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How to get Indonesian Citizenship



With the increase of global mobility, the concept of dual citizenship often comes into question. 


Today it is common for people to seek the advantages that come with holding citizenship in two countries, but not all nations have the same stance on this matter. For instance, the topic of "Indonesian dual citizenship" is a complex one, frequently enquired about by expatriates, migrants and even native Indonesian themselves. 


So, does Indonesia allow dual citizenship? Is it possible to have dual citizenship in Indonesia?


In this page, we will discuss further about the legal aspect surrounding the Indonesian dual citizenship, its implications, and the realities faced by those who navigate these circumstances.

Indonesian dual citizenship
What is Dual Citizenship?

‘Dual citizenship’, often referred to as ‘dual nationality’, is a legal status in which a person is a citizen of two countries simultaneously. 


Having dual citizenship can provide numerous benefits, such as the freedom to travel, study, work, and live in both countries. It also allows individuals access to social services and voting rights in both countries.


The concept of dual citizenship recognizes that a person can have a legitimate legal and societal relationship with two nations. It can occur automatically by law, for example, if a child is born to foreign parents in a country that grants birth right citizenship, like the United States. In this scenario, the child may be both a citizen of their parents' home country and of the country where they were born.


Alternatively, dual citizenship can also be acquired through marriage, naturalization (if a foreign national fulfils the citizenship requirements of a second country while maintaining their original citizenship), or by applying for it if one of the parents holds a foreign citizenship.


However, dual citizenship is not universally accepted


Each country has its own citizenship laws, and their policies on dual citizenship can vary greatly. 


Some countries allows it, others tolerates it under certain conditions, and some, like Indonesia, do not allow it under normal circumstances. 


This brings us to the main topic of our discussion: the context and complexities of dual citizenship in Indonesia.

Does Indonesia allow Dual Citizenship?

A question which is frequently raised by our clients is, "Does Indonesia allow dual citizenship?"


The answer to this question is not entirely straightforward. 


Indonesian law generally operates on the principle of singular nationality, which means for most purposes, Indonesian dual citizenship is not typically permitted.


However, there's an exception to this rule, because Indonesia allows a form of dual citizenship for children under the age of 18 years who are qualified by law to obtain dual nationalities. 


This is seen as a ‘limited dual citizenship’, as upon reaching the age of 18, and no later than their 21st birthday, these children are required to declare their citizenship. 


At this point, they must decide whether to keep their Indonesian citizenship or the citizenship of the other country.


So, to simply answer the question: "Is it possible to have dual citizenship in Indonesia?" the answer is yes, but only for children in qualified situations, and only up until they turn 21


For adults, the stance of the Indonesian government is clear: dual citizenship is not permitted under regular circumstances


However, with rapidly globalizing economic and social landscapes, these regulations are always subject to discussions and potential changes.

Indonesian dual citizenship
Indonesian dual citizenship
Who is qualified to have Indonesian Dual Citizenship?

There are 9 categories of people who are qualified to obtain Indonesian Dual Citizenship:


  1. A child born from a lawful marriage between a father who is an Indonesian citizen and a mother who is a foreign citizen.

  2. A child born from a lawful marriage between a father who is a foreign citizen and a mother who is an Indonesian citizen.

  3. A child born out of wedlock to a mother who is a foreign citizen and recognized by an Indonesian citizen father as his child. This recognition must occur before the child reaches the age of 18 or gets married.

  4. A child born outside the Indonesian territory to parents who are both Indonesian citizens. If the laws of the country where the child is born automatically grant citizenship to the child, the child would then hold dual citizenship.

  5. A child who is an Indonesian citizen, born out of a lawful marriage and recognized by his foreign-citizen father before the child reaches 18 years old or gets married.

  6. A child who is an Indonesian citizen and legally adopted by foreign citizens based on a court order, while the child is under the age of 5 years.

  7. A child under the age of 18 or unmarried, living and residing in the Indonesian territory, from a father or mother who has obtained Indonesian citizenship.

  8. A child who is a foreign citizen under the age of 5 and legally adopted according to a court decision by an Indonesian citizen.

  9. A child who possesses dual citizenship even though their parents who hold the Indonesian citizenship has renounced their Indonesian citizenship.

How to acquire Indonesian Dual Citizenship?

Indonesian dual citizenship is not acquired automatically


To formalize the Indonesian dual citizenship for children who are qualified to obtain it, parents or guardians must register the child's dual status. Normally, according to the recent regulation, the registration is to be done online.


If the children live in Indonesia, the registration shall be submitted to the local immigration office where he/she has their domicile. But if they live abroad, it must be submitted to the local embassy/Indonesian representative where he/she resides.


This process involves submitting an application to the Indonesian immigration authorities along with supporting documents, which normally include: 

  1. the child's birth certificate and/or the birth report from the Indonesian Representative;

  2. the parents' marriage certificate, marriage book, or divorce certificate;

  3. the father's or mother's national passport;

  4. the father's or mother's Indonesian passport;

  5. the loss of Indonesian citizenship letter for the child whose both parents have acquired another nationality; and

  6. the most recent, colored passport photo of the child with dual nationality, with a white background.


Depending upon the specifics of the situation, other documents may also be required.


Once the documents are all accepted, the government will issue Sertifikat Pendaftaran Anak Berkewarganegaraan Ganda (Registration Certificate of Children with Double Nationalities), which serves as a prove to the children’s Indonesian dual citizenship.


This document can further be used by the children’s parents or guardians to apply for the affidavit in order to obtain the immigration facilities. These immigration facilities will enable the children to cross the Indonesian border and enjoys the immigration treatment as received by an Indonesian citizen.


However, it's important to remember that this status is temporary and lasts until the child reaches the age of 18.

Indonesian dual citizenship
Indonesian dual citizenship
What to do for Indonesian Dual-Citizens When They Turn 18?

Upon turning 18, the individual is no longer considered a child under Indonesian law and must begin the process of choosing their nationality


This process can be challenging and emotionally daunting for young adults forced to choose between two national identities. 


It's important to note that this law applies even if the child has lived their whole life in Indonesia or has never claimed the benefits of their foreign citizenship.


Essentially, they have 3 (three) years to make this choice. During this period, the individual must consider various factors, including their personal, educational, and professional ties to each country, among others.


To formally declare their choice of nationality, the individual must submit a form to declare which nationality that they want to retain. If they choose to retain their Indonesian citizenship, they must renounce their other citizenship. If they choose to retain the other citizenship, then they must renounce their Indonesian citizenship and return all the documents which can demonstrate their Indonesian nationality, such as:

  1. Indonesian passport;

  2. KTP;

  3. Registration Certificate of Children with Double Nationalities; and/or

  4. Affidavit.


If they don't make a declaration by the age of 21, Indonesian law by default assume that the individual has chosen to keep their foreign citizenship and they will automatically lose their Indonesian citizenship


However, please note that even if someone legally loses their Indonesian citizenship due to lack of declaration, they are not entirely free of legal obligations. 


Technically, as these individuals still possess official documents proving their Indonesian nationality, they are obliged to return these documents to the state.


Please not that not returning the documents which can prove your nationalities after obtaining a foreign citizenship can be considered as an immigration violation which can be the cause of a deportation.

Why work with us?

At Tampubolon Legal Solutions, our team of Indonesian lawyers provides a full range of immigration services. Part of our activity is dedicated to simplifying the arduous task of obtaining obtaining or renouncing Indonesian citizenship, or registration of children with dual nationality. 


Our experienced professionals will be with you throughout the entire process, helping you navigate through the often-challenging Indonesian bureaucracy.

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