Procedures for a Palestinian born in Saudi Arabia to parents with permanent residence status in Saudi Arabia to obtain permanent residence status [SAU38871.E]

According to the consular section of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Ottawa, the notion of permanent residence status does not exist in Saudi Arabia (5 Apr. 2002). Foreigners sponsored by Saudi citizens on work contracts are issued residence permits for the duration of their work contract and are not allowed to sponsor family members for residence status in Saudi Arabia (ibid.). The Consular section also stated that Palestinian residents in Saudi Arabia would not be allowed to sponsor family members, including their children born in Saudi Arabia, for residence status in Saudi Arabia.

A document on travel tips in Saudi Arabia provided on the Website of the Embassy of the United States in Riyadh states that residence permits (iqamas) are issued to persons entering Saudi Arabia for the purpose of employment (20 Aug. 2001). The document also states that:

The employee's dependants (spouse and children under the age of 18) may be brought into Saudi Arabia only with the concurrence of the Saudi sponsor and authorization of the Foreign Ministry. Ordinarily, only managers and professionals (holders of college degrees) may bring their families. Children over age 18 are likely to be refused residence.

A country profile on Saudi Arabia published on the Website of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) states that:

Work/employment visas are issued to foreigners who are entering Saudi Arabia on an employment contract. Holders of this type of visa must be sponsored by a Saudi Company or individual. The foreigner's spouse and dependent children may accompany him/her if there is written permission from the Saudi sponsor and the authorization of the Saudi Foreign Ministry. Only managers and professionals are usually allowed to bring their dependants.

A June 2000 briefing on Saudi Arabia produced by the Business Group of Amnesty International UK states that:

To be allowed to work in the kingdom, all migrant workers need a sponsor, who stands as their guarantor, thereby enabling them to obtain a residence permit or internal passport, known in Arabic as the iqama. The sponsor may be a large employer or an agent working for several smaller companies.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Amnesty International UK Business Group, London. June 2000. Saudi Arabia Business Briefing. [Accessed 5 Apr. 2002]

Commission on Philipinos Overseas, Migrants Advisory Information system (CPO/MAIS). 28 November 2001. CFO-MAIS Country Profile-Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, consular section, Ottawa. 5 April 2002. Telephone interview.

Embassy of the United States of America, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 20 August 2001. "Travel Tips on Saudi Arabia." [Accessed 5 Apr. 2002]