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Mixed Marriages: Indonesians and Expatriates

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Wijaya and Company Law Firm - Jakarta

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Applying for a KITAP under the new immigration law

Provisions of the 2011 Immigration Law

Legal Provisions for Mixed Marriages prior to 2011 Immigration

Channel on the Expat Forum for mixed couples!

Discussion of this new immigration bill on the Expat Forum!

Pre-Nuptial Agreements

Post Nuptial Agreements

Getting Married in Indonesia

KITAS - semi permanent resident visa

KITAP - permanent resident visa

Registration at Catatan Sipil

VOA - short term visas

Photo and Fingerprints at Immigration

Certificate of Custody Rights for Children

Dual Nationality for Indonesian/Foreign Children

Change of Citizenship for Foreign Spouse

Adoption of an Indonesian step child

KITAS for Adult Children

Work Permits for Adult Children

Our thank to Olivier Rula for all his help with updates on this page!

 

On August 14th the latest version of the Implementing Regulations (PP) of the Immigration Law passed in May 2011 was posted on the Immigration Department website. However the PP have still not been officially ratified.  The Immigration Department has held "sosialisasi" events in major cities to help affected parties understand the provisions of the new law.

Here is a copy of the new immigration law UU 6- Tahun 2011. As of May 30th, the implementing regulations are still being finalized.

Applying for KITAP

Under the new immigration law, foreign spouses of Indonesians can apply for an ITAP (five year residency permit), after having been legally married for two years. Some immigration officers still hesitant to enact provisions which they don't have implementation instructions for. This will change as the new law becomes more "socialized". It is recommended that you take a printed copy of the new immigration law with you when you go to apply (especially Pasal 60 and Pasal 141). Insisting that the provisions of the new law are followed will help you process your applications!

The document requirements for an ITAP application if you are already residing in Indonesia, and sponsored by your Indonesian spouse, are:

  1. KITAS (original and 3 copies)
  2. Passport (original and 3 copies) - Don't forget to copy the passport pages with the visa stamps as well.
  3. Formulir Perdim 24 Formulir ITAS dan ITAP given by the KanIm along with the map ( Pink folder for KITAS, blue for KITAP). Forms and folder should be free.
  4. Formulir Perdim 27 Perubahan Data Orang Asing (though this one can be filled out later, after the issuance of the KITAP and while registering the change of immigration status to the section Inforsakim)
  5. Buku Pengawasan Orang Asing "Blue book" (original and 3 copies). Copy the whole book (every page that has a stamp or there is something written on it).
  6. Sponsorship letter from your Indonesian spouse with the signature over a meterai. see sample letter. Even though the new immigration law says that a sponsor letter from the Indonesian spouse isn't required, the immigration officials are still asking for it.
  7. Surat pemintaan dan Jaminan filed by your wife and signed on top of a meterai Rp 6000
  8. KTP of Indonesian spouse (original and copy)
  9. Indonesian spouse's Kartu Keluarga (original and copy)
  10. Akta Perkawinan for the non muslim or Buku Nikah for the muslim (original and copy)
  11. Those married overseas will be required to produce their wedding certificate as well as the Certificate of Marriage Report made to Catatan Sipil to legalize it under Indonesian law (original and copy). If your marriage certificate isn't legalized, be prepared to get this done before you start the process to speed things up.
  12. NOTE: All photocopies need to be on A4 size paper

This law gives permanent residence only to spouses and children of mixed marriages that are legally valid.

Additional Requested Documents

These are legal requirements. However, from one Immigration Office to the next they may have additional requests. Documents we imagine you could be asked for could include a SKTT, STM, NPWP, etc. The Immigration office is definitively authorized to ask you for any document that you should legally have. The new UU 6/2011 gives the immigration office full power to check that you comply with all existing laws.

A document which will be very certainly requested of those married in Indonesia is an acknowledgement from your embassy that they are aware of your marriage in Indonesia.

You could also be asked for financial documents such as bank statement, proof of pension, etc. The immigration officials are definitively authorized to ask for any document proving that you have sufficient amount of funds to stay, but that doesn't mean that they will necessarily ask for it.

There is also a "Pernyataan Integrasi kepada Pemerintah Republik Indonesia" (art 60 (2) or Declation of Integration document requirement which is not yet clear what it is, because the Implementing Regulations (PP) have not been drawn up yet. Presumably it will be some sort of declaration that immigration will prepare and the applicant will have to sign. Those who have successfully obtained their ITAP so far did not have to do this.

Cost: IDR 3.055.000 for the KITAP (including the biometrik pics). These are the officials fees, valid nationwide, as per Peraturan Pemerintah RI nomor 38 tahun 2009 tentang Jenis dan Tarif atas Jenis Penerimaan Negara bukan Pajak yang berlaku pada departemen Hukum dan HAM RI (KITAP and immigration fees) and as per Peraturan Pemerintah RI nomor 50 tahun 2010 tentang Jenis dan Tarif atas Jenis Penerimaan Negara bukan Pajak yang berlaku pada kepolisian negara RI (POLRI fees).

For NO reason should you be asked to pay more than the above. The process should take about 3-4 weeks, assuming all your paperwork is in order. However it can take up to six weeks, so it's best to apply with plenty of time to process before your KITAS expires.

Relevant Laws

When looking at the new visa requirments, pay particular attention in the laws (above) to:

Pasal 54 b. keluarga karena perkawinan campuran;

Pasal 60 (2) Untuk mendapatkan Izin Tinggal Tetap bagi pemohon sebagaimana dimaksud dalam Pasal 54 ayat (1) huruf b diberikan setelah usia perkawinannya mencapai 2 (dua) tahun dan menandatangani Pernyataan Integrasi kepada Pemerintah Republik Indonesia.

Pasal 141 b. suami atau istri dari perkawinan yang sah dengan warga negara Indonesia yang usia perkawinannya lebih dari 2 (dua) tahun dan memegang Izin Tinggal terbatas berdasarkan Undang-Undang Nomor 9 Tahun 1992 tentang Keimigrasian dapat langsung diberikan Izin Tinggal Tetap menurut ketentuan Undang-Undang ini;

Pasal 143 Pada saat Undang-Undang ini mulai berlaku, peraturan pelaksanaan dari Undang-Undang Nomor 9 Tahun 1992 tentang Keimigrasian (Lembaran Negara Republik Indonesia Tahun 1992 Nomor 33, Tambahan Lembaran Negara Republik Indonesia Nomor 3474) dinyatakan masih tetap berlaku sepanjang tidak bertentangan atau belum diganti dengan yang baru berdasarkan Undang-Undang ini.

Pasal 145 Undang-Undang ini mulai berlaku pada tanggal diundangkan.

Put all together, with the full provisions, this means that:

I you are legally married to an Indonesian spouse for more than 2 years (and have the paperwork to prove it) and that you already hold a KITAS sponsored by your Indonesian spouse pursuant to the old UU 9/1992, you are eligible for an immediate conversion of your ITAS in an ITAP. It also says that, even if the regulations allowing a full and smooth implementation of this new law are yet to be passed, it can be implemented with all the existing regulations that have not been abrogated or are not contradictory with the new law.

In clear: Immigration has NO valid reasons to refuse your application if you are in the situation described above. No "we don't know", no "we have no directives", no "nanti / besok". They have to process the conversion using the existing regulations which are:

- Peraturan Pemerintah nomor 32 Tahun 1994 tentang Visa, Izin Masuk dan Izin keimigrasian as modified by the Peraturan Pemerintah nomor 38 tahun 2005 tentang perubahan kedua atas PP 32 tahun 1994 tentang Visa, Izin Masuk dan Izin Keimigrasian

- Keputusan Menteri Kehakiman RI nomor M.02-IZ.01.10 tahun 1995 tentang Visa Singgah, Visa Kunjungan, Visa Tinggal Terbatas, Izin Masuk dan Izin Keimigrasian as modified by: its 4th amendment (look for and download the file named "M.HH-08.GR.01.06/2009". Do not use the copy of the e regulation found on the DitJenIm website, as there is one page missing)

- Petunjuk Pelaksanaan Direktur Jenderal Imigrasi nomor F310.IZ.01.10 tentang Tata Cara Alih Status Izin Keimigrasian.

Step 1: Starting the Conversion to ITAP Process

After having filled all the documents listed above you will be able to start the first step : the application to the Kantor Immigrasi.

For your application, you will be first be received by a petugas of the seksi statuskim. This may be the “most difficult” step. If this official is unaware of the new law stipulations, this is where you will have to explain to him/her all the articles in the new laws (listed above).

Once you will have made your point, he/she will tell you if all your documents are complete or if you need additional documents or if you need to have any of the documents legalized or translated. This official's role is to verify if your file is complete. It may take repeated visits to clarify your rights under the new law (to the official) and establish that you have all the necessary documents to end the verification step.

Once all documents are completed you will be directed to the seksi wasdakim, for a possible interview. The role of the seksi wasdakim in this application process is to verify the reliability of your sponsor, to check if you are not blacklisted and to check your activities in Indonesia. They may interview you and/or your sponsor to know what you are doing, to check if you and your sponsor are financially reliable. They may ask questions about your marriage, kids, etc. This should be a relatively easy step. As soon as the head of this section signs all of the forms in your file, your case will proceed to the next desk quickly. Technically, the seksi wasdakim can not do much to delay your application if:
  • All your marriage documents are in order.
  • You or your wife can show an adequate income.
  • You are not working illegally

The above are the only three points that could be argued in this section. If, which I doubt, someone in the seksi wasdakim argues about how you are going to finance your 5 year stay, you would be definitively authorized to talk about the article 61 of the new UU 6/2011:

Pasal 61
Pemegang Izin Tinggal terbatas sebagaimana dimaksud dalam Pasal 52 huruf e dan huruf f dan pemegang Izin Tinggal Tetap sebagaimana dimaksud dalam Pasal 54 ayat (1) huruf b dan huruf d dapat melakukan pekerjaan dan/atau usaha untuk memenuhi kebutuhan hidup dan/atau keluarganya.

Even if the conditions of how we are going be authorized to work are not yet known at the time I type this post, you can definitively say something like: “I have my own income, but with the perspectives authorized by the new law, I plan to invest in Indonesia. Period.

Once your application is endorsed by the kasi wasdakim, acknowledging that no problems has been found with your sponsor or yourself, the file will go back to the seksi statuskim. At this point, the kasi statuskim will have to write a letter of recommendation to be signed by the kakanim. This letter of recommendation, after being signed by the Kakanim will be returned to the seksi statuskim which will have to officially notify DitJenIm that a KITAP application has been started.

The kasi statuskim will give you the letter of recommendation to be brought to the KanWil. They may also decide to send it themselves, but without a substantial financial motivation, they will probably let you be the courier. This envelope should include:

  • The letter of recommendation
  • A copy of all your documents (anything you have been given to them, application forms, letter of sponsor, marriage certificate, etc.)
More information coming soon from Atlantis, who is working through this process and sharing his successes/insights with us !

Work Permits for Foreign Spouses under the New Immigration law

This header is a misnomer ... meant to point that that there is NO provision yet, legally, for a foreign spouse to work on the ITAP visa, despite the passing of this new immigration law. The relevant laws will have to be passed by Depnakertrans and other authorities before this can take affect .. and this may take years ! We urge any foreign spouses to be VERY cautious about thinking that they can legally work holding this visa, without the proper work permit and other paperwork required in the past.

The main problem that that Article 61 of the new law is totally "coming out of the blue". The implications of this provision have never been prepared and it is contradictory with many stipulations taken by ministries to implement other laws. In some field of work (ex: education), IMTAS's are delivered only after the relevant ministry has given an izin and special requirements concern foreign workers. 

For example, to become an english teacher, what requirements a foreigner married to an indonesian spouse will have to follow? Those for local english teachers or those for foreign english teachers. It makes little sense. There are local manpower and foreign manpower offices . Creating a category somewhere in the middle is task which is almost impossible and will pause MANY problems in the future. 

Another problem concerns the DPKK (USD 100/month/foreign worker). This is just one of all the other regulations restricting the possibilities of employing foreign manpower. What if the foreign spouse of an Indonesian wants to work in Indonesia as a doctor? a lawyer? a HR manager? a taxi driver? a tukang bakso? Those professions are all restricted by Manpower laws. As a foreigner, you can engage in business that is contrary to the investment law and the presidential regulation concerning business fields closed to foreign investment.

The issue of prenups and ownership of assets of a business are an issue too!

We encourage extreme caution in making any assumptions, and acting upon them, until the relevant laws have been passed !!

Provisions of the 2011 Immigration Law

Download the Immigration Lsaw - in Bahasa Indonesia

Download FAQ sheet from the Tim Advokasi Perkawinan Campuran (APAB – PerCa) - English - Bahasa

There is a lot of BUZZ about the passing of the new immigration bill (which replaces the 1992 immigration law), and how this will affect mixed nationality couples living in Indonesia. Please be aware that even though the bill has been passed it still needs to be "legalized" (signed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono) and it can NOT be implemented until all of the implementing rules and regulations are worked out. This can take up to 1 year. Until this is accomplished, all of the old information below is still in affect !

Remember, this immigration bill is not specifically about mixed couples, which are addressed in 5 or 6 articles only, out of the 140+ in the newest immigration bill! The components highlighted below only cover those legally married to Indonesians or children of mixed marriages.

Some of the highlights of the new bill include:

  • An Izin Tinggal Tetap (ITAP) can be issued to foreign spouse after a period of two years of marriage. This is a significant change. Now, it appears that it will be possible to get a ITAP as long as the couple has been legally married for more than 2 years. Caution is advised though as there remain a lot of questions in how this will play out. The ITAP holder will only be required to report to the immigration office once every five years for an "administrative renewal" — for free — instead of the annual renewal currently required. Note: you'd still have to obtain a ITAS for the first two years of your marriage.
  • Foreigners who have been married for more than 10 years to an Indonesian citizen can obtain a residency permit even after a divorce or the death of the WNI spouse. The wording of the law and clarity of the subsequent regulations will determine the way this will actually play out.
  • Right of residency for children born from a mixed marriage, even if they choose a foreign citizenship past their 18th birthday. The previous law covered granting dual citizenship to kids born from mixed marriage, BUT they had to choose between their foreign or Indonesian citizenship, and had no legal way to remain in Indonesia (unless the found a company to sponsor the visa for work purposes). This is a MAJOR positive change, in line with the 2006 Citizenship Act. Even if our kids choose to take on the foreign nationality past their 18th birthday, they will now still be able to remain in Indonesia with a Residency Permit and work.
  • This bill doesn't change/affect restrictions on ownership of property by expats, as that is governed by the Agrarian law.
  • You will still need am exit/re-entry permit to leave Indonesia and return within your visa period.
  • Right to work is granted to foreign spouse of Indonesian citizens. This is the most contentious right. While the law says that the foreign spouse in a mixed marriage has the right to work, we can't know yet how this will be implemented until we see the further regulations, notably those enacted by Kemenakertrans. These should be done within the next 12 months. The passage in the immigration law by itself means very little if not connected to other regulations which will have to be passed by other ministries.

Regarding the advisability of self-employment by an expat spouse once the law is signed:

Article 61 stipulates: "Pemegang Izin Tinggal terbatas sebagaimana dimaksud dalam Pasal 52 huruf e dan huruf f dan pemegang Izin Tinggal Tetap sebagaimana dimaksud dalam Pasal 54 ayat (1) huruf b dan huruf d dapat melakukan pekerjaan dan/atau usaha untuk memenuhi kebutuhan hidup dan/atau keluarganya"

Therefore, you could conclude that foreigners covered by article 52 e and f and 54 b and d could be self-employed legally as soon as the law is passed. While this isn't technically untrue - it is inadvisable to proceed with self-employment at that point! It is not yet clear if you can just "do whatever they want". To think this is untrue. There are many Indonesian laws which forbid foreigners involvement in certain sectors, either totally or partially. Can an expat spouse of an Indonesian become a lawyer, a doctor? NO, definitively not, under current law .... even if they are the self employed foreign spouse of an Indonesian. Many sectors are restricted for foreigners under current manpower law.

The immigration law governs only immigration matters and doesn't automatically supersede the other laws of the land! So, will all of the sectors that are closed to foreign investment or foreign employment currently also be closed for employment of expat spouses ... all of this remains to be seen.

Despite the apparent wording that seems to allow you to work, period, you are only aloud to work on an informal basis (like privately teaching, opening a small shop etc.). If you are employed by a company, you still need a work permit.

As soon as the law was signed/legalized, it took full force, replacing UU 9/1992.

What will play out and become clearer as the law is implemented is:

1. How the new law will affect employers – i.e., what they will have to do in order to legally employ a mixed marriage ITAP holder. The answers will come within 12 months through regulations from Nakertrans and very certainly an amendment to the Manpower Act (it was scheduled in the Prolegnas 2010-2014 and falls under government's responsibility, not the DPR) - meaning this regulation should come through more quickly.

2. Exactly what you will have to do to convert your employer-sponsored ITAS or ITAP to a mixed marriage ITAS/ITAP.

If you have a spouse-sponsored ITAS, there will be little difficulty to convert (see UU 9/1992). However for those who have an employer-sponsored KITAS, they will have to go through an ahli sponsor procedure from their employer-sponsored KITAS to a wife-sponsored KITAS, followed by a conversion to an ITAP sponsored by their wife. It isn't technically complicated, but it will delay the issuance of the ITAP. The above is valid until a new Peraturan Pemerintah replaces the PP 32/1994 corrected by its two recent amendments.

Immigration officials will be working through a lot of changes in the early years after these regulations come out ... and throughout their period of "socializing" the new law/regulations. There are bound to be many discrepancies in what people are told. Refer, always, to the actual regulations when in doubt.

Indonesian Registration of Marriages Conducted Abroad

If you don't register your marriage with the Catatan Sipil office in Indonesia, then the marriage is not considered legal in Indonesia.

Step 1: Legalizing your overseas marriage documents

If you were married overseas, you must take a registered copy of your (foreign) marriage certificate to the consular section of the nearest Indonesian consulate or embassy. Ask the consular staff to consularize a translation of the marriage certificate and a copy of the foreign marriage certificate. Often the consular office staff can assist you with the translation, for an additional fee.

Step 2: Registrering your marriage in Indonesia

The Indonesian government requires that all marriages conducted abroad be registered in Indonesia at the Kantor Catatan Sipil within one year of the marriage or as soon as possible after the couple moves to Indonesia. If you haven't registered within one year of marriage, the registration can still be completed, but you will need to pay a fine, so the sooner you get it done, the better !

Go to the Catatan Sipil office in the district where the Indonesian spouse has residence (and the documents to prove it). What is required for the registration?

  • photocopies of your passport, buku nikah, buku POA, and the visa card with the photo inside that is stapled to your buku POA.
  • photo of you and your spouse side by side in front of a red background. Most photo shops in Indonesia can do this - just tell them it's for an official document application.

If you had drawn up a prenuptial agreement (it is required/recommended should your indonesian spouse intend to buy property in indonesia in the future), remember to get that legalized as well and present it at the catatan sipil.

You can opt out of getting an old version of the KTP and get your photo and fingerprints taken for the electronic KTP instead. This is also a good time to make any needed corrections on your Kartu Keluarga. There should be no cost for this.

If you have a mixed faith marriage there may be additional questions and hoops to jump through. and even the possibility of a brief hearing in front of a judge with witnesses to prove that you are in fact living together as husband and wife.

 

Legal Provisions for Mixed Marriages prior to 2011 Immigration

Please be aware that much of the information below this point will change with the implementation of the new 2011 immigration law !! We are working to update this section as the new laws and regulations become clear !

 

KITAS

With the passing of the Undang Undang 12 tahun 2006 tentang Kewarganegaraan, an Indonesian spouse (husband or wife) CAN sponsor a foreign spouse for semi-permanent residency (KITAS - one year stay). If you are newly married, the foreign spouse will need to get a KITAS to live in Indonesia.

One of the most basic questions we receive is “Will marriage in Indonesian woman give me permanent residence there?” Since the advent of the new marriage law, the answer is "Semi-permanent is possible for legally married couples, that is, those married in Indonesia who are registered at the Kantor Urusan Agama or Catatan Sipil office won't have problems. Those married abroad have to make sure that their foreign marriage has been registered on the consular office at the KBRI, KJRI or KRI, or the Catatan Sipil office in Indonesia and that they have a Surat Tanda Bukti Perkawinan. See Getting Married for more information.

If one day your husband intends to work, he may then have to get a new KITAS sponsored by the company who plans to employ him. This may change at some point if employment laws are revised to accommodate the new immigration law. At the point (7/2011), those laws have NOT been passed yet!

Sponsorship of Visas for Expat Spouse by their Indonesian Spouse

Since the publication of the new citizenship law a foreigner can be sponsored for residency by his Indonesian wife. In February 2007 ministerial decision no M.01-IZ.01.10 formally included foreign husbands joining their Indonesian wives as being eligible for a KITAS.

Though one could apply for a VITAS (sponsored by Indonesian spouse) from an Indonesian embassy abroad, having previously obtained the agreement of the DitJen Imigrasi in Jakarta, the procedure described below may be somewhat easier. It allows you plenty of time (you first enter on a SosBud, which can be extended up to 6 months) to convert it to an ITAS. Having almost 6 months to do so, it leaves almost no chances for the immigration officials to extort bribes from you, if you proceed in processing your application. It also offers the advantage of not having to depart from Indonesia to an Indonesian embassy abroad to "pick up" your new semi-permanent resident visa.

Here is the procedure:

  1. The foreign spouse gets a Visa Kunjungan SosBud abroad and gets an Izin Kunjungan delivered for a first period of 60 days at the port of entrance.
  2. The foreign spouse goes to his local Immigration Office (no mandatory waiting period of 4 months), along with his Indonesian wife to apply for the conversion of his izin kunjungan to an ITAS. (Pasal 47 & Pasal 48* PP nomor 32 thn 1994)
  3. The sponsor “buys” the needed forms (IDR 10K to IDR 25K) and fills out a written demand. A “Riwayat Hidup” of the foreigner, and a bank statement showing that the couple has enough funds to live for one full year in Indonesia should be attached.
  4. In addition to the above, the sponsor should submit:
    - Akte Perwakinan asli (kristen, Hindhu, Buddhist) or Buku Nikah asli (islam) or Surat Tanda Bukti Lapor Perkawinan asli (overseas wed)
    - Wife's KTP
    - Husband's Passport
  5. Usually, 2 extra sets of photocopies are requested for each set of documents.
  6. Imigrasi will then issue a document to be brought to the Kantor Wilayah. It is a letter which says that after reviewing all the documents, he has no opposition for the conversion of the immigration status. Allow a couple of days to get the letter signed by the KaKanIm.
  7. After reviewing all your documents, the Kepala Divisi Keimigrasian of the Kantor Wilayah will issue a letter stating his positive opinion about the change of status of the foreign husband. This letter, along with a set of all the documents, should be brought or sent to Bpk Direktur Izin Tinggal dan Status kemigrasian in the DitJen Imigrasi situated in Jln Rasuna Said Kav 8-9 in Jakarta. Allow 1 day for the KanWil to sort out the document. There is no fee for the letter, but anything like IDR 10K to IDR 50K should help the lady to type faster. If you live far from Jakarta, you can send the documents by Tiki from the KanWil to the DitJen. That seems to work well.
  8. Upon reception of the letter of the KanWil, after reviewing all the documents the Kasubdit Alih Status Keimigrasian (Bapak Soepriatna Anwar, SH, MH), on behalf of the Direktur Izin Tinggal dan Status kemigrasian (Bpk Agastya Hari Marsono, Bc.Im.) should issue a Keputusan Direktur Jenderal Imigrasi nomor: (the number/reference of the Keputusan) tentang Alih status Izin Kunjungan menjadi Izin tinggal terbatas atas nama: (Name of the foreigner) stating that a new status can be granted to the foreigner. Allow a week to 10 days for this keputusan to be ready from the time you delivered all the documents to the DitJen. Monitor it on the phone at (021) 5224658 ext 2521. Don't hesitate to phone 15 times a day, you need luck to have someone answer the phone!
  9. You, or any relative (holding a “Surat Kuasa Khusus” from you), should pick up the Keputusan DitJen directly from the Sub-Direktorat Alih Status Keimigrasian. Chances are that you will meet with Pak “R.S”. He is not a bad chap.
  10. In fact, the DitJen will issue 3 copies (1 for you, 1 for the KanIm, 1 for the KanWil). You need to bring it back victoriously to the KanWil which will give you a letter authorising the KanIm to start to process a KITAS.
  11. At that point, the foreign husband will have to submit a few pics and get fingerprinted (fee: IDR 15K).
  12. Then comes the time to pay the fee for the KITAS: IDR 700K for a 1 year KITAS, if your passport has a minimum of 18 months remaining validity, or IDR 350K for a 6 months KITAS, if your passport has 12 months remaining validity.
  13. If your KanIm is online with the DitJen, a small problem may occur. After delivering the Keputusan DirJen, Jakarta often “forgets” to finalise the procedure and to enter the “OK” in the system... which means that your KanIm can not process your payment! First time in your life that Imigrasi will refuse your money... enjoy the moment, it generally doesn't happen often! If it happens, no worries, just telephone to the number given at point 8 (or fax : 021- 52962095... this one is the fax of the SubDit Alih status)
  14. The Kantor Imigrasi will then stamp an ITAS in the foreign passport and a KITAS (Kartu Izin Tinggal terbatas) will be issued.
  15. 2 to 3 days after that, a POA Book will be remitted (no fees for it).
  16. At that point, it is advisable to ask for an “Izin Masuk Kembali” to be stamped in the husband's passport. Without it, the KITAS holder “loses” his KITAS if he goes out of Indonesia. Better then to have it, if you don't want to do this process all over again. Do a search in the archives of the Expat Forum for the official fees attached to the Izin Masuk Kembali.
  17. The foreigner has to go to his Kantor Lurah to get a Surat Keterengan Domisili stating his formal address in Indonesia and he should bring this letter to his Catatan Sipil to get a SKTT (Surat Keterangan Tempat Tinggal), a SKPPS (Surat Keterengan Pendaftaran Penduduk Sementara) and a SKDLN (Surat Keterengan Datang dari Luar Negeri). A foreigner staying on a KITAS MUST register at the Catatan Sipil for the above documents. It will help smooth our KITAP procedures later if you've done this required step. In fact, chances are that the CaPil compil the three documents and issue a nice greenish card attesting your residency and registration as a temporary resident for the length of the KITAS. Fees for it are defined by Peraturan Daerah and vary depending on each kota/kabupaten. It shouldn't cost more than IDR 150K. More information on applying for a SKPPS

    Be careful to note that you have ONLY 14 days to register after the date of issuance of the KITAS (Pasal 20, undang undang 23 tahun 2006 tentang Administrasi Kependudukan). Failure to do so in time would expose you to a fine of a maximum of IDR 2.000K (Pasal 89, undang undang 23 tahun 2006 tentang Administrasi Kependudukan).
  18. Your next move will be to go to the Direktorat Jenderal Pajak to get a NPWP, the husband's personal tax number.

    * amended article in 2005. It reduces to nil the “waiting period” of 4 months previously mandatory before initiating the procedure.

Please Note the following:

  • A KITAS, as described above, sponsored by an Indonesian wife, does NOT allow any kind of work by the expat husband.
  • You will have to renew the KITAS (without the SosBud Part) at least 1 month before its termination. Annual renewal also apply for SKTT, STM and SKPPS.
  • Any change in your residency or civil status must be reported to the Kantor Imigrasi, the Police and the Catatan Sipil during the validity of your KITAS.
  • Only legally married (ie. recognised by Indonesian law) wife/husband are authorised to follow the above described procedure.
  • If one day the KITAS holder decides to terminate voluntarily his KITAS and to exit Indonesia (eg. relocation in a foreign country), he needs to first apply for an Exit Permit Only at the Kantor Imigrasi of his residence and report to the Catatan Sipil.
  • Providing that all the requested documents are submitted by the sponsor in the correct timing, providing that you don't use the services of a friend/calo and that you submit yourself all the documents in the relevant administration (KanIm, KanWil, DitJen) you should not have trouble.
  • Please, don't let corrupted Pejabat abuse you. Don't pay anything more than the legal fees. You will regret it bitterly and enter in a spirale that you can in no way control. If you start to pay bribes, you may void your right to complain if the things turn out wrong.
  • The total procedure should last around 1 to 2 months roughly. Note that you have 30 days “only” to get the KITAS issued after the issuance of the Keputusan DirJen.
  • Don't forget to extend your izin kunjungan, if needed, during the procedure!

Our thanks to Atlantis for researching and sharing this section's information! For additional details see this thread on the Expat Forum.

Multiple Entry Social Cultural (Sosbud) Visa: 12 Months Validity:

With the new Citizenship Law, effective 26 June 2006, the foreign husband can also opt to get a multiple entry social-cultural (sosbud) visa which valid for 12 months under the Indonesian wife's sponsorship. The telex approval will be send to your wife and you can bring the copy to the nominated Indonesian embassy abroad to pick-up the visa.

The expat spouse can also be the sponsor for a social visa which allows her foreign husband to stay for a maximum of 1-2 months at a time (with renewals up to 12 months). This visa, however, does NOT allow you to work.

Supporting Documents

Prior to obtaining the telex approval for your 12 Months Sosbud Visa, you must first submit the following supporting documents at the Indonesian embassy::

1. Photograph size 4 x 6 cm with red background;
2. Copy of your passport;
3. Copy of your marriage certificate/marriage book;
4. Copy of your Indonesian wife's ID Card;
5. Copy of your Indonesian wife's Family Card (Kartu Keluarga);
6. Sponsorship Letter signed by your wife;
7. Copy of your bank statements;
8. Fill-in Form Model 13 VIS K.

At the Indonesian embassy abroad, you will be requested to fill-in Visa Application Form for Visit - Single/Several Journey(s). Choose "Several" instead of ''Single''. At the ''Purpose of Visit to Indonesia'' Section, please do not conflicting between choice number "10-Social'' and number ''15-Family Visit''.

The number 15 is for family member when you have a family in Indonesia and you visit them in Indonesia with their sponsorship. The number 10 is for non-family members, such as, if you have an Indonesian girlfriend, and you want to visit her in Indonesia under her sponsorship.

Photos and Fingerprints at Immigration Offices

For on-line photo taken & finger printing at the Indonesian Immigration office service point, the foreigners should wear a formal outfit & shoes, not allowed to wear a short pants, nor T-Shirt, nor plastic sandals.

Short-term Visas - Visa On Arrival

Foreign husbands of Indonesians can enter Indonesia on a Visa On Arrival (VOA) visit visa initially, then try to find a sponsoring organization (job) after their arrival. The social/visit visa is preferable to a Visa on Arrival since the VOA can not be extended past 60 days; you have to leave Indonesia and re-enter the country on a new 60-day VOA.

You must obtain the Social Visit Visa from an Indonesian embassy overseas before entering Indonesia. Your wife can sponsor a Social Visit Visa, which is initially good for two months and allows four one-month extensions at about Rp 250,000 each (9/2008) in Indonesia without having to leave the country. If the Indonesian wife sponsors the social/visit visa and then the foreign spouse finds employment, he will need to leave Indonesia and go to Singapore, for example, to have the new visa (that his new employers obtains) stamped in his passport and reenter under the new sponsorship.

One person's advice: If the foreign husband does not work, he could transfer money from abroad to an Indonesian bank and save the receipt from the bank, in order to prove that he leaves with his own money. No Indonesian law forbids a foreigner to stay on a sosial budaya visa year long without working. The foreign husband will just have to exit Indonesia every six months (i.e. 60 days for the first leg of the sosbud visa + 4 extensions of 30 days each) and re-enter with a new visa. Immigration officer will may be try to refuse to extend the stay of the husband beyond his fourth month of stay, arguing that they don't know how you are living. But you can overcome this problem by then asking politely to the kantor wilayah of your town of residence and showing all the receipts of the money transferred from abroad. Advice from a expat husband who has lived in Indonesia and stayed on a sosbud visa for 5 years.

Sample Letter to request a Kunjungan SOSBUD Visa
Sample Letter to ask for an extension to a SOSBUD Visa
Sample Surat Permintaan dan Jaminan

Opening a Company - Foreign Investment Visa

Some foreign men married to Indonesians choose another route - by starting a business which is owned by the wife, her family or friends. The business can then apply for a work permit for the foreign husband as an expert. Of course this depends on your area of expertise. For example, if you are an expert diver, your wife can open a dive shop and hire you to teach diving. If you are a chef, your wife can open a restaurant, etc.

In some fields, such as management consulting, a foreigner can open a 100% foreign owned company. These regulations change often, so check with a consultant or lawyer to determine whether or not these might be viable options for your situation.

Obtaining Dual Nationality for Indonesian/Foreign Children

With the advent of the new citizenship law (Law No. 12 of 2006) the children of mixed marriages have the right to hold dual citizenship until they are 18 years old. At 18, they must choose whether to stay Indonesian citizens or follow the foreign citizenship. They will be then given three more years to decide on which nationality to choose. If they are married before the age of 18, their dual citizenship will be revoked.

To summarize:
0 to 18 y.o: Dual citizenship allowed (conditions apply)
18 to 21 y.o: Dual citizenship tolerated, transition/thinking period
21+ y.o: Dual citizenship forbidden by Indonesian government, child must choose one nationality

Any children born after 1 August 2006 are automatically entitled to the indonesian citizenship as per law 12/2006 (undang-undang nomor 12 tahun 2006 tentang kewarganegaraan), meaning that no procedure is required. Just go to the Kantor Imigrasi and get your children a passport, showing their birth certificate (and a few other documents - they will give you the list).

Your children will be entitled by Indonesian Law (check with your own country's laws for the foreign citizenship rules) to have dual citizenship until the children reach the age of 18. The children then have three years to choose one of the two citizenships as their citizenship, meaning that the children will “release” one of them. The day after their 21st birthday, if they have not notified the Immigration Directorate or the Indonesian government of their desire to remain an Indonesian citizen, they will lose their Indonesian citizenship and be automatically considered a foreigner.

With dual citizenship your child will hold two passports. One condition of Indonesia's dual citizenship law is that the child must consistently use the same passport leaving and entering Indonesia, choosing either one of them.

You may decide not to deal with the Indonesian citizenship (though I would not advise it, unless if it is to allow you time to process the child's foreign citizenship) and process a KITAS (temporary residency permit for foreigners). By birth, your children are automatically entitled to the Indonesian passport, if you decide to get it. No immigration officer can say otherwise, since this is an automatic right.

For information on a KITAP for children of mixed marriages and KITAP holders,  refer to Pasal 54 (1) c and Pasal 60 (3) of the new immigration law.

Don't let any corrupt officials ask you for more money than the correct fee. Your child has rights and there is no way that the government officials can refuse to process their citizenship application. A firm warning that you are ready to complain if anyone gives you difficulties should be enough.

How to proceed:

BE AWARE that you only had August 2010 to apply for the dual citizenship. After this date, your kids rights will be void if they are born before August 1st 2006.

Outside Indonesia, contact the KBRI/KJRI of your home country. They will guide you through the process.

July 2009 - Affidavit and Paspor RI for kids born from mixed couples

Dealing with the citizenship of kids born from mixed couples has been for long an headache for the parents, especially when the father was a foreigner. Since 2006, a new citizenship code has been enacted, allowing these kids to have a temporary double citizenship, until they reach the age of 21. (From eighteen years old, they are given up to three years to choose to keep one and only one of the two citizenships).

However, the situation at their birth is still unclear for many with different rumors circulating. There are indeed two different procedures/casees, depending on if the child is born before or after the implementation of the 2006 law.

Case 1: For Children Born Before August 1st, 2006

Children born before August, 1st 2006 are not automatically entitled to Indonesian citizenship. Their Indonesian citizenship is granted after an assessment and a procedure lasting 4 to 6 months which ends with the deliverance of a Surat Keputusan signed by the Minister of Justice and Human Rights. The procedure is initiated at the Kantor Wilayah (if the residence is in Indonesia) or at the KBRI (if the residence is outside of Indonesia). A few forms need to be filled out along with legalized copies of documents such as Akta Perkawinan of the parents, Akta Kelahiran of the kid, Kartu Keluarga, etc. The procedure costs (IDR 500.000) and quite a few KanWil around the country have been known to be abusive about extra charges. But one can still get the procedure done by the book.

Beware, if your child was born before August 1st, 2006 you only had until August 1st 2010 to register and initiate the procedure. The 2006 Indonesian citizenship act gives only four years for children falling under this category to claim their right to Indonesian citizenship.

Registration after the August 2010 deadline can be copmpleted, but there will be fines.

Case 2: For Children Born After August 1st, 2006

For them the situation is less complicated. Being born after that the law took affect, these children are automatically entitled to Indonesian citizenship. Automatically doesn’t mean that one has nothing to do, there are still some procedures. The first step is to have an akta kelahiran (birth certificate) established for the child. Then, one should go to Imigrasi (no hurry, there is no fine nor time limit) to initiate the following procedure:

1. Ask for and complete the form named “permohonan pendaftaran untuk mendapatkan fasilitas keimigrasian“
2. Prepare a copy and the original of the akta kelahiran of the kid
3. Prepare a copy and the original of the akta perkawinan (or akta perceraian if it is the case) of the parents
4. Prepare a copy and the original of the foreign passport (if he/she has one) of the kid
5. Prepare 4 pics with a red background size 4cmx6cm
6. Submit all of the above to your petugas Imigrasi di tempat. Don’t expect a smile or a receipt in return.

After a couple of days an affidavit will be delivered by the KanIm. Up through May 2009, this affidavit was free, but as often happens, good things have an end. In May 2009, the government decided that our children, though automatically Indonesian had to have their first experience with Pajak. Fortunately, since they are still young, the Indonesian government officially only requests IDR 75.000 from them to have this affidavit issued.

An affidavit, stapled onto a foreign passport is enough to authorize our kids to stay in Indonesia without requesting a permit and/or to exit the territory of Indonesia. No need to have an Indonesia passport. However, we strongly advise to apply for a paspor RI for your children, especially if you plan to travel outside of Indonesia and if you want him/her to be aware of his/her double citizenship through the official documents.

To make a Paspor RI for your child born from a mixed marriage is a simple thing… as it can be done in Indonesia.

1. Go to KanIm and ask for a Perdim 11 form and fill it out
2. Both parents (though the signature of the foreign father is not really mandatory) fill out the form and sign on top of a Rp 6,000 meterai with a surat pernyataan giving authority for the issuance of a Paspor RI
3. Prepare a copy and the original of the Akta Perkawinan of the parents
4. Prepare a copy and the original of the Kartu Keluarga
5. Prepare a copy and the original of the Akta Kelahiran of the child
6. Prepare a copy and the original of the Affidavit of the child
7. Prepare a copy and the original of the KTP of the mother
8. Prepare a copy and the original of the passport and/or KITAS (if have) of the foreign father
9. Submit all of these documents to the loket

After an amount of time that can vary from a few hours (inflated fee) to a few days (legal fee – they usually tell you to come back in 3 or 5 days), your child will have his/her photo taken, along with his/her fingerprints (taking the fingerprint of a 6 month old is good fun) and you will be asked a few questions in an interview (wawancara).

It is wise to have all the originals with you at the interview and a few extra pics of the child. Then comes the time for payment: IDR 200.000 for a paspor blanko 48 halaman (48 pages passport)+ IDR 55.000 for the payment of the biometric pics + IDR 15.000 for the fingerprinting. If you pay this and only this, your child ’s passport will be ready in four more days, not more.

If you get the dual citizenship the official way, your kids will have two passports but in their foreign passport they will have an official card from the Indonesian immigration saying that they have dual citizenship. This enables you to avoid having a KITAS for your children and allows them to travel freely without visa to either of the two countries. Having the affadavit is essential and will prevent a lot of problems!

The affadavit is stamped into the foreign passport and Indonesian passport as a "keterangan" referring to the citizenship law of 2006. Every child has to be registered if you want that child to hold the dual citizenships. That affidavit is absolutely necessary. The immigration officer will ask why you don´t have that affidavit in the child's foreign passport.

Check with your embassy/consular office if your country of original doesn't allow dual citizenship for children, to try to come up with a solution that works!

Relavant Citizenship Laws/Regulations:

Undang-Undang 12 Tentang Kearganegaran
Tata Cara Pendaftaran Untuk memperoleh Kewarganegaraan RI

Note: in the past many immigration officials at the airport seemingly disregarded the fact that a child returning on an Indonesian passport had no subsequent passport stamps for travel after the previous departure from Indonesia. Since the advent of the recent immigration law changes - more attention is being paid to these discrepancies - leading to questions about second passports and dual citizenship. It will be to your advantage to have all your documents for the dual citizenship and affadavits in perfect order so that your returning children don't have difficulties when they try to re-enter Indonesia.

Visa Information for Foreign Children

Some ways to handle visas if you decide not to proceed with dual nationality: A KITAP (5 year resident visa) can be obtained for the children of a foreign father/Indonesian mother, IF ... the child has already had 5 successive years as a KITAS holder. This KITAP status can be applied for with the Indonesian mother's sponsorship.

An Indonesian mother can sponsor a KITAS for her foreign nationality children. The visa will say "Turut Ibu Kandung" (following birth mother). You must submit a letter of financial support with the KITAS application, stating how much the foreign father is willing to give the mother and child monthly for support.

Procedures for Registering the Birth of a Child

Children born out of wedlock

If an unmarried Indonesian woman has a baby with an expatriate man and wants the baby to be an Indonesian citizen, this is now possible with the advent of undang undang 12 tahun 2006, Pasal 4 huruf g, which states: "anak yang lahir di luar perkawinan yang sah dari seorang ibu Warga Negara Indonesia". In other words, a child out of wedlock born from an Indonesian mother is granted Indonesian citizenship by the government.

Education concerns for children

Most international schools are now open to Indonesian and foreign nationals. Though the costs are high, the education is highly superior to the Indonesian school system. Foreign children can also attend Indonesian schools, if their parents so choose.

Home ownership

Since foreigners aren't allowed to own homes in Indonesia, if the couple plans to buy a house, it will have to be solely in the name of the wife, and/or her family members. It may be impossible to borrow money from a bank to purchase a home as the bank will recognize that ownership of the husband. s half of the home will revert to the Indonesian government in the case of a default on the loan.

There have been newspaper articles detailing announcements made by the government that foreigners may now purchase apartments. In fact, to this day, there are no regulations which clearly allow foreign ownership of apartments, though rumors abound that these regulations are forthcoming. Currently, the only way a purchase of an apartment can be arranged is if you have a contract with the developer saying that title for the apartment stays in the developer's name until such time as the laws are changed so that the ownership of the apartment can be in the foreigner's name. Needless to say, seriously consider whether or not you can trust the developer to honor the contract.

Expatriate Women Married to Indonesian Men

Visa Status for Foreign Wives

The Indonesian husband can easily apply for his wife to obtain KITAS (or KITAP if you've been married more than 2 years) for her with the status 'ikut suami' , accompanying the husband. The assumption of the Indonesian government has been that these foreign women are housewives, at home raising the children and not in the job market. The foreign wife is allowed to reside in Indonesia under this status, but not allowed to work [note this may changed under the 2011 immigration law, once the relevant regulations are passed]. The basis for this sponsorship is the marriage certificate. Besides that, you need a letter of sponsorship from your husband, your passport, your husband's ID card and his family card (kartu keluarga).

See Registration of Marriages Conducted Abroad

If a foreign wife of an Indonesian is on an ikut suami status and wants to leave Indonesia, she must have a letter stating that her husband has given his permission for her to depart. This letter is needed in order to apply for an exit/reentry permit at the immigration office. This regulation is a formality, but can cause difficulties in the case of a separation, divorce or an attempt to spirit children out of the country.

Sample letter for exit/return entry permit for foreign spouse

For more information, see Getting Married

Employment for Foreign Wives

At this time, a foreign wife of an Indonesian may not work in the formal sector unless she has a work permit, just like all other foreigners. This requires special qualifications and can be complicated unless the wife has skills companies here are desperate for and willing to go through the hassle of all the paperwork which is expensive and time consuming.

This may all be changing once regulations relating to the new immigration law (5/2011) are passed. However until these laws have been passed, we urge caution in assuming you can be employed legally without a work permit and other required documents.

Applying for a KITAP - Do it Yourself!

See UPDATE relating to new immigration law

Many foreign spouses of Indonesians face difficulties in obtaining a permanent residency permit (KITAP) which will allows them to stay in Indonesia for 5 years at a time and makes it easier to get a work permit. A 2007 regulation from the Law and Human Rights Ministry and the 2003 Law on Manpower provides clear and explicit procedures only for those who are sponsored by companies. Foreigners sponsored by their Indonesian spouses can get a KITAP valid for five years but cannot work in the country unless they obtain a work permit.

Before going to immigration:

  • Prepare two photocopies of all required documents (see below)
  • Have lots of photos ready. Two each of 2x3, 3x4, 4x6 – just in case.

Documents you may be asked to provide for an ITAP application (6/2011):

  • Sponsorship letter from your Indonesian spouse
  • Letter of Request (Surat Permohonan) signed on Rp 6.000 meterai stamp
  • Original KTP card of Indonesian spouse
  • Original Family Card (Kartu Keluarga)
  • Original Marriage Certificate (Surat Nikah)
  • Letter of Marriage Permission from Embassy (Ijin Nikah dari Kedutaan Besar) - for newlyweds
  • Bank Account with a minimum credit of Rp 10 million
  • Original Passport of foreign spouse
  • Fill in form from Director General of Immigration (see below)

And possibly ....

  • CV of foreign spouse
  • Copy of medical / health insurance of foreign spouse
  • Bank account records for foreign spouse (for the last three months)

There are two forms to fill in from the Immigration office – both of which can obtained at immigration, which includes the folder (pink) to put it in. Forms and folder should be free.

Step 1 – Warung Buncit Immigration office (we use this office as an example)

Take filled in forms to the 2nd floor of Warung Buncit Immigration office (if you are in Jakarta Selatan) and hand in at the appropriate window. They will tell you to come back in one, two or three days to pick up a letter.

Step 2 – Warung Buncit Immigration office

Pick up the letter you were told to come back for and take it to the Immigration Office in Cawang (get the address from Warung Buncit). The office in Cawang will tell you to buy a folder (different color) to put everything in and then tell you to come back in one, two or three days to pick up a letter.

Step 3 – Cawang Immigration office

Pick up the letter you were told to come back for and take it to the 5th floor, Department Hukuman, Jl. Rasuna Said, Kuningan. They will tell you to come back in one, two or three days to pick up a letter to take back to the Cawang office. Get a phone number because this office is always late with its letter for you and it’s just such a hassle to turn up and not be able to get it.

Step 4 – Department Hukuman

After having rung up and checked the letter is actually ready go, go back here and pick it up. Take this letter back to the Cawang office. They will tell you to come back in one, two or three days to pick up another letter.

Step 5 – Cawang Immigration office

Pick up the letter you were told to come back for and take it back to the Warung Buncit Immigration office. They will tell you to pay the fee – Rp 2 million for a new KITAP and Rp 1 million for a renewal of the KITAP. They will then tell you when to come back to pick up your KiTap. You will also be told to photocopy certain documents. You will also have to take your Buku Pengawasan Orang Asing downstairs so it too can be filled by the appropriate person – no cost. They will then tell to come back in a week, possibly less to pick up your new KiTap.

Step 6 – Warung Buncit Immigration office

When you have picked up your new KiTap. visa (which will be in your passport and your Buku Pengawasan Orang Asing) you can go to the Exit/Reentry window on the second floor to do a one-year exit/reentry visa (you will also need a sponsorship letter from your husband for this). This costs Rp 450,000. They will tell you to come back in one, two or three days to pick up your passport and Buku Pengawasan Orang Asing.

Step 7 – Warung Buncit Immigration office

Pick up your passport and Buku Pengawasan Orang Asing and go to Police Headquarters on Jl. Sudirman and go to the office where all foreigners have to report. Hand over your police book and a photocopy of your passport and Buku Pengawasan Orang Asing. It costs Rp 50,000 and usually takes 3 or 4 days.

***Also at Warung Buncit They will also tell you that now you are entitled to a KTP Orang Asing – this is what all Indonesia citizens must carry around as proof of identity and used in legal documents, etc. You will be directed to the Suku Dinas office in Slipi (ask for the address). This office will give you a letter to take to the Suku Dinas office just off Jl. Radio Dalam (remember at
each office you will asked to come back in one, two or three days to pick up the next letter in the process). The Radio Dalam office will give you a letter to take to your kelurahan (local registry office?) who will then claim that no such document exists. Get a contact name at the Radio Dalam office so that when you are sitting in the kelurahan you can instantly call the Radio Dalam office and let them explain the KTP Orang Asing procedure. The kelurahan person will then suddenly remember the form in the filing cabinet and get you to fill it in. Just follow the instructions of the kelurahan person and by one or two weeks you will have your KTP Orang Asing. It’s supposed to be free but you will be asked to pay, at your discretion, a nominal “administration” fee. There should be no cost involved if you do it yourself. If they begin to hassle you, just take your husband and let him handle it. It’s not worth the effort to lose control at this office.

This KTP Orang Asing also allows the foreign spouse to get a five-year driver’s license.

Thanks to Ala of C-4 for this information on applying for a Kitap.

Change of Citizenship for Foreign Spouse

The Foreign wife or husband of an Indonesian citizen has to stay for five full uninterrupted years on an ITAS or ITAP as (one of) the prerequisites to apply for Indonesian citizenship. The old UU 62/1958 gave a lot of facilities to foreign females married to Indonesian citizen. This was borderline with the Indonesian constitution by the way since any WNI should be treated the same and that there is no reason to discriminate female WNI married to WNA by making it harder for their foreign husband to reside and become WNI - but the new citizenship has leveled the requirement. ANY applicant must be here for at least 5 years (or a total of 10 interrupted years of residency).

Speaking fluent Bahasa Indonesia is another requirement.

The only real difference for those married with an Indonesian citizen is that they are not required to have a KITAP first to apply while those who are not married with a WNI MUST be KITAP holder first.

Expat wives of Indonesian men may consider changing their nationality for a variety of reasons including: to avoid ownership problems with their jointly owned property, to avoid inheritance problems upon the death of their spouse, to enable them to work without a work permit, to build their own business without the hassles of work permits and visas each year, or to help their husband's career. Often, it is a combination of various factors, along with the fact that their children are Indonesian citizens and decreasing ties in their home country due to a long residence in Indonesia.

Some foreign wives who have changed their citizenship to Indonesian may be able to arrange it so that they keep their foreign passports, yet be advised that according to Indonesian regulations this is illegal. Some countries allow you to give up your citizenship once in your life and still get it back again in the future, so check with your embassy to see what rules would apply and what the legal implications of giving up your citizenship would be.

Consider carefully the choice to change your citizenship. You may want to preserve your children's rights to foreign citizenship for the day they want to go to your home country for university education. Foreign student tuition isn't cheap! For more information see 2006 Indonesian Nationality Act - 2006 Citizenship law in English.

You can pick up the flier with info on how to become an Indonesian citizen (WNI) at your local KanWil office. Also ask for the forms that have the Surat Permohonan, etc. You will also need to provide the following:

  • photo copy of your birth certificate
  • photocopy of evidence of residence
  • photocopy of the KTP and birth certificate of your Indonesian spouse
  • photocopy of your marriage certificate
  • a letter from immigration stating you've been in Indonesia for more than five years
  • your registration from the police
  • a letter from your embassy stating you renounce your citizenship
  • a letter stating your acceptance of NKRI, Pancasila, UUD45 etc etc - (this is a form letter you can obtain from KanWil)
  • 6 pasfoto 4x6
  • Rp. 500,000

The processing time obviously varies a lot but you can expect it to take a while. No need to use an agent, just do it yourself.

Reference: Pasal 19 Undang Undang nomor 12 tahun 2006 tentang kewarganegaraan RI:

(1) Warga negara asing yang kawin secara sah dengan Warga Negara Indonesia dapat memperoleh Kewarganegaraan Republik Indonesia dengan menyampaikan pernyataan menjadi warga negara di hadapan Pejabat.
(2) Pernyataan sebagaimana dimaksud pada ayat (1) dilakukan apabila yang bersangkutan sudah bertempat tinggal di wilayah negara Republik Indonesia paling singkat 5 (lima) tahun berturut-turut atau paling singkat 10 (sepuluh) tahun tidak berturut-turut, kecuali dengan perolehan kewarganegaraan tersebut mengakibatkan berkewarganegaraan ganda.
(3) Dalam hal yang bersangkutan tidak memperoleh Kewarganegaraan Republik Indonesia yang diakibatkan oleh kewarganegaraan ganda sebagaimana dimaksud pada ayat (2), yang bersangkutan dapat diberi izin tinggal tetap sesuai dengan peraturan perundang-undangan.
(4) Ketentuan lebih lanjut mengenai tata cara menyampaikan pernyataan untuk menjadi Warga Negara Indonesia sebagaimana dimaksud pada ayat (1) dan ayat (2) diatur dengan Peraturan Menteri.

Nationality of Children

As stated above, the Indonesian government regulations now allows dual citizenship of children born to an Indonesian man or woman and a foreign spouse.

If your child is born overseas, you must first obtain a birth certificate from the country of birth. Take this to the consular office at the Indonesian consulate or embassy and apply for an Indonesian birth certificate. The consulate will make an Indonesian translation of the foreign birth certificate and consularize the translation. This translation becomes the child's legal birth certificate for paperwork matters in Indonesia. Be sure that a copy of the foreign birth certificate is consularized by the Indonesian consular office as well. Once the birth certificate is in hand, you can choose to apply for the Indonesian citizenship.

Be certain to discuss the legal status of your child very thoroughly with the consular officials in your home country or your embassy in Jakarta before making decisions on dual citizenship and visas ... to determine if there will be any complications with prevailing laws in the home country of the foreign spouse.

Visa implications for children

Children born to Indonesian fathers or mothers do not need visas to enter or reside in Indonesia, if they hold Indonesian citizenship as per undang undang 12 tahun 2006.

In some cases, foreign mother's of these Indonesian children have been asked to provide proof of their husband's permission to take the children out of the country, if he is not traveling with them. This problem seems to arise when the last name of the foreign mother and the Indonesian children are different. If you are worried about being asked, be sure to carry a letter from your husband and show it to the immigration officials whiny depart Indonesia.

Education Concerns for Children

Because the children of these marriages follow the father's citizenship, they are Indonesian citizens, and therefore in the past have not been allowed to attend international schools in Indonesia (this was a government regulation, not the school's). The only exception to this rule was when the mother had a work permit or the parents were divorced. In these instances, the children could attend an international school, through the mother's sponsorship. If the mother's status is ikut suami and she is sponsored by her husband, the children must attend Indonesian schools or be home schooled. There are no restrictions for children of foreign nationality to attend Indonesian schools, when both parents are foreigners.

Since the above was written, the regulations have loosened a bit ... and now the “Indonesian children” of expat women and Indonesian men have been able to attend some international schools (not all). Following is the story of one successful attempt:

The person I contacted at the Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan ministry said that I needed a letter from my embassy, requesting that my child be admitted to an international school. The person I knew at the embassy then called P&K and clarified matters, so in the end I did not need that letter after all.”

I wrote a letter to P&K detailing our choice of school, included my daughter's date of birth and passport details, and husband's KTP particulars. I had to sign the letter on a Rp. 6,000 meterai (tax stamp).

The man I spoke with at P&K, Pak Yunus, promised the embassy contact 3 working days and the letter permission for attending an international school would be ready. I did not have to pay for the letter, and Pak Yunus was courteous, and even sought my advice on the education system differences in Indonesia and Singapore.”

The address to contact is:
Dir-Gen Pedidikan Dasar Dan Menegah
Jalan Jend. Sudirman
Gedung E Lantai 5
UP Bagian Tata Laksana
Tel. 572-5610
Pak Yunus 572-5612

Kartu Keluarga (KK)

As the children of Indonesian men married to foreign women are, in most cases, Indonesian citizens, all the children and the foreign wife need to be listed on the husband's Kartu Keluarga (family card). The Indonesian husband is considered to be the Kepala Keluarga. If your husband is still on his parent's Kartu Keluarga, you need to arrange for a separate Kartu Keluarga for your family unit after your marriage. The document is obtained through your local RT/RW/Lurah and is the basic document on which all other documents are based - KTP, passport, etc. Be sure to have your children added to your husband's Kartu Keluarga after birth.

Historically, foreign wives of Indonesian men were listed on the husband's Kartu Keluarga once they had a KITAS ... but their documentation (visa number) appeared under the heading Kewarganegaraan. It has two columns W.N.R.I./Keturunan and Orang Asing.

The document SKSKP (Certificate Listing Family Members) is issued by Catatan Sipil for foreign wives on a KITAS (not yet a KITAP). by some offices, in place of putting the foreign wife on the husband's Kartu Keluarga. There seems to be some confusion on the proper paperwork with various offices.

A foreigner with an temporary stay permit would get a foreigner or visitors identity card (KIP) and a certificate listing family members (SKSKP). And a foreigner with a permanent stay permit will receive an identity card for foreigners (KTP WNA) and card listing family members (KK).

Persist in requesting the appropriate document as this is an important document for your family as your inclusion can have an influence on whether or not you get a KITAP after five years of residence on a KITAS.

Legally, only Indonesians and the foreign spouse on a KITAP (permanent resident) can be listed on the same KK as the Indonesian husband. This is the regulation. Previously a foreign wife could get added to the KK once they had been issued a KITAS.

Many Catatan Sipil don't enforce it as long as the head of the family is not a foreigner. Many times a foreign wife and/or foreign children have been listed with no problem, though they should not actually be. Civil servants just don't know the law. However, if a foreigner has a KITAP (5 year permanent residncy) he/she can be listed on a KK. No real solution for KK inclusion is offered to foeigners on a simple KITAS.

Recently issued Kartu Keluarga are laminated, so that you can not make corrections/additions by yourself. In order to get a person added to the card, you have to have a Head of Household who must show his ijasah (school diploma) and then you MUST show proof of birth and relationship to the listed Kepala Keluarga (head of household). The new version however is not mandatory, however, and you do not have to switch over to it if you do not want to.

Home Ownership

Since foreigners aren't yet allowed to own homes in Indonesia, if the couple plans to buy a house, it will have to be solely in the name of the husband, and/or his family members. You can put the title for your home or other property in the names of your children. If they are minors, the parents or other family members can be appointed as guardians until they come of age.

It may be impossible to borrow money from a bank to purchase a home as the bank will recognize that ownership of the wife's half of the home will revert to the Indonesian government in the case of a default on the loan. The only exception to this is if the foreign spouse has signed a prenuptial agreement (pisah harta) stating that she is not entitled to the Indonesian spouse's property upon his/her death or a divorce. In this case a couple can receive a housing loan.

Visa status for unmarried couples

An Indonesian husband will not be able to sponsor a limited stay permit (KITAS) for his foreign fiancé until they are legally married. If they wish to live in Indonesia prior to being married, the Indonesian husband-to-be should apply for a social/visit visa for his foreign wife-to-be. Once the marriage is legal, he can then apply for a KITAS without the foreign wife having to leave the country. If she enters on a Visa on Arrival , she must leave Indonesia after the KITAS has been approved to have the new visa stamped in her passport in an Indonesian embassy abroad. So, beware of the possible future travel implications of entering Indonesia on a Visa on Arrival - if your intention is to reside in Indonesia.

In the case of a divorce

The legal rulings regarding divorce in mixed marriages are somewhat contradictory. It is not easy to find out exactly what applies. Some points in the law are clear: The property owned prior to the marriage remain the property of the person concerned. Any inheritance received by the husband or wife during the marriage is not shared, but remains the property of the person concerned. Any income earned by either person during the marriage is shared. In case of divorce the mother is generally given custody of young children, however this is not clear-cut and the decision is made on a case-by-case basis.

For more information on divorce

Inheritance

It is highly recommended, and very wise, for wives of Indonesian husbands to coax their husbands into writing a will. If the couple doesn't have a will, and the Indonesian husband passes away, the wife will have to go to court to get her status recognized/legalized. As she is only given one year to sell any property owned by her husband, time is of the essence. Should her husband's family challenge her right to inheritance and she does not have a will, she may lose out to his family. Even though the marriage law states clearly that a wife shall inherit from her husband, the law interprets matters differently when the wife is a foreigner.

Far more interesting is the inheritance law which differentiates between muslims and non-muslims wheras there is no difference according to christian law. The marriage procedure (civil/Mulim) has an effect on other legal matters that follow later on, including inheritance.

NPWP for Working Foreign Wives

You can apply for your own NPWP if you are working. If you have had an NPWP in the past, but never received an NPWP card, just ask for a card to be printed out .. and it will safe you hassles at the airport when you depart the country.

Help with Paperwork

Foreign wives of Indonesians may find that it relatively easy to make their own visa applications together with their husband. Be patient and understanding and develop a good rapport with the various officials that you deal with. Remember, you will need their help EVERY YEAR of your residence in Indonesia to extend your visa. Foreign husbands of Indonesians women may find it easier to use an agent.

If you choose to use one of the hundreds of agents who operate in Jakarta, beware. Some are unscrupulous and will charge you 10 times the actual fee for their services. They may also obtain incorrect or incomplete documentation which will cause many headaches and difficulties at a later date.

Ask friends for recommendations, compare prices and be sure of exactly what paperwork the agent will complete for the fee. There are agents listed in the classified section of major newspapers. Don't accept the first one you talk to, tell them you are looking at the services of several agents and already have other offers that you want to compare their offer to. You will be surprised at how the price drops down.

KITAS for Adult Children

Children from mixed marriages holding foreign citizenship are eligible for residency in Indonesia (ITAP or KITAP). There is no age limit - providing that their Indonesian parent is still alive as he/she has to sponsor them initially.  Once they have the ITAP, it will not be revoked if the Indonesian parent dies, but they would have to have another Indonesian sponsor in that case.

Visa Tinggal Terbatas (Temporary Residence Visa) is the permit for entering Indonesia for a person who is planning to reside here.  It is issued by an Indonesian Embassy/Consulate in another country and has to be used within 90 days of being issued.  On arrival a Tanda Masuk (Entry Permit) is given and the person has to apply for ITAS within 30 days at the Immigration Office.  ITAS (also called KITAS) is the Limited Stay Permit issued by the Immigration Office after arriving in Indonesia and submitting all required documents.  It is valid for 1 year.  Your children may have to get ITAS first then convert to ITAP but they should be eligible to get the ITAS immediately.

Your Indonesian spouse and children would need to actually be in Indonesia to get the ITAP.  Only the visa can be obtained at the overseas Indonesian embassy.

The ITAP will no longer be valid if the holder leaves Indonesia for longer than 1 year.  So theoretically mixed parentage children holding a ITAS/ITAP could live overseas most of the time and just come to Indonesia at least once a year to maintain the ITAP.  There is no age limit to apply, just that the Indonesian parent needs to be alive.

The process could take 2 to 4 weeks. Regarding costs, Tanda Masuk is free of charge, but there is a cost for ITAP.

Work Permits for Adult Children of Mixed Marriages

Our adult WNA children can choose to live and work in Indonesia.  There is no age limit.  Your adult child would need to enter Indonesia on a Visa Tinggal Terbatas.  After getting an Entry Stamp (Tanda Masuk), he must  apply to the local Immigration Office for Izin Tinggal Tetap (ITAP).

Although an adult child from a mixed marriagge (that doesn't have an Indonesian passport) can get an ITAP as the son of an Indonesian father/mother, he/she will need to get a work permit sponsored by the company if he/she works formally for a company.  With the ITAP he/she can work without a work permit in the informal sector or be self employed.

* * * * *

In summation, you will find enormous flexibility in the implementation of regulations in Indonesia. Almost everything can be 'worked out', depending on who you know -- or what kind of connections the Indonesian spouse's family has within the bureaucracy. What works for you may not work for someone else and visa versa. It's best to educate yourself thoroughly as to the legal implications of the various steps you take in your quest to establish legal residence in Indonesia.

As one of our readers said it “The laws are stretched left and right beyond belief by Indonesian leaders, enabling multi-billion dollar thieves to get away with it with no punishment in sight. So, a little stretching here and there for personal use and for the sake of one's family, especially when it does not harm anyone, is in my mind okay.”

Interesting Articles for Mixed Couples:

Groups for Indonesian women with expat husbands:

Komunitas Melati

Masyarakat Perkawinan Campuran Indonesia

Srikandi

Portraits of Our Kids - share your kids pics with the community!

Administrative Acknowledgement of A Previously Performed Moslem Marriage in Indonesia

Marriage Annulments in Indonesia

Child Custody & Maintenance in Indonesia

Child Legalization in Indonesia

KITAS Renewal for Children: A Do-it-yourself Guide

Legitimacy of Children Born in Indonesia

Divorce and Marital Dissolutions in Indonesia

Marriage and its Legal Implications in Indonesia

Administrative Acknowledgement of Previously Performed Moslem Marriage in Indonesia

Postnuptial Agreements in Indonesia

Getting Indonesian Citizenship via a Child's Indonesian Mother

New Citizenship Law - Undang-Undang Kewarganegaraan Republic Indonesia No. 12 Tahun 2006 Tentang Kewarganegaraan (Bahasa Indonesia)

Peraturan Menteri tentang Tata Cara Pendaftaran Untuk Memperoleh Kewarganegaraan RI [Download PDF 867 KB]

Peraturan Menteri tentang Tata Cara Menyampaikan Pernyataan untuk Menjadi Warga Negara Indonesia [Download PDF 421 KB]

The Validity of Marriage

Legalizing Children Born Out of Wedlock

Prenuptial Agreements for Mixed Marriage Couples

Bilingual & Multilingual Children's Association - practical guide to raising multilingual children. Expert advice and real world wisdom with parent discussions, tips and articles on kids growing up with multiple languages.

Nikah Bawah Tangan

Dowry Advice

Inheritance Issues and Solutions

Conversion to Islam .. in order to marry

Indonesian Family Law Relating to Marriages Between Expats and Indonesians

Traditional Batak Karo Wedding of Heinz and Merry

 

Other interesting websites:

Javanese Wedding Traditions - expat experiences

Addresses of Catatan Sipil Offices in Jakarta (Civil Registry)

  • Central Jakarta - Satuan Pelaksana Catatan Sipil Kotamadya Jakarta Pusat, Jln. Tanah Abang I/1 Jakarta Pusat. Telp. (62-21) 380-9661
  • North Jakarta - Satuan Pelaksana Catatan Sipil Kotamadya Jakarta Utara, Jln. Berdikari No. 2 Jakarta Utara. Telp. (62-21) 490-358
  • West Jakarta - Satuan Pelaksana Catatan Sipil Kotamadya Jakarta Barat, Jln. Kelapa Dua Raya No. 10, Jakarta Barat. Telp. (62-21) 548-2420
  • South Jakarta - Satuan Pelaksana Catatan Sipil Kotamadya Jakarta Selatan, Jln. H. Samali No. 17 Jakarta Selatan. Telp. (62-21) 794-0884

 

Our thanks to Olivier Rula and other community members for all their help in updating much of this information.

 

 

Housing and schooling information for expats in Indonesia expatriate website for Indonesia Indonesian language translation of article
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