No more bottlenecks; passports for Saudi women in 15 minutes


By Hussain Hazazi

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

Several Saudi women were excited and overjoyed when they found that the procedures for obtaining their passports were completed within 15 minutes. “Everything is simplified and gone are the days of bottlenecks and complications,” they said.

Speaking to Okaz/Saudi Gazette in front of the Passports Office in Jeddah’s Al-Rehab District, Abeed Ahmad said: “The procedures were easy and simple as I got delivery of my passport within quarter of an hour.”

Mariyam, aged 30, said: “Now I can renew my passport myself after the new amendments coming into force. When a person is attaining adulthood, she can do the procedures herself and no one needs to wait for, especially for the study and treatment purposes.” Sahar, 25, noted that the procedures to obtain a passport in the past were complicated, but now the procedures are easy so that any Saudi woman who crossed the legal age of 21 can have it.

On his part, Maj. Gen. Abed Al-Harthy, director of Passports in Makkah Region, told Okaz/Saudi Gazette that the number of Saudis wishing to obtain a passport is on the rise on a daily basis, and women are on the forefront. “All the passport centers are engaged in carrying out the order to issue passport to all those above the age of 21 years without any restrictions.” He pointed out that in the past, the system was different where only men above the age of 21 were allowed to travel without a permit, but for women required the presence of a guardian (husband, father or brother). Now for women above the age of 21, the only requirement is the presence of the person herself for completing the procedures.

Al-Harthy said that the main Jawazat office in Al-Rehab District and its affiliated centers have been swung into action to issue passports to adult women without a permission of legal guardian. The Makkah Jawazat offices issue daily around 5,000 passports during the seasons and an average of 2,000 passports in the remaining period of the year. “To obtain a passport, the national ID is mandatory and then get an appointment to submit the application form and the passport will be ready within a few hours, and there is a special women’s section for those who wish to submit their transactions, protecting their privacy,” he said.

“Those who have a national address can go to the post office and pay the fees so that their passports will be issued and sent to their national address,”Al-Harthy said while calling on citizens to benefit from this service.