You are on page 1of 11

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of Interior Ministerial Agency of Civil Affairs

Saudi Arabian Citizenship System:
The Saudi Citizenship System was approved by the Cabinet according to the Decision no. 4 dated in 25/1/1374 Hijra, as follows: 1This system is called the Saudi Arabian Citizenship System 2This system has no retroactive effect, and all decisions and procedures executed according to the previous systems are considered valid. In addition, the citizenships granted according to the previous systems are considered valid. 3The following expressions in the system indicate the description below: � The Saudi is whoever follows the Government of His Majesty the King according to this system’s regulations. � The Saudi by naturalisation is whoever acquired the Saudi Arabian Citizenship according to its regulations. � The foreigner is the Non-Saudi. � The minor is : underage – crazy – insane � Age of maturity is according to the terms mentioned in the Islamic Shari>ah. � Kingdom of Saudi Arabia includes lands, water and atmospheric layer under the sovereignty of the Saudi Arabian. In addition, it includes ships and aircrafts that have the Saudi Arabian flag. 4The Saudis Are: aWhoever acquired an Ottoman Nationality in year 1332 Hijra – 1914 A.D. of original Saudi Arabian land>s inhabitants. bOttoman Citizens born in Saudi Arabian land or residents inside the Kingdom from 1332 Hijra – 1914 A.D. until 22/3/1345 Hijra and did not acquire a foreign citizenship prior to this date. cNon-Ottoman Citizens who resided in the Saudi Arabian land from 1332 Hijra – 1914 A.D. until 22/3/ 1345 Hijra and did not acquire a foreign citizenship prior to this date. 5The Term in Paragraph (a) of the 4th Article is valid for original female inhabitants inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who applied for the Saudi Citizenship recovery after their divorce or the husband>s death. 6After one year of this system’s validity; requests to acquire Saudi Citizenship Certificates are rejected for individuals matching the Paragraphs (b) and (c) of the 4th Article regarding an underage who he reached the legal age for more than one year. 7Individuals born inside or outside the Kingdom from a Saudi father, or Saudi mother and unknown father, or born inside the Kingdom from unknown parents (foundling) are considered Saudis. The foundling inside the Kingdom is considered born in it unless the opposite is proven. 8Individuals born inside the Kingdom from Non-Saudi father and Saudi mother may be granted Saudi Citizenship by the decision of The Minister of Interior in case of the following conditions: aHaving a permanent Resident Permit (Iqama) when he reaches the legal age.

clearance of his possessions must take place in accordance with the real estate possession system. dApplying for the citizenship after one year of reaching the legal age. According to this system. 4He must poof that his income is legal. 13Saudi Citizenship may be withdrawn by a Decree in case of the following: aIf the Saudi Citizen obtained another citizenship and violated Article (11) of this system. his underage children follow his new citizenship (if the statutory laws of the new citizenship required) and lose their Saudi Citizenship. cIf the Saudi Citizen worked for the benefit of a foreign Government during its wartime with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. his wife will obtain it as a result unless she decided within the first year to keep her original Citizenship. 14If the foreigner obtained a Saudi Arabian Citizenship. and they have the right to recover their father>s . unless she requested (within one year as maximum) to keep her Saudi Arabian Citizenship. the Minister of Interior has the right to reject the application of Saudi Citizenship without mentioning the reasons prior to providing the guidance mentioned above. cBeing fluent in Arabic. all documents that prove the requirements of this system must be attached. If a Saudi Citizen acquired a foreign Citizenship without this permission. 9Saudi Citizenship can be granted for foreigners if the following conditions are met: aThe applicant must be above the legal age while applying. b. bIf the Saudi Citizen worked at the Armed Forces of any foreigner Government without obtaining the permission of the Saudi Government. and he may be deprived of residing in the Saudi Arabian lands. Underage children residing in Saudi Arabia are considered Saudis if their father obtained the Saudi Citizenship. his wife loses her Saudi Citizenship if the statutory laws of the new citizenship require that she follows her husband>s nationality. The applicant>s permanent Resident Permit and legal passport (or any other valid document) must be attached to the Citizenship application. d) of this Article. the Saudi Citizen must be warned 3 months in advance before withdrawing his Citizenship. and they have the right to restore their Saudi Citizenship within one year after reaching the legal age. he will be considered Saudi unless the Saudi Government dropped his Saudi Citizenship according to the term of Article (13). 12If the Saudi Citizen acquired a foreign citizenship after the permission. 10Saudi Arabian Citizenship is granted by the Prime Minister according to the guidance of the Minister of Interior. c. and remain working for them despite the Saudi Government>s order for him to quit. dIf the Saudi Citizen accepted working for a foreign Government or international Organisation.bHaving good behaviour. Though. However. bThe applicant must not be crazy or insane. cWhile applying. 2He must have good behaviour. 11Saudis are not permitted to acquire any foreign citizenship without the permission of the Prime Minister. In all cases mentioned in Paragraphs (a. 3Never sentenced to criminal judgment or imprisonment for more than six months. In addition. and never sentenced to criminal judgment or imprisonment for more than six months. the following conditions must be considered: 1He must have permanent Resident Permit (Iqama) inside the Kingdom for five years continuously as minimum.

21The Saudi Citizenship may be withdrawn from the naturalised individual (within the first 5 years of naturalisation) by a Decree according to the Request of the Minister of Interior in case of the following: aIf the naturalised individual is sentenced to a criminal judgment or imprisonment for more than one year. Whereas abroad. 15The Saudi naturalised individual can apply for each female under his guardianship to acquire the Saudi Citizenship. before filing his application. children residing outside the Kingdom have the right to acquire the Saudi Citizenship when they reached the legal age. 23If the Saudi Citizenship was withdrawn from the naturalised individual. 22The Saudi Citizenship may be withdrawn by a Decree according to the guidance of the Minister of Interior and approval of the Prime Minister if proven that the naturalised individual acquired the Saudi Citizenship through cheating. the politician representatives or Councils of the Saudi Government are responsible for receiving the applications and documents. 16The foreign wife of a Saudi may acquire the Saudi Citizenship if she abandoned her original nationality and required the Saudi Citizenship. and the applications of this system must be directed to the Minister of Interior through an official announcement or a receipt to the concerned employee working in the Department at the same region where the applicant resides. 25All Decrees and Decisions regarding granting.original Citizenship within one year from reaching the legal age. However. his wife and children will not lose their Saudi Citizenship as a result. and she has the right to recover her Saudi Citizenship in case of divorce. 18Saudi wife of a foreigner has the right to recover her Saudi Citizenship in case of divorce and returning to the Kingdom. unless their good behaviour is proven. documents or information. 24Ministry of Interior is the concerned authority to carry out this system. bIf the naturalised individual performed or contributed in any operation that disturbs the public security inside the Kingdom. 26If an individual submitted false documents or testimonies in order to acquire the Saudi Citizenship or deny it. they are considered foreigners and they have the right to acquire their father>s Saudi Citizenship within one year from reaching the legal age. it will also be withdrawn from individuals under his sponsorship. left the Kingdom for more than 12 months using his existing passport. the Saudi female does not lose her Saudi Citizenship if she married a foreigner. unless she is allowed to leave the Kingdom with her husband. . and the approval of the Minister of Interior is issued according to these false documents or testimonies. withdrawing or recovering the Saudi Citizenship are considered valid as soon as published officially in the newspaper. ii. lying or falsifying witnesses. bIf an individual lost his Saudi Citizenship according to the Article (11). The applicant. after filing his application. However. 19If an individual lost his Saudi Citizenship. the following terms apply to his wife and children: aWife of the individual who have lost his Saudi Citizenship according to the Article (13) have the right whether to follow her husband>s new nationality or to keep her Saudi Nationality. and joined her husband>s nationality according to statutory laws of this nationality. 17Considering Articles (132 – 133) of Legal Civil Procedures System. The applicant. left the kingdom for more than 6 months. if they were residents outside the Kingdom. 20The applicant>s residency period will be reset if either of the following conditions are met: i.

the system is developed and the speed of information exchange between the terminals and the NIC central computer system is enhanced by 100% which assisted the Administrations of Civil Affairs in controlling computer operations and provide more efficient services to the Citizens. However. as maximum. Second: Administrative Development Field: Administrative development achievements include the following: 1Positions: Focusing on qualifications took place in order to attract master and bachelor graduates. system analysts and bachelor graduates. 2Employment: Announcement of vacant jobs at Civil Affairs took place through Ministry of Civil Services in order to attract qualified employees.R. branches that acquired terminals since 1405 Hijra (when the Civil Affairs Labour began) are not supplied by these new terminals. 28This system invalidates the Saudi Citizenship System issued according to the Royal Administration approval no. 3Establishing the Computer Department: The Computer Department is established and it is responsible for coordinating with the NIC to contribute in defining the problems and obstacles facing the information registrar while registering some procedures. 7/1/47 dated in 13/10/1357 Hijra. 29Only the Royal King have the right to grant the Saudi Citizenship for individuals not matching the terms mentioned in Article (9) or withdraw the Saudi Citizenship from individuals not matching the terms mentioned in Article (13). This effort is performed through a number of programmers and program analysts recommended by the NIC. In addition.he will be imprisoned for two years or fined 1000 S. administrative behaviour and saving documents. it also invalidates the previous systems such as Hijazi Nationality System and Najdi Nationality System or other systems that conflict with it. 2Provide modern equipments: 367 terminals and 363 printers are supplied and distributed on all the branches of Civil Affairs. 27The Minister of Interior issues Decisions regarding this system. 3Training: A member in the Teaching Committee of the General Organisation of Technical Education and Vocational Training is assigned as a part time Consultant to contribute in the Administrative Development and prepare the training plans assisted by a specialised committee consisting of training specialists in order to develop the abilities and skills of the Civil Affairs employees including training on computers. 30This system is considered valid since the approval is issued and published in the official newspapers. and contribute in developing systems and software. Achievements: Achievements and development of the Civil Affairs Sector (one of the important sectors of MOI providing services for Citizens and Expatriates) during the last period are summarised as follows: First: Development and achievements accomplished in the registration procedures at the Civil Affairs (Civil Record) which is automatically linked to the Central Computer System in the NIC include the following: 1Modify the method of displaying data: The method of displaying information on the display screen for the terminal is modified in order to allow the data registrar to view the Citizen>s data. and communicate with the NIC afterwards to discuss the solutions with the specialists. Around 70 employees were hired in the Administrations and Branches of Civil Affairs including a number of master graduates. 4Automation: Administrations and branches of Civil Affairs are supplied with PCs to develop work .

copying machines and shredders are supplied. e. The System: The Saudi Arabian Citizenship system issued by the Royal Order no. In addition. waiting lounges and Centrals. The Children: males and females. and reequip the Civil Affairs Administrations> offices. b. f. If not available. dIssue a circular regarding the methods of dealing with employees that are frequently late or absent and distribute this circular on all Administrations and Branches of Civil Affairs. AC units. special programs are designed to implement few procedures. status of Documents Saving Departments and status of computers. bCarrying out the duties of the Administration of Monitoring at the Civil Affairs. Analysing the information of this statistical book contributes in defining the quantity of work in each branch of Civil Affairs. 5Planning: An Administrative Committee was formed at the Civil Affairs according to the Decision of HRH Deputy Minister.procedures and shift from manual work to automated work through intranet in order to simplify and enhance work with lower cost. This Committee plans. The year: Lunar Hijra year. 7Statistics: For the first time. Executive Regulation of Saudi Citizenship System: First Article: The following expressions are defined as: a. it helps in planning and analysing statistics related to security issues. and a copy centre is established as well to provide services for the Civil Affairs> Administrations and Branches. and finalise the applicants> procedures easily and promptly. a Factory is equipped to issue stamps and another factory to issue the employee>s ID by printing the employee>s information and photo electronically. The Legal Age: 18 and above. 8/20/5604 dated in 22/2/1374 Hijra along with the modifications. d. 6Monitoring: The employees> attendance and Civil Affairs performance is monitored according to the following: aCoordinate with the General Administration of Pursuit for assistance.). In addition. The Citizenship: The Saudi Arabian Citizenship. Birth Certificates…. c. Forms are created to evaluate the performance of the Administration regarding attendance.etc. they are distributed on the Administrations and Branches of Civil Affairs according to their requirements. 8Equipments: Faxes. the birth is proven by the common proving methods such as certificates and registra- . and define the obstacles. number of applicants. Second Article: Birth inside the Kingdom is proven by the Birth Certificate or any official document issued by the concerned authority. cFormation of a work team that consists of qualified employees to monitor work progress of the Civil Affairs branches and ensure the steadiness of work procedures. time consumed to perform a service. The Underage: Individuals who did not reach the legal age. statistical information for the activity of a specific year was collected. coordinates and organises the procedures of Civil Affairs to achieve the highest levels of quick services and develop work procedures. this information was registered in a statistical book issued annually including charts and statistical tables regarding the activity of each procedure such as: number of issued Civil Affairs IDs. stationary. In addition. Family IDs.

The members of this Committee must not be less than the 8th grade and one of them must be qualified legally. 2The applicant>s residence duration must be for 10 years continuously as minimum according to a legal resident permit. 4Submit a facsimile of all the documents required from the applicant. Third Article: According to this system. and it can be proven by other methods such as witnesses. and they must investigate the following: 1The applicant>s arrival to the kingdom must be legal. 5Explain to the applicant the Articles (11. and he must acquire a valid passport allowing him to return to his country without any terms. and the applicant must be provided by a coupon including number and date of his request. 2Fill-in and sign the Citizenship request application no. Sixth Article: The permanent residence mentioned in Article (8) of this system is the continuous actual residence which is proven by the Resident Permit (Iqama). academic certificates and passport registrations.tion of witnesses if they were sanctioned by the Mayor or any official identifier. Forth Article: Citizenship applications are submitted according to the Article (8) of this system to the Civil Affairs Administration within one year of reaching the legal age. (74) by the applicant. 22. 3The applicant must acquire an occupation that is required in the Kingdom. Seventh Article: The following procedures must be followed regarding Citizenship requests according to Article (8): 1Register the request in the incoming record. (76). Fifth Article: The year required for Citizenship applying is calculated starting from the next day of reaching the legal age. and 26) of this system and acquire his signature on that. Eighth Article: First: The Ministry of Interior Agency of Civil Affairs is in charge of receiving and registering applications directed to the Minister of Interior to acquire the Citizenship according to the Article (9) of the system (by filling the specified form). 3Fill-in three copies of the information application no. and apply his photo on the application then stamp it by the Administration. and the Civil Affairs Administration or the Saudi Authority Representative abroad has the right to request his presence personally. the Committee evaluates the application through 3 elements that presents 33 points distributed as the following: . Second: These applications are reviewed initially by a Committee that consists of three members. Third: According to the information submitted by the applicant. Citizenship applications are accepted from the concerned individual or his legal representative.

he acquires 3 points. if the applicant acquired less than 23 points. Fifth: Procedures of any applications recommended by the Committee to be reviewed must be finalised according to the Article (9) of the system. However. if the wife only is Saudi. and if it was not in Arabic it must be translated and verified. dBachelor degree (5 points). if the mother only is Saudi. . 3Ensure that the applicant has Saudi relatives.1Residence for 10 years continuously as minimum (10 points). Tenth Article: The term of having normal intellect and body according to Article (9) of the system must be proven by a medical report issued by a Governmental hospital. bPHD degree in other sciences (10 points). 2577 dated in 13/10/1423 Hijra. the applicant acquires 1 point only. Eleventh Article: Occupation holders required in the country according to the Article (9) of the system are Scientist. Ninth Article: The residence mentioned in Article (9) of the system is proven by the Resident Permit (Iqama) according to the regulations of the Iqama System. Residence inside the Kingdom without the Resident Permit is not considered while applying for the Saudi Citizenship. Twelfth Article: The following procedures must be taken regarding Saudi Citizenship applications according to Article (9) of the system: 1Submit a verified copy of qualifications. However. he acquires 2 points. the committee recommends reviewing his application. cIf the applicant>s wife and the wife>s father are Saudis. bIf the applicant>s mother and the mother>s father are Saudis. cMasters degree (8 points). the Committee recommends saving the application. The sum of the occupation>s points is 13 as maximum. However. he acquires 2 points. the sum of the Saudi relatives is 10 as maximum calculated according to the following: aIf the applicant>s father is Saudi. and must be submitted to the Naturalisation Committee formed by the Ministerial Decision no. 2The occupation of the applicant which proves (through the qualification) the specialities required in the Kingdom. This must be proven by the submitted qualifications and recommendation of the occupation concerned authority. if they were less than two. and define the applicant>s productivity and the languages he speaks fluently. the applicant acquires one point only. Doctors. However. Engineers and rare speciality holders. Forth: If the applicant acquired 23 points as minimum. and only one qualification of the application is calculated according to the following: aPHD degree in Medicine or Engineering (13 points). he acquires 3 points. the applicant acquires 2 points only. in order to issue the final recommendation and submit it to the Minister of Interior. dIf the applicant has more than two Saudi children and brothers.

Second: The Civil Affairs Administrations are responsible to finalise the necessary procedures to register the wife and children of the naturalised individual in the Civil Record according to Article (14) of the system. they must declare this to the Civil Affairs Administration or the Saudi Authority . and Paragraph (c) of Article (9) are proven by the following: 1A certificate signed by the Imam of the Mosque at the applicant>s area. 4Submit a report regarding the religious belief. 3Confirmation of the applicant that he was never sentenced to a criminal judgment or imprisoned for an ethical crime. political activity and military services previously. (76). 8Explain to the applicant the Articles (11. Fifteenth Article: Requests for Saudi Citizenship recovery mentioned in Article (12) of the system are submitted to the Administrations of Civil Affairs or the Saudi Authority Representatives abroad within one year from reaching the legal age. and apply his photo on the application then stamp it by the Administration. 5There must be no comments by the concerned authorities regarding the applicant. 7Fill-in three copies of the information application no. 2Certificate of the applicant>s behaviour by his employer. Thirteenth Article: The term of being fluent in Arabic mentioned in Articles (8-9) of the system is proven by a report specified for each Article separately. 5Submit a facsimile of all the documents required from the applicant. Fourteenth Article: The conditions mentioned in Paragraph (b) of Article (8). and 26) of this system and acquire his signature on that. Seventeenth Article: First: If the foreigner acquired a Saudi Citizenship. Sixteenth Article: Requests for Saudi Citizenship according to Articles (14 – 16) of the system are submitted to the Civil Affairs Administration. 4There must be no precedents in the Applicant>s Criminal Status. Eighteenth Article: If the children of the Naturalised individual decided to remain on their father>s original Citizenship according to Article (14) of the system. 22. his wife will be Saudi if she arrived to the Kingdom and required the Saudi Citizenship. 3Submit a sanctioned certificate by the applicant>s employer defining the applicant>s work nature and his monthly income.2Submit a report of the applicant>s fortune inside the Kingdom or abroad and his income sources. (75). 6The applicant must fill-in and sign the Citizenship request application no.

3If the marriage is according to the statutory regulations of marriage between a Saudi Citizen and a foreigner. However. and the wife>s mother is Saudi. If the husband is on of the occupation holders such as doctors and engineers. Twentieth Article: The term of being a continuous resident inside the Kingdom to acquire the Saudi Citizenship is considered valid even if the applicant left the Kingdom before applying for the Saudi Citizenship and returned before the end of his Exit Re-entry visa duration. bIf they have one child and the wife does not have Saudi relatives. and one or more of the following conditions are applicable: abcdeIf one of the wife>s brothers or Sisters is Saudi. 2If the wife renounced her original nationality to a judge or a notary. applicants who do not conform to this condition may be considered if some or all of the following conditions are applicable: First: If they have been married for 4 years and have no children. Second: If they have been married for 3 years and one or more of the following conditions are applicable: aIf they didn>t have children and the wife has more than one Saudi brother or sister. 6The wife must be a resident inside the Kingdom.Representatives abroad within one year from reaching the legal age and hand over all the Saudi documents under their possession. 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: 1Carrying out the legal marriage relationship. Forth: If they have been married for one year and they have one child. This term is also considered valid even if the applicant left the Kingdom for one year as maximum after applying for the Saudi Citizenship. If the husband is a relative to the wife. 7The marriage duration must be 5 years as minimum. 5There must be no comments by the concerned authorities regarding the wife. 4The wife must submit a report that she was never sentenced to a criminal or ethical judgment. If the age difference between the husband and his wife is less than five years. Nineteenth Article: The Minister of Interior issues the necessary Decisions to grant the Saudi Citizenship according to Article (14) of the system for children who reached the legal age while their father>s application is processing. and she doesn>t match the conditions of Article (8) of the system. Third: If they have been married for 2 years without having children. If the wife was born inside the Kingdom by foreign parents. and one or more of the following condi- .

Twenty Fifth Article: Individuals who lose their Saudi Citizenship must hand over all their Saudi documents to any Civil Affairs Administration or Saudi Authority Representative abroad. dIf the husband is on of the occupation holders such as doctors and engineers. Twenty Third Article: Application or reports related to Saudi Citizenship requests are not accepted unless submitted by the request owner personally or his legal representative.tions are applicable: aIf one of the wife>s brothers or Sisters is Saudi. 7The widow must have a child or more who reached the legal age from her deceased Saudi husband or her previous Saudi husband. Twenty Second Article: Granting the Saudi Citizenship to the foreign widow 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: 1Proving that she is a widow legally. 5The wife must submit a report that she was never sentenced to a criminal or ethical judgment. bIf the wife was born inside the Kingdom by foreign parents. 3If the widow did not get married after her husband>s death. bIf they had more than one child. eIf the wife was born inside the kingdom and she matches the conditions mentioned in Article (8) of the system. Applications and documents are submitted to the concerned employee at the Civil Affairs Administrations or the Saudi Authority Representatives abroad. cIf they had one child and the wife>s mother is Saudi. cIf the husband is a relative to the wife. the marriage duration between a foreign wife and a Saudi husband may be considered if she had children from him. Fifth: The marriage duration may be considered if some or all of the following conditions are applicable: aIf the wife>s father is a naturalised Saudi and she did not acquire the Saudi Citizenship. 6No comments must be available by the concerned authorities regarding the widow. 2If the widow renounced her original nationality to a judge or a notary. . Twenty Forth Article: Warning before withdrawing the Saudi Citizenship (Article 13 of the system) is announced according to the Executive Regulation. Sixth: In case of divorce. 4The widow must be a resident inside the Kingdom. dIf they had one child and the wife had more than one Saudi brother or sister. eIf the age difference between the husband and his wife is less than five years.

Thirty Second Article: The Ministry of interior Agency of Civil Affairs coordinates with the General Security to report the registrations regarding the terms mentioned in the Article (21) of the system in the Criminal Status Record of the naturalised individual within 10 years from obtaining the Citizenship. Thirty First Article: Individuals submitting false statements or documents to the authorities in order proof or deny the Citizenship will be referred to the Control and Investigation Organisation to investigate this issue. Thirty Fifth Article: This regulation must be published in the official newspaper. Thirty Third Article: The concerned Administration of Civil Affairs executes the Decree or Decision issued regarding the Citizenship granting. Twenty Eighth Article: The Minister of Interior issues the Decisions of granting the Citizenship according to Article (8) of the system. withdrawing or recovering by reporting to the official newspaper (Umm Al-Quara) to publish it according to the Article (25) of the system. . Thirty Forth Article: While implementing the system>s terms. acquiring this permission is at his own responsibility. Thirtieth Article: Granting the Citizenship does not exempt the naturalised individual from the statutory regulations of his original country in case these regulations required permission in advance before abandoning his original nationality and obtain a new nationality. Twenty Ninth Article: The Minister of Interior issues the Decisions of withdrawing the Citizenship according to Article (16) of the system.Twenty Sixth Article: If the children residing outside the Kingdom choose to obtain the Saudi Citizenship according to Paragraph (a) of Article (19) of the system. and it is considered valid from date of publishing. the international agreements between the Kingdom and other countries must be considered. they have to announce this at any Saudi Authority Representative in the country they reside when they reach the legal age. Twenty Seventh Article: All applications mentioned in the system must be submitted to the Minister of Interior.