Citizenship in Saudi Arabia is governed by the Saudi Arabian Nationality Law. Unless you were born to Saudis or were born in the kingdom, obtaining citizenship in the country is a challenging task. It is nearly impossible if your parents are expatriates and foreigners are rarely granted citizenship in the country. However, in this article, we’ve outlined some of the ways in which Indians and other expats can obtain Saudi citizenship.
9 Reasons for foreigners to Obtain Saudi Citizenship
While living as an Expat in Saudi Arabia is a wonderful experience, obtaining Saudi citizenship has numerous advantages, some of them include
- Saudi citizens has visa-free or visa on arrival access to 79 countries and territories
- Saudi citizens can stay in Makkah and Madinah for an indefinite period of time
- Saudi nationals are given job precedence over non-Saudis
- Saudi citizens do not require a visa to go to other GCC countries and can stay indefinitely
- Saudi nationals, without exception, are entitled to a pension after retirement
- Saudi national gets free education and Medical coverage
- Saudi citizen doesn’t need to pay any dependent fees
- Under Citizen Accounts Programme, Low and middle income Saudi families receive monthly monetary assistance from the government
- Saudi citizens are eligible to apply for interest-free social financing to overcome their financial difficulties
How to obtain Saudi Citizenship for expats?
There are at least three ways to get Saudi Arabian citizenship, provided that the applicant meets the Saudi government’s requirements.
1. Saudi Citizenship by birth or by descent
Expats cannot obtain Saudi citizenship simply because they were born in the country. Citizenship is granted to new-borns under the following circumstances:
- Child born to Saudi Father & Saudi Mother = Saudi Citizenship by birth
- Child born to Saudi Father & Non Saudi Mother = Saudi Citizenship by birth
- Child born to Unknown/Stateless Father & Saudi Mother = Saudi Citizenship by Birth
- Child born to Non Saudi Father & Saudi Mother = has Right to Saudi Citizenship if they reach age of maturity, has no history of criminal records and are fluent in Arabic
2. Saudi Citizenship by naturalization
Naturalization based on 33 Points System
Expats who have resided in Saudi Arabia for at least ten years and have had a regular residency permit in compliance with the Kingdom’s requirements are eligible to apply for Saudi citizenship through naturalization, which is based on a 33-point system.
The Saudi Naturalization Committee examines applications in which the Expat earns a minimum of 23 points out of a possible total of 33.
|Saudi Citizenship Criteria Description
|Residence of minimum 10 consecutive years in Saudi Arabia
|Doctorate degree in medicine or engineering
|Doctorate degree in other sciences
|Only Father is Saudi
|Only Mother is Saudi
|Father & Mother is Saudi
|Mother and Only Mother’s Father is Saudi
|Mother and Only Mother’s Mother is Saudi
|Wife is Saudi
|Wife and Wife’s Father are Saudis
|2 or less than 2 Saudi Children
|More than 2 Saudi Children
Citizenship for Talented & Highly Skilled Expats
- Saudi citizenship is granted to a selected number of expatriates with distinguished talents, unique expertise and specialized skills in a number of key professions.
- This includes highly skilled expatriate professionals working in specialized fields such as law, medicine, science, technology, culture, and sport.
- Expats are chosen only on the basis of nominations and public interest, with no possibility to submit applications.
Recommended: 6 Facts about Saudi Arabia that you need to know
3. Saudi Citizenship by Marriage
- Expat Wife of a Saudi Man Foreign women who marry Saudi men have the right to citizenship if they give up their previous citizenship, married for at least 5 years, and present proof of marriage.
- Expat Widow of a Saudi Man Citizenship is granted to a Foreign Widow of a Saudi if she submits a request to do so, provided that she doesn’t remarry after her husband’s death.
Is Dual Citizenship possible in Saudi Arabia and in India?
- Saudis are not permitted to hold dual citizenship. Any Saudi citizen who obtains a foreign nationality without the consent of the Interior Ministry will have their citizenship revoked.
- Furthermore, the Indian constitution makes no provision for dual or multiple citizenship. An Indian’s citizenship is automatically terminated if he or she obtains a second passport.
How does one lose their Saudi Citizenship?
- Voluntary The law allows for the voluntary renunciation of Saudi citizenship. Contact the embassy for more information and required documentation.
- Involuntary The following are reasons for losing Saudi citizenship involuntarily
- A person takes up the citizenship of another country.
- Naturalization was achieved by deception or fraud
- Citizen who is in the ranks of military in any foreign government, without the authorization of the Saudi government.
- Citizens who work for foreign governments in a current state of war with Saudi Arabia
- Saudi Citizenship
- Visa requirements for Saudi citizen
- Saudi Arabian Nationality System
- Saudi Arabia attracts world class foreign professionals
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