Saudi Arabia has prohibited its men from marrying women from Pakistan, Bangladesh and two other nations, in an apparent move aimed at discouraging its citizens from marrying foreigners.
Apart from Pakistan and Bangladesh, Saudi men now can't marry women from Chad and Myanmar as well.
Saudi Arabia is home to an estimated 500,000 women from these four countries, while the strong 9 million expatriate community constitute about 30% of the kingdom's total population.
Saudi men wishing to marry foreigners now face tougher regulations as additional formalities have been placed before issuing permission for marriage with foreigners, Dawnonline reported citing a report in Makkah daily.
Those wanting to marry foreign women should first obtain the consent of the government and submit marriage applications through official channels, Mecca police director Major General Assaf Al-Qurashi was quoted as saying in the report.
The official said applicants should be over 25 and attach identification documents signed by the local district mayor as well as all other identity papers, including a copy of his family card.
"If the applicant is already married, he should attach a report from a hospital proving that his wife is either disabled, suffering from a chronic disease or is sterile," he said.
Qurashi said divorced men would not be allowed to apply within six months of their divorce.