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Saudi Arabia cancels hair covering rule in ID photos for some 

June 11, 2022 at 1:18 pm

Saudi passport [U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Flickr]

The Saudi Ministry of Interior announced on Friday evening the cancellation of the rule to cover hair in ID photos, only for the 10-14-year-old age group and in some cases of illness.

Local newspaper Okaz reported earlier on Friday that the new amendments to Article 17 of the executive regulations of the civil status system decided to delete the phrase stipulating the need to cover the hair and neck of women in the national identity card.

Before the amendment, Article 17 stipulated: “The personal photo required by the procedure must be modern, coloured, with a white background, forward-facing, without glasses, clear and showing all facial features, and in civilian clothes.”

It also specified that the photo must be: “6 x 4 and is not taken in uniforms or the clothing of a certain group of citizens. Women’s photos must be free of any adornment, and the women must cover her hair and neck.”

According to the amendment published by the Saudi Gazette, Article 17 includes two paragraphs. Paragraph A states that the personal photo and the photo taken in the automated systems required for the issuance of the national identity: “Are modern, coloured, clear, showing all facial features, on a white background, in a forward-facing position and without glasses and non-prescription contact lenses, and free of any accessories or adornment, and cannot be taken in uniform or the clothing of particular group.”

Paragraph B now details: “The Ministry’s Agency for Civil Status shall set rules for personal photos and photos taken in automated systems for some age groups, people with special needs, and other cases not mentioned.”

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