Saudi Men Need Permission to Marry Foreigners

Government cracks down, even for foreign women already in the country

By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 6, 2014 2:16 PM CDT

(Newser) – Saudi men now need government consent to take foreign brides—and if their true love happens to be an expatriate from Myanmar, Chad, Pakistan, or Bangladesh, they're out of luck completely, reports Makkah Daily via the Al Arabiya Network. Police have informed Saudi men that they're banned from marrying one of the 500,000 women in the kingdom from those four countries, though there's no word on why the nations were placed on the "do not marry" list.

It's going to be tougher for Saudis to marry other foreigners as well. According to the new rules, groom wannabes have to go through "official channels" to obtain wedding licenses with foreigners. An applicant has to be over the age of 25, divorced for more than six months if he's remarrying, and in possession of a hospital report "proving that his wife is either disabled, suffering from a chronic disease, or sterile" if he's already got at least one spouse waiting for him at home. AFP notes that Saudi Arabia allows men to take up to four wives.

In this file photo, a Saudi man stands in front of a wedding dress at a shop in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
In this file photo, a Saudi man stands in front of a wedding dress at a shop in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.   (AP Photo, File)
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