Indonesian citizenship, including that of the sought-after destination Bali, can be acquired through various channels: birth, adoption, naturalization, and marriage. Keep reading to discover the criteria that foreign individuals must fulfill to obtain Indonesian citizenship.
Who Is Recognised as an Indonesian Citizen?
Let's begin by outlining who can be recognized as a citizen of Indonesia and Bali:
- Children born in wedlock, where either one or both parents possess Indonesian descent.
- Children born within 300 days after their father’s death as long as the father is an Indonesian citizen.
- Children born out of wedlock to a non-Indonesian mother, who are legally recognised by an Indonesian father and the recognition is made before the child reaches the age of 18 or gets married.
- Children born in Indonesia, as long as their father and mother are unknown, or their nationality status is unclear.
- Children of parents whose citizenship application has been confirmed, but the father or mother dies before taking an oath.
- Foreign children younger than five years old who have been adopted by nationals based on a court order.
- Children whose parents have legally acquired Indonesian citizenship.
- Ex-foreigners who are legally married to Indonesian citizens and have lived on the territory of the Republic of Indonesia for at least five consecutive or 10 non-consecutive years, and have received an approval on obtaining citizenship of Indonesia.
- Foreigners who have lost Indonesian citizenship in the past and decide to regain it legally.
In each of these cases, it is necessary to submit a package of documents to the official bodies in person or through your representative.
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How to Become a Citizen of Indonesia
If you are not eligible to acquire citizenship by birth or adoption, then marriage and naturalisation are the best routes for you to change your nationality.
Citizenship by Naturalisation
There are two forms of naturalisation in Indonesia:
- Based on the applicant’s request, if the requirements for obtaining citizenship have been met.
- Based on the government decision for exceptional merit and significant contributions to culture, environment, science, sports and technology. Public or private organisations can propose a candidate for consideration.
Here are the requirements to obtain citizenship of Bali and Indonesia based on the applicant’s request.
- You have resided in Indonesia for at least five consecutive or 10 non-consecutive years by the time you apply for Indonesian citizenship.
- You are mentally and physically healthy.
- You have never been convicted of a crime that includes a one-year or longer imprisonment.
- You are fluent in the national language, Bahasa.
- You are financially self-sufficient. You must prove a steady income and employment.
- You are loyal to the Pancasila (the foundational philosophical theory) and the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia.
- You renounce the citizenship of any other country.
- You must pay the citizenship fee.
The applicant submits a written application for naturalization in the Bahasa language to the President of the Republic through the relevant minister. Within a span of three months, the minister provides their recommendations and submits the complete application package, along with all necessary documents, to the President for a final decision regarding the naturalization request. Should the outcome be favorable, the foreigner will proceed to take an oath of citizenship prior to obtaining their new passport.
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Citizenship by Marriage
When acquiring citizenship through marriage with an Indonesian citizen, the foreigner must fulfill just three prerequisites:
- Be married and have maintained permanent residence in Indonesia for a minimum of five consecutive years or 10 non-consecutive years at the time of application.
- Renounce your original citizenship.
- Pay the application fee.
In the event that the applicant is declined due to holding another valid citizenship, they have the option to apply for a permanent residence permit in Indonesia.
Dual Citizenship in Indonesia
Under Indonesian law, dual citizenship is not recognized, mandating that foreign individuals relinquish any other citizenship. There are, however, exceptions in place, notably for minor children born from mixed marriages between foreign nationals and Indonesian citizens, as well as foreign children under the age of 5 who have been adopted through a court order. For such children, dual citizenship may be retained until the age of 18, at which point a decision on their nationality must be made. Alternatively, a grace period of three years can be utilized by obtaining a stamp of limited dual citizenship to sustain the dual status. By the time they reach 21 years of age, a definitive choice for a single nationality must be made. Failure to adhere to these prescribed timelines could result in the annulment of their Indonesian citizenship.
Photo: Alfiano Sutianto (Unsplash)
In a Nutshell
Obtaining citizenship in Bali and Indonesia is feasible only under limited circumstances. One must either be born to Indonesian parents, marry an Indonesian citizen, or undergo the process of naturalisation. It's important to note that Indonesian law does not permit dual citizenship, necessitating that foreigners relinquish their existing nationality before pursuing Indonesian citizenship.
Cover photo: Kharl Anthony Paica (Unsplash)