Indonesia is Calling: Your Citizenship Guide

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Dive in as we demystify the process of obtaining Indonesian citizenship.

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Who Are Indonesian Citizens?

Indonesian Citizens are:

  • Everyone who is based on statutory regulations and based on agreements between the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and other countries prior to Law No. 12 of 2006 in effect has become an Indonesian citizen;
  • children born from legal marriages from Indonesian fathers and mothers;
  • a child born from a legal marriage between an Indonesian citizen father and a foreign citizen mother (from now on abbreviated to a foreigner)
  • a child born from a legal marriage of a foreign father and an Indonesian mother;
  • A child born from a legal marriage of an Indonesian citizen but whose father does not have Citizenship or the law of the country of origin, the father does not grant Citizenship to the child;
  • Children born within 300 days after their father’s death from a legal marriage, and the father is an Indonesian citizen;
  • children born outside the legal marriage of an Indonesian citizen;
  • A child born outside of a legal marriage from a foreign mother who an Indonesian father recognizes as her child, and the recognition is made before the child is 18 years old or has not yet married;
  • Children born in the territory of the Republic of Indonesia whose nationality status of the father and mother is not clear at birth;
  • Newborn children who are found in the territory of the Republic of Indonesia as long as their father and mother are not known;
  • A child born in the territory of the Republic of Indonesia if the father and mother do not have Citizenship or where their whereabouts are unknown;
  • A child born outside the territory of the Republic of Indonesia from an Indonesian father and mother who, due to the provisions of the country where the child was born, grants Citizenship to the child concerned;
  • The child of a father or mother whose citizenship application has been granted, then the father or mother dies before taking an oath or pledge of allegiance.

Why Become An Indonesian Citizen?

The Republic of Indonesia is a beautiful country with more than 17,000 islands.

Being the world’s largest archipelago state, Indonesia offers a mix of vibrant cultures, breathtaking landscapes, bustling cities, and a rapidly developing economy from Sumatra to Papua.

Given that, it is no wonder that Indonesia attracts numerous foreigners who fall in love with this beautiful country every year.

They then wish to acquire Citizenship to secure a long-term stay in Indonesia, be it in Jakarta, Medan, Bali, Yogyakarta, Lombok, Bandung, and so on, and might be wondering how to obtain Indonesian Citizenship.

Being a citizen of Indonesia provides numerous benefits:

  1. Freedom of movement to travel and establish a business in Indonesia: As an Indonesian citizen, one can live, work, establish a business in Indonesia, and travel throughout the country without restrictions.

This includes access to all provinces, islands, and cities in Indonesia, each with unique cultural nuances and economic opportunities.

  1. Economic Opportunities: As reported by the World Bank in 2021, Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s largest economy and one of the world’s emerging market economies.

It offers opportunities for entrepreneurs and employees in sectors ranging from technology and manufacturing to tourism and agriculture.

One can fully participate in and benefit from such a growing economy by obtaining Indonesian Citizenship.

  1. Property Ownership: Although the recent law has allowed foreign nationals to acquire land and property in Indonesia, such acquisition still has some limitations.

Being an Indonesian citizen, however, will allow one to own land and property outright with the highest known land title in Indonesia, i.e., Hak Milik, providing more stability and investment opportunities.

  1. Having a Sense of Belonging with Family through Marriage: If a foreigner is married to an Indonesian citizen, choosing to acquire Indonesian Citizenship as a foreign spouse allows them to engage fully in their partner’s life.

It also provides a sense of belonging to their new family. It can significantly deepen their connection to their spouse’s heritage, allowing them to understand their customs, traditions, and values from a first-hand perspective.

It allows one to fully participate in Indonesian life—from voting in local elections and purchasing property to enjoying the same social benefits as their spouse.

Who Can Obtain Indonesian Citizenship?

Indonesian Citizenship is automatically obtained by children born to at least one Indonesian parent, regardless of their place of birth and the marriage status of their parents.

 Aside from the above, people in the following situations also have the right to ask for Indonesian Citizenship:

  • Foreigners who have resided in Indonesia for a long term (as an entrepreneur, employees, retirees, etc.);
  • The foreign spouse of an Indonesian citizen;
  • An ex-Indonesian citizen;
  • A foreign child (less than five years old) who an Indonesian citizen adopts; and
  • Foreigners who have made significant contributions to Indonesia’s nation.

Indonesian Nationality Law

The 1945 Charter, as modified, as well as other citizenship regulations that have been altered over the period, and also foreign accords to which Indonesia has been a signatory, govern Indonesian citizenship policy.

These regulations define who is an Indonesian resident or qualified to become one.

According to Indonesian law, the most common ways to obtain nationality are to be born in the country or have at least one native parent. Other approaches to obtaining nationality are addressed further down.

How To Obtain An Indonesian Citizenship?

The means to obtain Indonesian Citizenship can differ depending on the person’s situation.

Unless in a situation of adoption or a foreigner with a significant contribution to Indonesia’s nation, Indonesian Citizenship, in essence, can be obtained through naturalization.

Basically, there are 3 (three) main categories of naturalization:

  1. Naturalization for foreigners who have resided in Indonesia for a long term;
  2. Naturalization for foreign spouse of an Indonesian citizen; and
  3. Naturalization for an ex-Indonesian citizen.

Although the Indonesian Citizenship Law outlines similar requirements for the three categories of naturalization, the administrative procedure itself may vary.

For example, the naturalization of the foreign spouse of an Indonesian citizen can be done online at the platform of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights,

In general, applying for Indonesian Citizenship will go through the following procedure:

  1. Submission of the administrative requirements to the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.
  1. Interview with the official of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights to confirm whether the foreigners indeed fluently speak Indonesia and to verify their general knowledge of the Indonesian nation; and
  1. If the application is confirmed, the foreigners will take an oath of allegiance to Indonesia before the President.

Options Of Becoming An Indonesian Citizen

In Indonesia, Citizenship can be obtained through adoption, marriage, or naturalization.

By Naturalization

In Indonesia, there are two forms of naturalization. Ordinarily, a candidate for naturalization must be of full constitutional age and ability. The Department of Justice and Civil Liberties receives the registration money and papers.

Before applying, you must have completed a five-year or ten years of interrupted total stay.

Candidates must be in excellent bodily and emotional condition, monetarily self-sufficient, and show no felony conviction, including a one-year or longer prison term. They must also be fluent in their native language.

Naturalization can also be granted for extraordinary quality, such as art, ecology, morality, research, athletics, or technologies that have benefited the country.

Official or commercial organizations can suggest a person to the authorities for their outstanding accomplishments.

By Marriage

Foreign partners of Indonesian citizens can declare their Citizenship to the government. The partner should abandon their birth citizenship or get a license to live in Indonesia.

The Citizenship of Indonesia may be acquired through marriage with an Indonesian citizen.

This is a new method provided by the new Indonesia’s 2006 Citizenship Law in acquiring Citizenship of Indonesia. The Indonesian spouse can sponsor their spouse to turn status to an Indonesian citizen.

The applicant may forward the application for Indonesian Citizenship upon meeting the following  general eligibility:

  1. Applicant must be legally married to an Indonesian citizen;
  1. At the time of forwarding the application, the applicant has resided in Indonesian territory for at least 5 (five) consecutive years or at least 10 (ten) years non-continuously. This is a prerequisite to the citizenship application;
  1. Indonesian Citizenship will not cause double Citizenship.

Following the Ministry of Law and Human Rights Decree, Indonesian Citizenship can be acquired within 6 (six) months upon receipt of a completed application—the Ministry’s approval.

The approved applicant is required to return their previous citizenship documentation to the foreign embassy in Indonesia within 14 days.

By Adoption

Kids under five who’ve been adopted nationals can apply for Indonesian Citizenship. They are considered Indonesian citizens until they hit adulthood and select their nationality.

What Are The Requirements For Naturalization?

Article 9 of the Indonesian Citizenship Law outlines the administrative requirements of naturalization as follows:

  1. The applicant must be at least 18 years old or be married.
  1. The applicant must have resided in Indonesia for a minimum of five consecutive years or ten non-consecutive years at the time of application.
  1. The applicant must be in good physical and mental health.
  1. The applicant must possess proficiency in Indonesian and accept the Pancasila (the foundational philosophical theory of Indonesia) and the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia.
  1. The applicant should not have been sentenced for a crime punishable by one year or more in prison.
  1. Upon acquiring Indonesian Citizenship, the applicant should not hold dual nationality.
  1. The applicant must have employment or a steady source of income.
  1. The applicant is required to pay a citizenship fee to the State Treasury.

What Are The Advantages Of Naturalization In Indonesia?

  • Protection from Deportation

There have been many cases where tourists or temporary visitors have been deported from Indonesia because they committed crimes. As an Indonesian citizen, Indonesia will automatically be your country of origin.

 As a result, there shall be no possibility of deportation for you. This means you can only do everything as you please by obeying the law. Should you commit a violation, the existing legal regulations will apply, and consequences will occur.

  • Government Job Eligibility

In every job in the Indonesian government, the main requirement for potential applicants is to be an Indonesian citizen. You will be eligible to apply for a job in the Indonesian government by getting naturalized as an Indonesian citizen.

One of the most known advantages of getting a government job is that you will receive monthly pension money after you retire for the rest of your days.

  • Ease to Travel

Upon completing your naturalization process, you can apply for an Indonesian passport. Having an Indonesian passport is beneficial since it will allow you to travel overseas as an Indonesian citizen.

  • Right to Vote

As an Indonesian citizen, you will obtain the political right to vote in elections for city officials, legislative members, and Presidents/Vice Presidents.

Electoral voting is one of the most profound rights for an Indonesian citizen, allowing you to participate in a substantial democratic event and play a part in the country’s political process.

Is Dual Citizenship Allowed In Indonesia?

Indonesian law currently does not allow nor recognize dual Citizenship.

 Although this rule doesn’t apply to children who were born overseas and have at least one Indonesian parent, they should still make a decision by the age of 18 or 21 whether they choose to retain or nullify their Indonesian Citizenship.

Discussions about changing the dual citizenship regulation have been going on for many years.

Indonesia currently offers dual Citizenship limited to people aged 21 years.

The age limit is a concession the government gives, considering that the previous regulation required children of Indonesian citizens with dual Citizenship to choose their citizenship status when they were 18.

However, should an Indonesian dual citizen renews their expired Indonesian passport after having already obtained another nationality, this would fall under the falsification of passport data.

This is outlined in Article 126(c) of the 2011 Indonesian Law on Nationality No. 6 (Pasal 126 huruf c Undang-Undang Nomor 6 Tahun 2011 tentang Keimigrasian ),

in which case the relevant penalty would be up to 5 years in jail and a fine of up to 500 million rupiahs.

Revocation Of Indonesian Citizenship

Citizenship Act Number 12 Year 2006 states that citizenship status can be revoked when someone has taken an oath of loyalty to another country and gets citizenship status from another country.

To regulate the revocation of Citizenship, the government then issued PP Number 2 In 2007. PP, which is a derivative Citizenship Act, regulates the procedures for obtaining, losing, canceling, and regaining Citizenship of the Republic of Indonesia.

The procedure for revocation of Citizenship is regulated in Chapter V, Article 31 to Article 39. The first part governs the conditions for Citizenship to be revoked.

You can naturally lose your Indonesian Citizenship if you.

  • Obtaining another nationality of his own volition;
  • Not refusing or not giving up other Citizenship while the person concerned has the opportunity for it;
  • Entered the foreign army service without prior permission from the President;
  • Voluntarily enter the service of a foreign country, the position of such service in Indonesia in accordance with the provisions of the legislation can only be held by Indonesian citizens;
  • Voluntarily take an oath or declare a loyal promise to a foreign country or a part of that foreign country;
  • Not required but to participate in the selection of something constitutional to a foreign country;
  • Have a passport or letter which has a similar function as a passport from a foreign country or a letter that can be interpreted as a valid citizenship identity from another country on his behalf, or
  • Residing outside the territory of the Republic of Indonesia for five consecutive years not because of state service, without valid reasons, and deliberately not expressing his desire to remain an Indonesian citizen before the period of five years.

In addition to this, he wishes to remain an Indonesian citizen as a Representative of the Republic of Indonesia, whose jurisdiction covers the area of ​​residence concerned.

Whereas the Republic of Indonesia representative has notified the person concerned in writing, as long as the person concerned does not have Citizenship.

Conclusion

There you go, explorer! You’ve unlocked the treasure chest to becoming an Indonesian citizen. Remember, it’s a ride filled with patience and paperwork, but the destination is worth it.

Happy exploring!

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