Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: Reuters

Cairo: Saudi authorities have said that a foreign wife, who embraces a religion different from her husband, must obtain an independent iqama or a residency permit in the kingdom, a local newspaper has reported.

The Saudi General Directorate of Passports said if an expatriate head of family wants to add his wife and minor children to his iqama, it is mandatory for the wife, if following a different religion, to obtain an independent iqama, Okaz added. This costs SR500.

If a foreign couple marries inside Saudi Arabia and the husband wants to add her to his iqama, her sponsorship must first be transferred to him after a copy of their marriage contract is forwarded and related fees are paid, added the directorate.

In case the minor children were born in the kingdom, the origins and copies of their birth certificates along with a medical report issued by an accredited hospital attached to the application for adding them to the father’s iqama.

Saudi Arabia is home to a large community of migrant workers and their families.