Marrying an Indonesian Citizen in Indonesia
Language, Culture, Religion,
The Ceremony, Immigration,
Childen, Getting married in Bali
It is almost impossible not to fall in love
while in Indonesia. So, it
happens on a daily basis for foreign tourists to feel their heartbeat
Also on a daily basis Indonesian women and men realize they are falling
with a bule (foreigner) or turis
(tourist). It is not something
most of them have been waiting for. After all, bule
and turis have
some negative connotations. Bule are strange, rude
non-believers (non Muslims). Yet, bule are also
looked up to.
In most cases your Indonesian love will not culminate in a commitment,
sometimes it happens and before you know it you go all the way. 'All
the way' does not only involve sunshine and roses,
but also lots of often unsuspected and unexpected rules, regulations
and habits that
may threaten to put a lid on your happiness.
So, how to beat the odds and bring your
Indonesian spouse home with you?
Although the language of love is so powerful that one does not really
speak the partner's language, in due course there is a need for a more
linguistic basis than is needed for dating Indonesian women.
Most Indonesians, especially those who have enjoyed secondary school
least some English. Yet, it may be a good idea for you to learn
will take a long time to master Indonesian, but after a few months of
through a rigorous language course and lots of practice, you wil at
able to read a newspaper and understand over half of what is said on TV.
Learning Indonesian is only half the job as most Indonesians are used
speaking their local language. There are some 300 languages around.
while Indonesian is the language most used in public life, you will
still wonder what is being discussed at the home of your future inlaws.
On the Links page you will
several options for language
courses and links to inter-cultural
Also see: Learning Indonesian and
A wedding in Indonesia is almost
as much an arrangement between two
individuals as it is between their relatives. Building a strong bond
these two (extended) families requires time, but it is considered time
invested before the families can decide on the wedding ceremony.
Indonesia has its wedding seasons that
are largely based on the Muslim, Hindu
or Chinese calendar. For mixed couples an exception can always be made.
Rather than anything else an
Indonesian wedding is a highly formal occasion
that leaves no room for fun, songs, or informal speeches infused with
humor, as in
The bride and groom are considered to
be king and queen for one day. Their role is therefore largely a
passive one. Most of the time they are
seated on a rented throne and going through the required moves and
parents, essential relatives, neighbors,
master of ceremony and make-up experts are fussing about, ensuring the
without a glitch or a hitch.
Modern trends are easily blended with
tradition. Western style weddings are
as common as a traditional Javanese wedding ceremony.
Picture taking has become so important
that a visit to a studio will probably
be inevitable. During the wedding reception formal photos with
of relatives, neigbors, friends and co-workers are indispensable.
A video recording of the wedding will
undoubtedly be as valuable as the
A West Sumatran wedding
Indonesians are generally a very
religious people, and increasingly so. Foreigners
are known of not attaching much of a priority to religion, something
Indonesians consider inappropriate and undesirable. Whatever the
your fiance(e), his or her relatives will expect you to convert to
Although freedom of religion is
anchored within the Constitution, in everyday
life the translation of that right is a bit different. Only in very
will your partner and the wider group of relatives be willing to
religions within one household.
If the foreigner is not prepared to
convert to the Indonesian fiance(e)'s
religion, the wedding and the relationship
are certain to be called off. And if you and your fiance(e)
continue it, you must be prepared to face lots of problems with your
years to come.
Well before the planned day of the wedding ceremony, as a foreign
you need to get in touch with your embassy in Indonesia to aks about
requirements of your marriage. Please ensure that all the paperwork is
including official translations of your birth certificate and a
your social status: bachelor or divorced.
Be aware that the Indonesian
authorities need lots of processing time.
Wedding ceremonies in Indonesia are steeped in tradition. A wedding in
marriage in Sumatra will be different from one in Central Java or West
Ceremonies in rural areas will differ from hose in major urban areas.
class manifests itself in the number of guests one is expected to
could easily run into over a thousand.
A traditional wedding is marked by
several key stages, sometimes requiring
months to perform. For a marriage of mixed race couples, one living
concessions will likely be made by sqeezing the several stages into a
The most essential part of te wedding
will be the religious ceremony, either
in the mosque or in church. The civil procedure is usually woven into
Both husband and wife will receive a copy of the wedding booklet, in
colors that spell out the mariiage arrangement and the consequences of
Muslim wedding ceremony
ceremony, Solo, Central Java video
Wedding Ceremony in South
Countries increasingly put up
barriers for Indonesian spouses to enter the
Americas or the European Union. The US, Canadian or EU citizen will
have to return home after the wedding, leaving the Indonesian spouse
until the entry formalities have been completed.
That is often a matter of
months rather than weeks. But sometimes it takes years before the
partner is allowed access. In a few cases the spouse has been denied
Dutch citizens need to go to Immigratie en
Naturalisatie Dienst first and download loads of documents.
Before your Indonesian partner can leave the country several tax issues
to be cleared. Residents in possession of a tax declaration known as
to bring a copy to the airport as proof of having paid taxes.
Without NPWP residents need to pay a Rp 2.5 million exit fee (fiskal)
in cash or by credit card in order to be allowed to leave the country.
Even though your partner will leave Indonesia with you, he or she may
prepared to give up all legal ties with the country.
Many Indonesian spouses living abroad insist to remain registered on
card (kartu keluarga) and will keep their national
identity card (KTP).
The latter, in order to remain valid, needs to be renewed every five
Even without plans to return to Indonesia, it is generally a good idea
to keep a
legal presence in the country and in the neighborhood. Sooner or later,
especially if your partner owns property in Indonesia there will emerge
to be able to demonstrate his or her identity. The possession of a
will generally result in less hassle and red tape.
Citizenship and Children
Indonesia's laws on citizenship
and immigration, while recently revised
and improved still are among the most complicated. Basically there are
You are a foreign male,
marrying an Indonesian woman.
You are expected to return to your home
country, with your wife. Foreign husbands cannot settle in Indonesia
permanently and apply for Indonesian citizenship.
Initially the maximum stay in Indonesia is limited to one year, unless
as a foreigner you already work and live in Indonesia and are in
the required visa.
If you intend to stay in Indonesia for a period longer than one month
do arrange your visa
beforehand instead of coming to
Indonesia on a tourist visa!
A new bill has been passed allowing
foreign spouses of mixed marriages to
obtain a residence permit.
You are a foreign female
marrying an Indonesian man.
In line with Indonesian law you retain your nationality, and you may
Indonesia and apply for Indonesian citizenship.
If you decide to migrate to your country of citizenship your Indonesian
will need to complete all immigration procedures for entry to your home
It is strongly recommended to have
your Indonesian marriage registered in
your home country.
Children born during your marriage will automatically obtain dual
citizenship until the age of 18.
Also see additional
information on mixed marriages at Expat.co.id.
Getting married in Bali
Bali is a popular destination for wedding ceremonies,
especially for foreign couples.
The best period to schedule your
wedding is during the dry season (usually starting in May and ending
Wedding locations vary from a ceremony
on the beach, a yacht, a traditional Balinese wedding, wedding with
elephants, a jungle wedding. You name it!
Many local wedding planners are ready
to make a success of the most beautiful day of your life. They
will take care of your every need and, very importantly, also assist
with the complicated and time consuming legal requirements (see under Preparations, above).
Check out these sites:
Bali Wedding Solutions
Luxury Weddings Indonesia
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