Citizenship Law

Oct 4th, 2006, in News, by

The implementation of the new citizenship law seems to be progressing with unusual swiftness.

The new law, UU Kewarganegaraan, touted as a “revolutionary” change in the way that the state views citizenship and nationality, was passed by the parliament on July 11th and the affected government departments were at that time given nine months to prepare the necessary regulations and forms to allow it to be implemented.

On 29th September it was reported that the minister for Law & Human Rights, Hamid Awaluddin, had the previous week just completed two ministerial edicts concerning the new rules for citizenship. The first decree was concerned with the status of children of mixed marriages, marriages where one party was Indonesian and the other foreign. Such children will now receive Indonesian citizenship automatically, whereas in the past this was only possible where the father was Indonesian. Had the children been born to a foreign man and an Indonesian women they were previously regarded as aliens, and needed visas to live in the country of their birth.

The second decree issued by the minister lays out the details, including relevant forms and paperwork, for Indonesians abroad who have lost their citizenship because they did not report themselves to an Indonesian diplomatic mission for five years, to regain their original citizenship. Such people will now have three years in which to re-apply for it.

A further two decrees need to be issued in order for the law to come fully into effect.

127 Comments on “Citizenship Law”

  1. Sandy says:

    I became a canadian citizen a couple of years back. I looked everywhere to find out what the procedure is to surrender my Indonesian citizenship. Does anyone know what needs to be done. I do not think I have my Indonesian passport anymore. Will that cause a problem?

  2. Sunda Wijaya says:

    @ Odinius
    “It should be true for adults, if for no other reason than that Indonesians living abroad are making a lot of money and would be far more likely to reinvest that money in Indonesia if they were not cut off by the Indonesian government. If anyone doesn’t believe me, I’d suggest looking at the role played by “foreign-resident nationals” and “foreign-born nationals” in building up the states that were once in Yugoslavia. Croatia, for example, rightly guessed that being liberal in how the state gives out citizenship to people whose families are from Croatia would result in a massive influx in investment and a powerful set of activists for Croatian causes in the US, Australia, the EC/EU and elsewhere.”

    I can confirm what the Odinius claims since I myself live in Croatia. Croatia as a country managed to survive War for independence among other things due to funding from the Croatian diaspora from the above mentioned countries. Later their investments and return helped to rebuild the country. That was possible as Odinius correctly noted due to the supportive politics of dual citizenship for diaspora.

    Indonesia can learn from the example and apply similar model considering the Indonesians and their children children born overseas.

    Another examples of support independence struggle and subsequent investments in the country of origin include the Irish and establishment of Republic of Ireland in 1921, and less popular example of the State of Israel in 1948.

  3. Odinius says:

    Gdje zivis u Hrvatskoj, brate? I was in Zagreb for an extended stay about a decade ago, and another in Dubvronik a couple years later. Terrible politics, but wonderful place. Where are you based and how do you find being an Indonesian there?

    On the issue at hand, you are absolutely correct. It’s amazing how invested Croats abroad are in Croatia, both financially and emotionally. Indonesia would benefit greatly from a similar arrangement.

  4. Sunda Wijaya says:

    Lijep pozdrav i tebi, projatelju. I live in Zagreb. I agree abt Croatia. Politics sucks, but the people and the country is nice to live. I’m Indo (campuran Sunda-Croasia) and have absolutely no problem with fellow Croats. In fact it is sometimes a big plus.

    Back to issue, I wish my little daughter and me could have dual citizenship for life (my wife’s Indonesian). It would make us easier to buy a house and start a business should we decide to return to Indonesia. As a foreiger one cannot rely on “alibabas” when coming to property and business ownership.

  5. Odinius says:

    Zagreb is a very underrated city. Miss the old haunts…Nokturna Pizza, cafes/bars on Tkalciceva, Mama, that one kick-ass sladoled place on Ilica, etc. Haven’t been back since 2003 though, when I started going to Indonesia instead. Will (hopefully) go back next summer. Still have a bunch of good friends there…

    I asked about being an Indonesian there because I noticed that when I mentioned Indonesia (I traveled there for the first time after an extended stay in Croatia) a lot of people appeared to remember Sukarno and that earlier era of socialisticko samoupravljanje and the non-aligned movement fondly, even if they weren’t too keen on the more recent communist era.

  6. Sunda Wijaya says:

    @ Odinius

    That is correct regarding Sukarno and non-aligned movement. I would say people like Indonesians here because we are able to easily integrate with the locals. That cannot be said for the local Chinese who mostly keep themselves toghether.

  7. kenk says:

    How was barak obama able to attend school in indonesia if he was not an indonesian?

  8. Odinius says:

    kenk said:

    How was barak obama able to attend school in indonesia if he was not an indonesian?

    the same way indonesians can attend american schools without being US citizens…by being a resident.

  9. Andy says:

    The parallel between Indonesia and Croatia are interesting. You don’t need to look that far though, in our own backyard the Philippines and Thailand have the same principle. If their blood is from there they are entitled to invest and buy property there. It includes their children as well even if born overseas and have a bule father. In the case of the Philippines, a great source of their income is derived from expats living abroad sending money home. This money is then stimulating the economy as their poorer relatives at home are then able to spend what they otherwise couldn’t.
    Just yet another example of the opportunites Indonesia could have if they weren’t so xenophobic and shortsighted.

  10. mummyyam says:

    I am Filipino and married with Indonesian husband last 2006. This May 2009 I delivered to our daughter and she is automatically handle Indonesian citizenship. My question is can my daughter apply for dual citizenship (filipino-indonesian)?

  11. indolady says:

    hi.. im indonesian lady, i wish to marry filipino guy and we both currently working in malaysia. is that true, if i get married to him, i have to follow him to be a filipina? what if i dont want to give up my indonesian citizenship?
    i hope u can give me your answer. thanks.

  12. andy says:

    indolady, you won’t lose your citizenship but you will lose the right to own land and /or business in your country. Indonesia you see is worried big bad bules like me will own more than they’re able to. Your kids also, if not born in Indonesia, will not be citizens either. This rule doesn’t apply to males who marry foreigners though. My advice to you is join a womens group like KPC Melati and lobby your local politicians. The more pressure the people aplly, the more likely things are to change.

  13. Ieyong says:


    I am Indonesia citizen and Singapore PR. My husband also Indonesia citizen and Singaporean PR. I am pregnant now. Based on the singapore law, my son need to join national service at Singapore. Will he lost his indonesia citizenship if he join national service singapore ???

    If I become a singaporean, will Indonesia government will take my husband property at Indonesia because I abandon my Indonesia citizenship ????

  14. Chin says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I am Filipina and married to an Indonesian, been living and working here in Indonesia for about 2 years with my KITAS (renewed yearly). I read somewhere that I need to continuously stay here in Indonesia for approximately 5 years and then can apply for a 5 year KITAP (resident) and thereafter the 5 years can process my citizenship. As of this time, I think there is no immediate need to become “Indonesian citizen”, but I guess in the future, to protect myself from what is rightfully mine, then I would have to seriously consider this. However, does anyone know if this 5 year stay (through KITAS) and 5 year resident (KITAP) is the right process? I was informed recently that it changed from 15 and 20 years. Would appreciate your comments and suggestions.

    Warm regards!

  15. Mohan De Silva says:

    hai im a sri lankan,im married with Indonesian woman.our plan is in future settle down in Indonesia,so how can i apply for kitas?what kind of they need for that?
    also how i can apply for the permanent resident?
    can any one give me a suggestion?

    thank you

    best regards

  16. Matt says:

    Can an adult Indonesian citizen obtain citizenship in a foreign country and retain their Indonesian citizenship at the same time?

  17. Odinius says:

    Matt asked:

    Can an adult Indonesian citizen obtain citizenship in a foreign country and retain their Indonesian citizenship at the same time?

    Not legally. Some do it anyways, but you could get in trouble if the Indonesian government found out. There’s good indication Indonesia will pass an adult dual-citizenship law, though. It’s simply too lucrative not to.

  18. maftukha says:

    i’m indonesia citizenship how no merrid srilanka, i have 1 kids 3 year old, she have srilanka pasport, but i get already indonesian citizenship, i want to now, how long that can be use, any one now…??

  19. gina says:

    im a filipina i married an indonesian. we are not really married. we have 1 daughter and i want to go back to philippine and stay there. what should i do to transfer the citizen of my daughter? please help me.. thanks

  20. gina says:

    please is anyone can help me. the problem is my husband do not like to stay in my country. i cannot force myself im really not happy to stay here. please give me an advice what is the best thing to do.. thanks

  21. David says:

    Gina, I think you should contact your embassy:

    Philippines Embassy , Indonesia

    # 6 – 8 Jalan Imam Bonjol Menteng
    Jakarta Pusat

    Philippines Consulate , Indonesia

    Jl. Projakal 157, Klandasan Ulu
    Kalimantan Barat

    Philippines Consulate , Indonesia

    Jl. Tikala Satu No. 12 Tikala Ares Lingk. I
    Sulawesi Utara

    Philippines Consulate , Indonesia

    Jl. Kaliwaron 128
    Jawa Timur

  22. gina says:

    thank you so much mr david.. i will try hope this can help. god bless you!

  23. yunusjay says:

    as salam alaikom, im a filipino and wanted to marry in indonesia, can anyone please help me to know the requirements on how to marry in indonesia… please give an advice, i appreciate any advices..thank you very much…jazakalakhair…

  24. gina says:

    mr. david the email add that u gave me is not working im trying to send.can anyone help me what to do. i want to transfer my kid to filipino cititzenship. thanks

  25. mary says:

    Hi, Im a filipina and will marry indonesian by aug of next year. We met in Dubai and still residing here but would want to marry in Cebu Philippines. We need to know what are the requirements he needs to bring to my country to apply for the marriage license before the big day. Pls advice coz his mom needs to process all the docs required for us since we are here in Dubai..I have searched over the internet on these matter but we can only find US citizens marrying filipina with complete lists of documents required.We dont want to panic last minute on missing documents,we are hoping you can give us advices. Thank you very much!

  26. wague says:

    Hi there im foreign in indonesia almost 3 years. So right now i need to find indonesian citizen so what i should have to be apply nationalty of indonesia?
    Hopefuly you can show me the best ways to become a indonesian.
    I just wanna know that.

    need to know what are the requirements to become a indonesian citezen almost 3 years i stay in indonesia. And i stil have indonesian residing permit. So my head on nationalty now really. If can u help me
    So that will be glad as happy so much

  27. gina says:

    sorry to all, i cant give any advice about the requirerments in phil bcoz i myself need help.. i dont want to stay in indonesia anymore… pls, if someone knows on how to transfer my kid to filipino citizen pls give me an advice.. thank you so much……

  28. Arie Brand says:

    Mary, one essential document that you will need is a declaration issued by the Indonesian embassy in Manila stating that there are no objections to your husband marrying you. Usually this is to prevent somebody from committing bigamy – which is of course forbidden under Filipino law (but might not be so in Indonesia).

    You will haver to jump through various other hoops like attending an obligatory lecture on family planning (when you are marrying in Cebu this is delivered in Visayan so that will do your Indonesian husband a power of good). You also have to go through an equally compulsory ‘psychological’ test to gauge whether you and your husband are compatible. My experience was that they ask you quite intrusive questions (to be answered separately in writing by you and your future husband) such as: what will you do when you feel like sex and your partner doesn’t etc.

    The young lass who submitted us to the test picked us up on that one because we had given different answers. When the session was over I asked her whether she had a degree in psychology – no, she said, hotel management. It is all a bit absurd but you better take it seriously. i don’t know what they will do if they come to the conclusion that you are totally incompatible – a bit of ‘counselling’ I suppose. Since they submit you to these things when the marriage date is already established it would be awkward if, on the basis of this nonsense, they would put a spoke in the wheel. This is quite unlikely to happen though.

    Mind you, my experience dates from quite a while back and things might have changed – though that declaration from your embassy in Manila probably remains a prime requirement.

    Gina, it seems to me that if you want to enter the Philippines legally with your child you need to have her/his name in your passport (which, I presume, is still a Filipino one). So you would have to find out at your nearest Flipino consulate whether and how that can be done. Presumably they will require a birth certificate, mentioning you as the mother, and a statement from the father that he agrees with your child’s name being in your passport.

  29. Arie Brand says:

    Mary, in addition to what I have already said, you will need a certificate from a barangay captain stating, among other things, that he knows you as a resident of his barangay. So if you come from Cebu your best bet is to return to the barangay you used to live in. At the municipal hall of your particular town they can provide you with a complete list of requirements – make sure that it is complete for among the many surprises that the Filipino bureaucracy can have in store for one is the belated information that the list was not complete or that you got the wrong list altogether.

  30. debville says:

    I’m a Filipino who would like to marry an Indonesian We decided for her to stay in Jakarta while I’m working on a ship. I have up to 5-6 months contract….meaning i need to leave her …but as far as I know i need to stay for 5 years for me to be able to be full pledge indo. I would like to try this option so we can purchase properties for both of us. But would it be difficult to do so?

    And since Indonesia doesn’t recognize dual citizenship, What is the best way to do so I can retain my citizenship and freely move around Phil and Indo.

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