How to Get Saudi Citizenship

Updated November 21, 2016

Obtaining Saudi Arabian citizenship is difficult, but not impossible. There are a couple of paths to becoming a citizen, however, none allow you to become one with less than ten years of residency. All citizenship requests are handled by the Minister of the Interior, and the Prime Minister awards citizenship upon the Minister of the Interior's recommendation. Being a Saudi citizen has its advantages, such as the right to own property and open business. But becoming a Saudi national is a time consuming task, and requires giving up your previous nationality. Saudi Arabia is not a democracy, it is both kingdom and a religious state, which makes the process that much harder.

Apply for a residence/work visa. Work visas are obtainable if you work for a corporation with business interests in Saudi Arabia. Also, citizenship becomes easier with a high level of education in the sciences, including: engineering, medicine, petroleum geology, chemistry or physics-related sciences. These are skills needed by the Saudi government; having these skills immeasurably helps you to become a Saudi citizen.

Become fluent in Saudi Arabic. Saudi Arabian citizenship requires a mandatory level of proficiency in Arabic.

Marry a Saudi national. Being married to a citizen of Saudi Arabia allows you to apply for Saudi citizenship after ten years, provided you live in Saudi Arabia the entire time. Be sure to have the marriage approved and recognised by the Saudi government.

Contribute actively to things that will help you become a Saudi Citizen. These include: having a clean record during your years in Saudi society, contribute in the public sector as per the government law. Converting to Islam and attending regular worship also improves your chances.


All the forms necessary for obtaining a Saudi residency/work visa, as well as other forms involved in the citizenship process are available on the Saudi Arabian Ministry of the Interior site (see Resources).


Ten years is the minimum waiting period for citizenship, it may take up to 20 years to obtain Saudi Arabian citizenship.

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About the Author

A native of New Haven, Conn., Floyd Drake III began writing in 1984. His work has appeared in the "New Haven Register," Medford's "Mail-Tribune" and the "Ashland Daily Tidings." Drake studied journalism at Southern Connecticut State University. After working as a reporter in Oregon, he is now based back home in New Haven.