Foreign mothers of Saudi children can now apply for permanent residency without having sponsors and regardless of whether they are married, divorced or widowed.The Passports Department has begun receiving applications to grant them residency, said Col. Ahmed Al-Luhaidan, media spokesman of the department. He said that the women also do not need to have employers.

However, they must prove they were legally married to citizens and gave birth to their children. The Passport Department will submit these applications to the General Directorate in Riyadh to issue free iqamas, or residency permits, for a period of five years.

Al-Luhaidan said the various branches of the Passport Department would soon be capable of handling requests. The Cabinet had previously approved permanent residency for foreign mothers of Saudi children, with all fees covered by the state.

They are allowed to work in the private sector and counted toward Saudization quotas, and treated as Saudis in terms of access to public universities and treatment at public hospitals.

source: arabnews