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International Marriage Law and Marriage Documents’ Aspects in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia, being a conservative country with a rich heritage and a rigid implementation of Islamic law, has its specific marriage laws, especially for foreigners. Therefore, to ensure that the expatriates understand and follow the applicable laws on the subject, this paperwork is required.

Human Rights

Marriage in Saudi is administered under the Sharia Law system, which applies to all people in its precincts, either local or foreign. The only strict legal condition is that the couple has to be Muslim. If one of the parties is not a Muslim, then he or she has to convert before the marriage. Nikah or marriage contract has to be in Arabic and witnessed by two Muslim males.

Required Documents

Requirements for Foreigner to Marry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia:

Passport and Iqama: Both parties ensure that their personal identification documents are legitimate and further show their residential location.

Certificate of Conversion: A certificate of conversion to Islam, if the matter requires one.

Divorce or Death Certificate: Divorce or death papers of your previous marriage.

Employer Consent: Could require a letter of consent from the employer or sponsor.

Medical Checkup: A premarital medical screening will be done to ensure that both are healthy.

Procedure

The steps in the marriage process are given below:

Get a no-objection certificate: This will be available to the relevant country of the foreign national at the embassy or consulate.

Submit Documents: Submit all the relevant documents to the Ministry of Justice for verification.

Attend the Marriage Ceremony: A Nikah ceremony can be performed at the office of an authorized marriage officiant or at a Sharia court.

Registration of Marriage: Once the ceremony has taken place, the marriage has to be registered at the Acting Civil Status Office/ Ministry of Justice.

Challenges and Considerations

Some of the challenges that face a foreigner after marriage in Saudi Arabia are numerous delays in the bureaucracy and strict legal requirements. It is better to source for legal representatives in one’s embassy in order to make it through smoothly. It is also important to understand the cultural norms and respect local customs.

Conclusion

Marrying as an expatriate in Saudi Arabia involves respecting and following some definite legal and religious conditions. Through good preparation and rightly done paperwork, this is a process that an expatriate should be able to go through irrevocably and legally have a marriage within the Kingdom. Proper paperwork will ensure that all the legalities are observed well in a smooth and culturally respective manner.

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