Saudi men banned from marrying women from Pakistan, 3 other countries

By Sarah Price - 07 Aug '14 06:18AM

Saudi Arabia has imposed a new law banning Saudi men from marrying women from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Chad and Burma. The law also imposes restrictive rules on men marrying Moroccan women, The Express Tribune reports.

The Saudi daily Makkah newspaper reports: "Saudis will not be able to marry citizens of four nationalities," naming Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma and Chad as the four nations.

Announcing tighter regulations on men wanting to marry foreigners, Mecca Police Chief Assaf Al-Qurshi said that in order to marry outside the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC): first, the bridegrooms will need to give the police a marriage proposal and ID signed by their local mayor; it will then be sent to the government for consideration. Al-Qurshi further said that marriage requests from outside Saudi Arabia are made through official procedures under very strict terms.

The suitors will have to be above 25 years of age.  In case of a divorcee, the person must wait for at least six months after the divorce, the newspaper report further read. For married men, "He should attach a report from a government-run hospital proving his wife is suffering from a chronic disease... or is sterile." On the other hand, if a married man with healthy wife/wives wishes to get married, he will have to get a written proof from their spouse or spouses to let the wedding take place, BBC reports.

However, the government has not yet given any official statement clarifying the new restrictions on marrying foreigners.

According to BBC, unofficial statistics state that Saudi Arabia has a very large foreign workforce -about nine million people or 30 percent of the population and has about 500,000 female residents from the four countries.

Reacting to the news, Pakistani Dawn newspaper wrote: "Our women are safe now." 

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