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Jan 30 2013

Sons of Saudi women married to foreigners get privileges

By Ibrahim Naffee Sons of Saudi women married to foreigners get privileges
JEDDAH: Expatriate fathers who married Saudi women have expressed their happiness over the implementation of the Cabinet's decision to grant their sons Saudi citizenship privileges.

They said this decision will help them in gaining access to health, education and social services consecrated to Saudi citizens.

The number of Saudi women married to expatriates has reached 584 in the Makkah region, 543 in Riyadh and 490 in the Eastern province. Approximately 2000 Saudi women married foreigners in 2011 according to a recent statistical report released by the Ministry of Justice.

"We aim to enable sons of Saudi women who married foreigners to obtain the Saudi nationality to avoid problems related to their future in the Kingdom. Currently, if a son of a Saudi mother is to marry a Saudi woman, he will find obstacles in obtaining a marriage license from governmental bodies," said Dr. Hussain Al-Sharief, director of National Society for Human Rights in Jeddah.

Expatriate sons of Saudi women can benefit from Saudi citizenship privileges and remain under the sponsorship of their mothers. The government will deal with this category of residents effectively as Saudis to enable them obtaining deferent public services as education and health, according to the cabinet's decision.

The Ministry of Labor will also consider non-Saudi sons of Saudi women as Saudis in the Nitaqat system that aims to strengthen Saudization in the labor sector to help them gain work in private sector companies. Expatriate sons of Saudi women also can be registered in Saudi public schools as Saudi students according to local media sources.

"This decision will help the families of expatriate husbands and Saudi wives to achieve stability in the Kingdom. Our sons now can learn in Saudi public schools and work in private sector companies in accordance with the Nitaqat system," Abdullah Al-Ghani, an Arab expatriate who is married to a Saudi woman told Arab News.

Many expatriates who were born in the Kingdom believe that marriage to Saudi women is the best way to continue living in the Kingdom. "We can transfer our sponsorship to our Saudi wives," said one foreign resident.

"The recent decision to grant Saudi citizenship privileges to expatriate sons of Saudi women alleviated fears of having to leave the kingdom. We can now continue living here and benefit from governmental services as any Saudi citizen would," Abdullah Al-Ghani added.

"I was born in the Kingdom and I have spent all my life in this country. As such I decided to marry a Saudi woman to remain part of Saudi society. This decision will ensure my future and that of my sons. We can remain under the sponsorship of my wife. My sons can also benefit from public services as if they were Saudi," said Abdul Aziz Al-Najjar, a Syrian father of 3 who is married to a Saudi.

© Arab News 2013

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