Saudi Citizenship To Various Specialists


Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz confirmed the king’s directive and said it would be implemented immediately.

However, he said citizenship aspirants should work for protecting the Kingdom’s security and stability and contributing to its development. The Interior Ministry’s Agency for Civil Affairs in Riyadh has started accepting citizenship applications and priority is given to applicants holding doctorates in medicine, engineering and other sciences.

Minimum points

Applicants must accumulate a minimum of 23 points to qualify in the first stage of the process.

Many of the Kingdom’s seven million expatriate workers had applied for citizenship after the Cabinet approved the amended Naturalisation Law.

The new law allows the government to withdraw citizenship from a naturalised Saudi within 10 years if he is convicted of any crime related to honour or undermining security or declared unwanted in the country.

False statement

The new law has also increased the fine to SR30,000 for making a false statement to get citizenship. The applications will be studied thoroughly by a three-member panel and will give 33 points: 10 points for 10-year continuous stay, 13 points for specialisations required by the country (13 points for those who have doctorates in medicine or engineering, 10 points for those holding doctorates in other sciences and eight points for master’s degrees) and 10 points for family relations.

Foreign women

The Cabinet earlier changed Article 16 of the Citizenship Law, allowing the interior minister to grant Saudi citizenship to a foreign woman married to a Saudi or the foreign widow of a Saudi, if she applies for it and relinquishes her original citizenship. The interior minister can also cancel her Saudi citizenship if she ends her marital relationship with the Saudi for any reason and retains her original citizenship or any other foreign citizenship.

Amnesty to prisoners

King Abdullah also declared amnesty to common law prisoners but not convicts who pose a danger to state security or who committed serious crimes, the interior minister said.

Prince Nayef said the pardon covered “convicts in all the Kingdom’s prisons who do not pose a danger to security and are not involved in major crimes.” The minister said that King Abdullah also instructed payment of debts and blood money for prisoners who have insufficient funds of their own, to allow their reintegration into society.

Maj. Gen. Ali Al Harithy, director general of prisons was quoted as saying that more than 11,000 Saudi and foreign men and women prisoners jailed in various parts of the Kingdom will benefit from an amnesty declared by King Abdullah. Al Harithy explained that a panel would determine which prisoners qualified for release according to specific terms and conditions.

The panel comprises representatives of the governorate, police and the prison department.

He hoped that the amnesty would encourage prisoners to change their lives, and stressed the government’s desire to transform the country’s prisons into reformatories.

According to judicial sources, 45 per cent of cases in the Kingdom are related to individual rights and that Saudi courts annually receive an average of 24,000 of such cases.

According to Al Harithy, cases related to divorce and expenditure account for 40 percent of family issues.

Crimes such as theft and drug trafficking represent 40 per cent of the total cases referred to courts.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *