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Mixed Marriages in Indonesia: What are Your Rights?

Mixed Marriages in Indonesia: What are Your Rights? Review by tenissa.tjahjono on 14. 8. 2018 Company Registration in Indonesia, Market Research in Indonesia, Work Permit in Indonesia, Product Registration in Indonesia, Local Partner Selection in Indonesia, Trade Mission in Indonesia, Company Formation in Indonesia, Company Establishment in Indonesia, Company Set Up in Indonesia, Payroll Outsourcing in Indonesia, Tax Reporting in Indonesia, Medical Product Registration in Indonesia, Medical Device Registration in Indonesia, Cosmetic Registration in Indonesia, Food Supplement Registration in Indonesia.
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If you have been living in Indonesia for a while, you already know the truth about legality in Indonesia — nothing goes as smooth as expected.

To make sure your wedding day will be an enjoyable moment, we have prepared an article about mixed marriages in Indonesia and especially your rights as a person legally married to an Indonesia citizen.

However, if you feel confused already, we are here to help. Just fill in the form below and we will get back to you within one working day.

Staying in Indonesia Long-Term

Getting KITAS or KITAP

When married to an Indonesian citizen, you are one of the lucky ones to get to apply for a permanent stay permit in Indonesia called KITAP.

The KITAP is like the ‘holy grail’ of visas in Indonesia. It is the visa everyone wants but only a few can obtain. Unfortunately, it takes a couple of years to get there and it is not a hassle-free nor a toll-free road.

First, after getting legally married, you need to apply for a spouse KITAS (a limited stay permit). In order to get the KITAS, you need to assemble quite a lot of paperwork and most of the papers need to get legalized and translated.

This might be a costly and time-consuming thing, taking up to a couple of months. If you do not want to go through the process on your own, you can always use the services of an agent such as Cekindo.

mixed marriages in indonesia, summary

Extending KITAS and KITAP

Luckily, the extension of the KITAS is easier and less time-consuming. Then finally, after two years of marriage, you may apply for a KITAP (you are actually converting your KITAS into a KITAP).

The KITAP is valid for 5 years, saving you the hassle and headaches of annual visa extensions. After 10 years of marriage, the KITAP is valid for life, even in case of a divorce.

We have already summarised everything you need to know about KITAS and KITAP in our previous articles. Continue reading Your Complete Guide to Limited Stay Permit/KITAS in Indonesia and KITAP: The Ultimate Stay Permit in Indonesia and How to Get It

Work Restrictions

Holding a spouse-sponsored KITAS does not allow you to work in Indonesia. Working under this visa is illegal and big consequences apply such as deportation on top of a big money fine. Places such as Jakarta and Bali are famous for punishing foreigners who violate the Indonesian law and do not hold a valid work permit.

With a KITAP however, you are allowed to work in Indonesia under certain conditions. You need to provide for your family in some way, after all. So, what kind of work can you do?

Permissible Work when Holding KITAP

Sole Entrepreneur

Those married to an Indonesian can start their own business as a sole entrepreneur. It is a business owned and run by you only. You cannot hire anyone else.

Company-Sponsored Work Permit

You can also work for a company as long as the company arranges the work permit (IMTA). Since you already have obtained your permanent stay permit (KITAP), you are more likely to get hired.

In this situation, your spouse will remain the sponsor for your KITAP and the company will be the sponsor for your IMTA.

Prenuptial Agreement & Property Rights

A prenuptial agreement is a document that states who gets what in case of divorce or death. It is important for couples wanting to buy land or property.

In fact, foreigners are not allowed to own land, under no condition whatsoever and if no prenup has been made, couples are subject to the same rights, meaning neither you nor your local partner can own land or property in Indonesia.

In the event of death or divorce, the foreign spouse has one year to sell the property before the government takes it.

Luckily, the rules did change for the better over the last few years.

It was only a short time ago that couples had to make the Prenup before they got married. If they forgot about it in a state of bliss, it meant they could never own land or property, which was quite a high price to pay.

These days, couples can still make the prenup agreement after their marriage, which is quite a relief.

Changing Your Nationality

Those 18 years and above and married to an Indonesian may apply to become an Indonesian citizen.

Dual nationality is not allowed, so by becoming Indonesian, you will be giving up on your original nationality. To obtain the Indonesian citizenship, you need to meet a few other requirements, which are:

  • You have to have lived in Indonesia for 5 consecutive years on a KITAS or KITAP or 10 years with breaks in between
  • You need to speak the Indonesian language and get certified by a recognized school of languages
  • You have never been convicted of a crime with imprisonment of one year or more
  • You need to have a job or fixed income
  • You need to be healthy, both mentally and physically
  • You need to pay the citizenship fee

Summary of Mixed Marriages in Indonesia

To sum it up, the benefits of having a spouse visa are:

  • You get to stay in Indonesia for a long period of time (KITAS must be extended every year and KITAP every 5 years)
  • After 10 years of marriage, your KITAP is valid for life, even in the event of a divorce but you need a guarantor of an Indonesian nationality
  • You can get an Indonesian ID (KTP – Kartu Tanda Penduduk)
  • You can get a MERP (multiple exit/re-entry permit) with a validity of 2 years
  • You can get a local drivers license (SIM – Surat Izin Mengemudi) with a validity of 5 years
  • You can open a local bank account
  • You can get a credit card and apply for loans
  • You can get a local police registration card (SKLD – Surat Keterangan Lapor Diri) valid for 5 years
  • You get local prices to hotels, tourist attractions and more
  • You are eligible of becoming an Indonesian citizen
  • You can start a business as a sole-entrepreneur
  • You are eligible for joint ownership of properties with your spouse

There are plenty of benefits to mixed marriages in Indonesia, but it takes years for couples to get to enjoy the advantages. Unfortunately, it takes patience, headaches, hassle, money and lots of time.

Cekindo Can Help

You can always contact the consultants of Cekindo to receive more information or get personalised advice.

We can help you obtain the right visa without losing your mind in rules and endless paperwork. Contact us now.