Saudi Arabian nationality law

Saudi nationality law, officially called the Saudi Arabian Citizenship System, is the law that determines who is a Saudi citizen. Foreigners are rarely given citizenship.[1]

Original Saudis

Anyone who was born or resided on Saudi Arabian land from 1332 Hijra – 1914 A.D. until 22/3/1345 Hijra provided that they did not acquire a foreign citizenship prior to this date.

By birth

A child born in Saudi Arabia to a non-Saudi father and a Saudi mother has right to Saudi citizenship upon reaching the age of majority if he fulfills the following:

Children born to unknown parents in Saudi Arabia automatically get citizenship until the parents identity is known. Children born to foreigners do not have right to citizenship.

By descent

Children born to a Saudi father or an unknown or stateless father and Saudi mother irrespective of the place of birth is a Saudi citizen by descent.

By marriage

A foreign woman who marries a Saudi man has right to citizenship provided that she gives up her foreign citizenship. Saudi women who give up citizenship upon marriage to a foreign husband has the right to take up Saudi citizenship if she divorces or returns to Saudi Arabia.

By naturalization

A foreigner may apply for citizenship if they fulfill the following:

The application is sent to the prime minister, who is advised by the Ministry of Interior. They may or may not reject the application with no given reason. Wives of naturalized citizens has the right to Saudi citizenship, their minor children automatically become Saudis if living in the country. If the children are not living in the country, they remain non-Saudis and have right to take up Saudi nationality upon reaching age of majority, if the naturalized male citizen has female relatives who have the male citizen as their guardian, they will also have right to citizenship.

Loss of citizenship

Loss of Saudi citizenship may occur due to one of the following reasons:

Saudi citizens cannot give up their citizenship without permission; however, the government can revoke someone's nationality if the person is a terrorist threat, as in the case of Osama bin Laden.[2]

Dual nationality

Saudi Arabia does not recognize dual nationality.

Travel freedom

Visa requirements for Saudi citizens

In 2016, Saudi citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 69 countries and territories, ranking the Saudi passport 69th in the world according to the Visa Restrictions Index.


  1. "Saudi Arabian Citizenship System:" (PDF). Refworld. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  2. Ackman, Dan (14 September 2001). "The Cost Of Being Osama Bin Laden". Retrieved 30 August 2016.
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