the applicant of the system’s requirements and ensure that his signature is provided stating his knowledge of the requirements.
  • A medical report proving mental and physical integrity.
  • A statement from the authorities concerned with the specialties that the country needs.
  • A copy of the qualifications, which must be translated to Arabic if it is originally in another language.
  • Submit a statement about wealth owned inside and outside the Kingdom and his sources of income.
  • Submit a statement of religious denomination, political or party activity, and previous military services.

Conditions for Obtaining Citizenship

The following is required for an applicant for the Saudi citizenship:

  • At the time of submitting the application, the applicant must have reached the age of maturity.
  • The applicant must not be mentally unstable.

Upon submitting the application, the applicant must:

  • Acquire the status of ordinary permanent residence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the provisions of its system for a period of no less than five consecutive years.
  • The applicant must be of good conduct.
  • The applicant must not have been sentenced to imprisonment for a moral offense for a period exceeding six months.
  • The applicant must prove that he earns his income in a legitimate way.

Granting Citizenship to a Foreign Woman Married to a Saudi Man

Citizenship is granted to a foreign woman married to a Saudi man if she submits a request to do so and the following conditions are met:

  • Evidence of a legal martial relationship.
  • Announcing that she has abandoned her original nationality before a public notary.
  • The marriage must be in accordance with the instructions regulating the marriage of a Saudi to a foreigner.
  • Submit a statement that the applicant does not have any previous criminal convictions or moral offenses.
  • No notes or restrictions registered with the relevant authorities.
  • The applicant must be residing in the Kingdom.
  • The marriage must last for at least five years and may suffice according to the following:
    • If four years have passed since the marriage and she has not given birth, one or more of the following cases must be met:
      • If one of her brothers or sisters hold the Saudi citizenship.
      • If she was born in the Kingdom to foreign parents.
      • If the husband is one of her relatives.
      • If the husband is a professional, such as a doctor or engineer.
      • If the age difference between her and her husband does not exceed five years.
  • The period that has passed since marriage is sufficient if one of the following cases is met:
    • If the applicant’s father was a Saudi by naturalization and she did not obtain citizenship from him.
    • If the applicant gives birth to more than one child.
    • If the applicant gave birth to one soon and the mother was Saudi.
    • If the applicant gives birth to one son and has more than one brother or sister who holds Saudi citizenship.
    • If the applicant is born in the Kingdom to a Saudi mother and meets the conditions of Article 8 of the system.
  • The previous marriage period of a Saudi husband is calculated for the purpose of completing the arranged period if the applicant has children from a previous husband. The wife of a foreigners, who has recently acquired Saudi Arabia nationality, has the right to become a Saudi unless she decides, within a year of her husband’s attainment of the Saudi Arabian nationality, that she wishes to keep her original nationality.

Granting Citizenship to a Foreign Widow of a Saudi

Citizenship is granted to a Saudi foreign widow if she submits a request to do so and the following conditions are met:

  • Evidence that she is legally widowed by her Saudi husband.
  • The applicant must announce that she has abandoned her original nationality before a judge or a public notary.
  • The applicant must not remarry after her husband’s death.
  • The applicant must reside in the Kingdom.
  • The applicant must submit a statement that she has not been previously convicted of a criminal or moral offense.
  • No notes or restrictions registered with the competent authorities.
  • The applicant must have one or more children who have reached the age of maturity or are close to it, from her deceased Saudi husband or from a previous husband.

The above information is attributed without any modification to Unified National Platform.

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