The Regulation and Process of International Marriage in Saudi Arabia: A Guide to International Marriage Saudi

2 Mar 2024·7 min read
The Regulation and Process of International Marriage in Saudi Arabia: A Guide to International Marriage Saudi

Marrying across borders can be confusing, especially with Saudi Arabia's unique rules. Did you know that in Saudi Arabia there are specific regulations for citizens who want to marry non-Saudis? This article breaks down the steps and requirements so you can understand the process from start to finish.

Keep reading to make international love a little less complicated!

Key Takeaways

  • Saudis need government permission to marry non-Saudis, and there are different rules for men and women.
  • Non - Saudi partners must have legal residence status in Saudi Arabia, and their foreign documents need verification.
  • Marriages do not grant non - Saudis citizenship automatically; they must follow specific laws about this.
  • The marriage process can be done traditionally, through court, or online. Each type has its own steps.
  • For a marriage certificate in Saudi Arabia, couples submit documents, register the marriage, and may need an apostille certification from the home country of the non-Saudi partner.

Overview of International Marriage in Saudi Arabia

Requirements and eligibility for international marriage in Saudi Arabia vary depending on whether the individual is a Saudi male or female marrying a non-Saudi. The process for each scenario will be outlined, including important legal considerations.

Requirements and eligibility

Saudi Arabia sets rules for citizens who want to marry foreigners. To tie the knot, you must meet certain criteria.


  • Saudi men need government permission before marrying a non-Saudi woman. They must apply and wait for approval.
  • Saudi women also require official approval to marry a non - Saudi man. A specific service helps with the application.
  • Couples must be legally eligible to marry. This means they are of age and not already married to someone else.
  • An age difference between a Saudi citizen and a foreigner is considered. The country's marriage laws pay attention to this detail.
  • Foreign documents like birth certificates need verification. They must follow guidelines set by Saudi Arabia for residency purposes.
  • Before getting married, Saudi citizens may have to undergo medical tests. These check for diseases or conditions as part of the process.
  • Non - Saudi residents in Saudi Arabia must have legal residence status. This ensures they can stay in the country after marriage.
  • Non - Saudis marrying into a Saudi family do not automatically gain citizenship. The law has specific rules about this issue.

Process for Saudi male marrying a non-Saudi

  • Saudi males seeking to marry non - Saudi individuals must adhere to specific regulations and procedures.
  • The marriage permission process involves submitting required documents, including passports, birth certificates, and other essential records as outlined by Saudi Arabia's marriage regulations.
  • Age difference between the Saudi male and the non-Saudi partner is a crucial consideration in the approval process.
  • A medical examination to ensure fitness for marriage may be required for the non-Saudi individual.
  • Once all necessary documents are submitted and reviewed, the couple can formalize their marriage through notarial services provided by the government.

Process for Saudi female marrying a non-Saudi

  • Saudi females marrying non - Saudis must comply with specific regulations and legal procedures.
  • They need to apply for marriage permission through a specialized service designed for this purpose, as per the regulations issued in October 2016.
  • The age difference between the female and her non-Saudi partner is a factor considered in the marriage regulations.
  • Additionally, foreign husbands' residence status in Saudi Arabia is also strictly regulated within the framework of international marriage laws.
  • It's important to ensure that all required vital records from both parties are submitted and processed according to the guidelines established for international marriage.

Legal Requirements and Processes for Different Types of Marriages

The legal requirements and processes for different types of marriages in Saudi Arabia vary, including traditional, court, and online marriage processes. Understanding the specific procedures and documentation needed for each type of marriage is essential for a successful international marriage in Saudi Arabia.

Traditional marriage process

The traditional marriage process in Saudi Arabia follows specific customs and procedures, with the following key aspects to consider:


  1. Saudi Arabia has well - established traditions for the traditional marriage process, which includes elaborate ceremonies and rituals.
  2. The regulations governing traditional marriages between Saudis and foreigners emphasize adherence to cultural and religious practices.
  3. The age requirement for marriage is an important consideration in the traditional process, with specific guidelines in place for Saudis and non-Saudis.
  4. Traditional marriage ceremonies often involve the exchange of dowry, a significant aspect of the marital contract determined by mutual agreement.
  5. Religious requirements play a crucial role in the traditional marriage process, with adherence to Islamic customs being a fundamental aspect for both Saudis and non-Saudis.
  6. Documentation plays a vital role in the traditional marriage process, with strict guidelines for submitting essential records as per government regulations.

Court marriage process

  • Saudi Arabia has a specific court marriage process for both Saudi nationals and non-Saudi individuals.
  • This process requires adherence to established regulations and procedures, ensuring the legal validity of the marriage.
  • The court marriage process is governed by the 17 - point list that outlines regulations for marriages between Saudis and foreigners.
  • Foreigners seeking to marry Saudis through the court process must comply with the age difference criteria outlined in the regulations.
  • Submission of foreign - issued vital records plays a crucial role in the court marriage process for residency purposes in Saudi Arabia.
  • For Saudi females seeking to marry a foreigner, the court marriage process involves applying for marriage permission through a designated service.
  • Amendments made in 2016 have further refined and specified the requirements and procedures for court marriages between Saudis and foreigners.

Online marriage process

The online marriage process in Saudi Arabia provides a convenient and accessible option for couples to tie the knot.

  1. Couples can initiate the marriage process via an online platform designed to streamline the application and documentation procedure.
  2. The digital platform offers guidance on submitting required documents, including foreign-issued vital records essential for residency processes in Saudi Arabia.
  3. The system simplifies the documentation of marriage data and finalization of marriage contracts, ensuring a hassle-free experience for applicants.
  4. Foreign husbands can utilize the online process, following specific guidelines to secure their residence status in Saudi Arabia as part of the international marriage regulations.
  5. The online marriage option aligns with the established regulations governing marriages between Saudi citizens and foreigners, providing a comprehensive guide for digitally formalizing marital unions.

Challenges and Considerations for Non-Saudi Individuals

Navigating religious practices and legal requirements, obtaining a marriage certificate in Saudi Arabia, and completing apostille certification can pose challenges for non-Saudi individuals wishing to marry in the country.

For detailed insights into these challenges and considerations, continue reading the full blog post.

Religious practices and requirements

Saudi Arabia has strict religious practices and requirements for international marriages. These include adherence to Islamic customs, such as the requirement that both partners be Muslim.

Additionally, non-Muslims may need to convert to Islam for the marriage to be legally recognized in Saudi Arabia. The country's legal system is based on Sharia law, making compliance with Islamic traditions an essential aspect of international marriage within Saudi Arabia.

Non-Saudi individuals seeking to marry in Saudi Arabia must adhere to the country's religious requirements and obtain permission from the relevant authorities. This can include presenting documentation of their faith and proving their commitment to upholding Islamic customs within the marriage.

Obtaining a marriage certificate in Saudi Arabia

To obtain a marriage certificate in Saudi Arabia, the following steps and considerations should be taken into account:

  1. Submitting Required Documents: Ensure that all necessary documents, such as valid passports, national IDs, and any required medical examinations are completed and submitted.
  2. Registration Process: The marriage must be registered through the appropriate channels, including submission of the necessary forms and completion of any required interviews or meetings.
  3. Legal Requirements: Fulfill all legal requirements set by the government regarding international marriages, including compliance with regulations governing marriages between Saudis and foreigners.
  4. Notarial Services: Take advantage of specific notarial services offered by the government to authenticate the marriage certificate.
  5. Documentation Verification: The foreign-issued vital records used in the residency process must comply with Saudi guidelines for submission, including any additional documentation requested by authorities.
  6. Marriage Data Documentation: Utilize available services for documenting marriage data and finalizing marriage contracts easily and conveniently.
  7. Approval Process: For Saudis marrying non-Saudis or vice versa, ensure that all necessary approvals from relevant authorities are obtained as part of the marriage certificate acquisition process.
  8. Age Considerations: Be mindful that age difference between spouses is a factor considered in the regulations for marriages between Saudis and foreigners.

Apostille certification and other legal requirements

  1. Apostille Certification: It is necessary for non-Saudi individuals to obtain an apostille certification for their marriage documents from their home country.
  2. Importance of Apostille: This certification validates the authenticity of the foreign-issued vital records required for the residency process in Saudi Arabia.
  3. Guidance and Assistance: Non-Saudi individuals can seek guidance and assistance from their respective embassies or consulates to complete the apostille certification process.
  4. Legal Translation: Additionally, all marriage documents must be translated into Arabic by a certified legal translator before being submitted to the relevant authorities.
  5. Notarization and Validation: The translated documents must then be notarized and validated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the individual's home country before proceeding with the apostille certification.
  6. Submission of Documents: Once apostilled, these documents can be submitted to the Saudi embassy or consulate in the individual's home country for further validation and approval.
  7. Compliance with Regulations: Adhering to these legal requirements ensures compliance with Saudi regulations governing international marriage processes for non-Saudi individuals.

Conclusion: Simplifying the International Marriage Process in Saudi Arabia

Simplifying the international marriage process in Saudi Arabia is crucial for both Saudis and non-Saudis looking to marry. The role of Courtly, online marriage options for expats, and final thoughts and recommendations are important factors to consider when navigating the complexities of international marriage in Saudi Arabia.

The role of Courtly

Courtly effectively streamlines the process by offering a service for documenting marriage data and finalizing marriage contracts easily and conveniently in Saudi Arabia. It plays a crucial role in providing notarial services required for international marriages, ensuring that all legal requirements are met, including the submission of foreign-issued vital records used in the residency process.

Saudi females can specifically rely on Courtly to apply for marriage permission to a foreigner, as it offers a streamlined and accessible avenue for navigating this aspect of international marriage regulations.

Additionally, amendments to the 17-point list were issued in 2016, further emphasizing the significance of utilizing Courtly's services when undertaking an international marriage journey within Saudi Arabia.

Online marriage options for expats

Expats have the option of online marriage in Saudi Arabia. The efficient and convenient service allows individuals to document their marriage data and finalize contracts with ease.

This digital process provides expats with a streamlined way to navigate the international marriage regulations in Saudi Arabia, adhering to the specific notarial services offered by the government for online marriages.

Final thoughts and recommendations

Consider utilizing the government's notarial services for the documentation and finalization of your international marriage contract in Saudi Arabia. Take advantage of online marriage options, especially if you are an expat seeking to simplify the process.

Keep in mind that age differences between spouses are considered, so ensure compliance with these regulations when planning your international marriage in Saudi Arabia. Marriage permission for Saudi females marrying non-Saudis is now more accessible through specific services, allowing for a smoother process.

Remember to meet all legal requirements and obtain necessary documentation from foreign-issued vital records used in the residency process. Embrace courtly support as it plays a crucial role in navigating through the complexities of international marriage regulations in Saudi Arabia while ensuring a successful and legally compliant union with your partner.