Getting Married in Indonesia
Translate this Page
Moslem Marriage/Wedding Ceremony
The following are marital requirement documents if you having Moslem Ceremony:
All Documents written in foreign languages have to be translated into Indonesian by authorized translator.
Non-Moslem Wedding Marriage/Wedding Ceremony
An expatriate/Indonesian couple will experience two type of ceremonies.
The religious part will first be performed followed by a civil ceremony.
The religious part will conducted by a representative of the couple’s
own religious belief (i.e., a Priest for Catholics, a Minister for Protestants,
or a Celebrant for Hindu and Buddhist followers).
Required Documents for a Non-Moslem Wedding
The following documents must be completed:
Our thanks to Asep A. Wijaya of Wijaya&Co for this information www.wijayaco.com
Note: Countries outside Indonesia generally don't recognize the church issued marriage certificate as legal. It's fine inside Indonesia, but if you're planning on getting residency (or even a tourist visa) for your wife, you'll need the Catatan Sipil issued marriage certificate. As it's 80% in English, you shouldn't need to have much translated on it for future use.
In accordance with Law No. 1 of 1974 concerning marriages in Indonesia Article 2 (1):
“a marriage is legitimate if it has been performed according to the laws of the respective religious beliefs of the parties concerned. All couples who marry in Indonesia must declare a religion. Agnosticism and Atheism are not recognized. The Civil Registry Office (Kantor Catatan Sipil) can record marriages of persons of Hindu, Buddhist, Christian-Protestant and Christian-Catholic faiths. Marriage partners must have the same religion, otherwise one partner must make a written declaration of change of religion.”
The Religious Marriage under Islam is performed by the Office of Religious Affairs (Kantor Urusan Agama), in a ceremony at a mosque, in a home, a restaurant, or any other place chosen by the couple and is legal immediately after the ceremony. A Christian, Hindu or Buddhist marriage is usually performed first in a church or temple ceremony.
Persons of non-Islamic faith are required to file with the Civil Registry Office in the Regency where they are staying first a Notice of Intention to Marry as well as a Letter of “No Impediment to Marriage” (Surat Keterangan tentang tidak adanya halangan terhadap perkawinan) obtained from their consular representatives.
For the issue of the Letter of No Impediment to Marriage by your Consular Representative you may need to present for yourself and your fiance(e) your:
Different countries may have different requirements, so contact the Consular Representative of your country in their Jakarta Embassy for details well before the intended date of marriage.
For the Notice of Intention to Marry you have to submit some or all of the following documents for both partners to the Civil Registry Office. (Show the original and give them a photocopy - all documents should not be older than three months prior to the wedding):
Before the marriage, you and your fiance(e) would be strongly advised wish to file with the Civil Registry a prenuptial Property Agreement (Surat Pernyataan Harta) which must be signed before a local Notary Public. This contract is necessary if the Indonesian spouse wishes to hold property separately during the marriage. In the absence of such a document, Indonesian marriage law assumes joint ownership of property. Two witnesses over the age of 18 are required. They must show the originals and present photocopies of their passports if they are foreign citizens or KTP (identity cards) if they are Indonesian citizens. Civil Registry employees can act as witnesses.
The Civil Registry office has a Mandatory Waiting Period of 10 working days from the date of filing. This waiting period may be waived for tourists presenting a guest registration form (Form A). Islamic Marriage Certificates (Buku Nikah) issued by the Office of Religious Affairs (Kantor Urusan Agama) are legally valid in Indonesia and do not require registration with any other agency if you are going to live in Indonesia.
However, if you might move somewhere else in the future, get a marriage certificate issued by the Civil Registry and an officially certified translation right away (see below). All other Marriage Certificates will be issued by the Civil Registry usually on the same or next day. A sworn English translation of the marriage certificate should be obtained for use abroad. It may be necessary for the marriage certificate or translation to be registered by your Consular Agency. Or you may choose to have the sworn translation of the marriage certificate verified or a special translation made by the Consular Agency of your home country or the Consular Agency of your country of residence might prove useful.
Process of legalization of documents
Legalization of all documents is done by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Kementerian Luar Negeri), Directorate for Consular Affairs - Legalization Section, Jl. Taman Pejambon 6, Jakarta Pusat
Then these documents have to be translated into Bahasa Indonesia by a certificate translator.
The translations have to be validated by the Ministry of Justice (Kementerian Hukum dan HAM), Legalization Section, Jl. Rasuna Said 3, Kuningan, Jakarta Selatan and also by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
When you finish all the paperwork detailed above, take it to your government's embassy in Jakarta where they can validate any necessary documents. In your home country, you can present these wide array of official documents to the local government to get a legal wedding certificate in your home country.
After reading through the extensive bureaucracy involved for foreigners marrying Indonesians ... you can see why a lot of them opt to marry overseas instead!
A foreign marriage certificate will be recognized by the Indonesian government (for the purposes of Indonesian paperwork) if you take your foreign marriage certificate to the Indonesian consular office and have an Indonesian translation of the foreign marriage certificate "consularized" by the Indonesian consular office for the area which you live. The consularization process means that the verify the validity of the document and stamp the back of the document and sign it and use an official stampl. The Consular office can usually help you to translate your marriage certificate, for a fee. If you're not sure which consulate you should do the paperwork through, contact the Consular office of the Indonesian Embassy in your capital city, tell them which city/state/province you live in and they will tell you which consular office to go to for your paperwork.
In a few cases (usually due to differing religions) the foreign spouse may be asked to convert or the couple must remarry, but in most cases a consularized translation of the marriage certificate is adequate. Especially in cases where the couple already have children and have been married for some time, there are fewer questions about the legality of their marriage.
Indonesian government marriage law of 1974 stipulated that you must register your marriage with the Civil Registry (Kantor Catatan Sipil) within one year after you return to Indonesia (Marriage Law). However in December of 2006, a new bill passed called Undang undang 23 tahun 2006 tentang Administrasi Kependudukan, in which new regulations are now in affect. The prevailing law is now the Law of Administration of the Population (2006) and not the Marriage law (1974):
The civil registry officer will check the date of your marriage and the date of your arrival to Indonesia after you have performed the marriage abroad. If the day you arrive to record your marriage exceeds the limit, then the Civil Registry Office in Jakarta may also require a court decree in order for the marriage to be recorded (Jakarta Municipal Regulation). When you register you will obtain a Tanda Bukti Laporan Perkawinan, which makes your marriage legal in Indonesia.
The Kantor Catatan Sipil may ask you for ... are you ready ... a letter from the foreign spouse's parents saying they give permission for the marriage, even after the fact! Seems strange ... but this request has come up repeatedly. So, if you want to avoid hassles, get a letter from you folks or other senior family member before you start through the bureaucracy at Kantor Catatan Sipil.
They may also ask for a certified letter from the foreign spouse's embassy verifying that the marriage certificate is legal ... which shouldn't be any problem if it is notarized, and especially if you have had the translation consularized by the Indonesian consular officials abroad. If you have children, you can bring them with you to these meetings ... more proof that you're married! Don't despair, often the officials are happy with just seeing a copy of your foreign marriage certificate, consularized by the Indonesian consulate and that is adequate to register you. But as with everything else - there is an exception to every rule!
It is customary in Indonesia to throw a big reception to which everyone one of the Indonesian partner's family members, friends and acquaintances is invited. Some couples who have married abroad may opt to have a reception in Indonesia which, in theory, demonstrates the Indonesian spouse's family's support of the marriage. Or, another way to go is to have a "tunangan" (engagement ceremony) in Indonesia in traditional fashion before the wedding,
One visitor to the site wrote about his experience returning to Indonesia after marrying abroad:
Prevailing law - Undang-Undang nomor 23 tahun 2006 stipulates:
Registration at Catatan Sipil
The official fee is Rp 50,000 for "Pelayanan Pencatatan Perkawinan". You can do this registration at:
1. Kantor Dinas Kependudukan dan Catatan Sipil Propinsi
Cost Rp. 50.000 (Pencatatan/Registration),
Catatan Sipil West Jakarta / Civil Registry Office of Population and Capil
See the Civil Registry's website for more information.
Indonesian government regulations make it difficult for people of different faiths to marry. If you want to be married in Indonesia, the official government regulation is that either the bride or groom must convert to the other's religion. This can be done in the Kantor Urusan Agama in the Religious Affairs Ministry. While for some this is a true conversion, for others this is simply a paperwork formality to enable the couple to marry and ease documentation procedures. As with everything else - you may find yourself the exception, with no one asking anything about your faith when you go to get married or register your marriage. In many cases the man is asked (by the girl's family or religious leaders in her community) to get circumcised. In some cases they'll ask for visual proof, in others, they'll take your word for it ... !
In Islam, it is forbidden for a Muslim woman to marry a man who is not Muslim - thus the pressure will build from the Indonesian fiance and her family for the expatriate non-Muslim man to convert. Conversely, a Muslim man may marry someone who is one of the "People of the Book" who share the historic religious roots of Islam - Christian and Jewish women. The understanding though is that the children of these couples must be raised Muslim. In fact, these mixed religious couples will raise their children as they see fit. We've seen examples of strict Muslim upbringing, strict Christian upbringing, no religious participation/attendance, and even indifference to religious upbringing.
Some inter-faith Indonesian couples purposefully get married while they are overseas and return with the marriage a fait accompli ... legal documents and all ... and that is one way out of one of the Indonesian partners having to convert in order to marry.
Mind you we are simply discussing legalities here. Once you move to Indonesia, one may find that the pressures from the Indonesian spouse's family and friends may influence the foreign spouse's previous decision to convert or not to convert to the Indonesian spouse's religion. Indonesian society tends to have more of the "image of religiosity" than western societies. Even if your Indonesian fiance isn't particularly religious, be prepared for his/her family to be so. Generally speaking Indonesians find it very difficult to go against their family's wishes.
There is a support group for foreign women married to Indonesian men who are considering converting to Islam, called Sisters.
For more information, see two articles on Inter-Religious Marriage in Indonesia and Conversion to Islam: for expatriate men marrying Indonesian Muslim women.
Registration of Indonesians Spouses Living Overseas
Be advised that all Indonesians living overseas must register their presence with the nearest Indonesian consular office. The penalty if you do not do this within two years of your arrival is certain complications in renewal of passports, and could even entail loss of Indonesian citizenship.
For more information on Indonesian citizenship issues.
See also Weddings in Indonesia for information on customs and culture surrounding weddings in Indonesia.
Copyright © 1997-2014, Expat Web Site Association Jakarta, Indonesia http://www.expat.or.id All rights reserved. The information on Living in Indonesia, A Site for Expatriates may not be retransmitted or reproduced in any form without permission. This information has been compiled from sources which we, the Expat Web Site Association and volunteers related to this site, believe to be reliable. While reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the facts are accurate and up-to-date, opinions and commentary are fair and reasonable, we accept no responsibility for them. The information contained does not make any recommendation upon which you can rely without further personal consideration and is not an offer or a solicitation to buy any products or services from us. Opinions and statements constitute the judgment of the contributors to this web site at the time the information was written and may change without notice.