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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding Children with Dual Citizenship in Indonesia

Updated: May 4

In our previous article, we have discussed the context and complexities of dual citizenship in Indonesia.

Dual citizenship is a legal status in which a person is a citizen of two countries simultaneously. In this article, this refers specifically to someone who holds Indonesian citizenship and citizenship from a foreign country.

Dual citizenship is not universally accepted. Each country has its citizenship laws, and policies on dual citizenship vary. Some countries allow it, others tolerate it under certain conditions, and some, like Indonesia, do not allow it under normal circumstances.

Indonesia adopts the principle of limited dual citizenship, where dual citizenship is only possible for children in certain situations up to 18 years old.

With the increase in global mobility, family dynamics have become more complex. Parents are increasingly facing challenges regarding their children's dual citizenship.

This article aims to address frequently asked questions involving this issue, including:

  • How to register my children for dual citizenship?

  • What is an immigration facility (affidavit)?

  • How to get an immigration facility (affidavit) for my children?

  • As an Indonesian citizen, would my children have dual citizenship if they were born outside of Indonesia?

  • As a foreign national couple, would our children have Indonesian citizenship if they were born in Indonesia?

  • I am a foreign national who was born in Indonesia and lived there for several years, am I entitled to become an Indonesian citizen?

  • Would my children lose their Indonesian nationality if I lost my Indonesian nationality?

"How to register my children for dual citizenship?"

Referring to the Ministry of Law and Human Rights Regulation No. 10 of 2023, registering children for dual citizenship can be break down into the following steps:

1. Prepare the necessary documents, including:

  • child’s birth certificate,

  • parents’ marriage/divorce certificate,

  • proof of parents' nationalities (passports, national ID cards), and

  • children’s photograph.

Please note that the exact list of the required documents may vary depending on the individual circumstances of each case, and it’s important to consult this with a legal expert.

2. Submit Documents:

The submission can be addressed to the appropriate Indonesian authority. If the family is residing in Indonesia, then to the local immigration office, but if residing abroad, then to an Indonesian embassy/consulate abroad. Submission can be done online.

3. Once the authority has verified the application, the child is officially registered as a dual national and will be granted a Certificate of Registration as a Dual Citizenship Child (Sertifikat Anak Berkewarganegaraan Ganda).

It is crucial to complete the registration process above before the child turns 18. Failing to do so may result in loss of eligibility for Indonesian citizenship for the child.

"What is an immigration facility (affidavit)?"

An immigration facility, commonly referred to as an ‘affidavit’ is a document associated with immigration that is attached to a foreign passport. It contains details identifying the holder as a child with dual citizenship​​.

The affidavit serves several key purposes, including:

  1. A formal acknowledgment of a child's dual nationality status. This is important in the case of children born to mixed-nationality parents or Indonesian parents living abroad. It's a legal document that validates the child's identity and citizenship status under Indonesian law.

  2. Facilitating various immigration-related privileges for dual citizenship children, including exemption from the requirement to have a visa, exemption from the necessity to hold immigration stay permits and re-entry permits, and the provision of entry or exit stamps similar to those given to Indonesian citizens​​.

"How to get an immigration facility (affidavit) for my children?"

Referring to the Ministry of Law and Human Rights Regulation No. 10 of 2023, getting an immigration affidavit for children for dual citizenship can be break down into the following steps:

1. Submit the application electronically through the official website of the Directorate General of Immigration.

2. Prepare the required documents, including:

  • The child’s passport of their other nationality;

  • Certificate of Registration as a Dual Citizenship Child;

  • A current photograph of the child against a white background.

3. After submission, documents are verified by immigration officials.

4. Once verified, the affidavit is issued within a maximum of three days by either an Immigration Officer or a Foreign Service Officer (depending on where the submission was conducted).

5. The affidavit will then be delivered electronically to the applicant.

"As an Indonesian citizen, would my children have dual citizenship if they were born outside of Indonesia?"

It depends on the nationality laws of the country where the child is born.

If a child is born in a nation that practices 'jus soli' — a policy of granting citizenship to anyone born within its territory, regardless of parental nationality — then the child may indeed hold dual citizenship.

In such cases, the child automatically acquires the citizenship of the country of birth, while also being eligible for Indonesian citizenship through their parentage.

"My spouse is a foreign national, would my children have rights to dual-citizenship if they were born in Indonesia?"

In this situation, the possibility of the child having dual citizenship depends on the nationality law of the foreign spouse's country. If such a country grants citizenship based on parentage (also known as 'jus sanguinis'), then a child born in Indonesia to an Indonesian and a foreign national can indeed possess dual citizenship.

In such a situation, the child automatically acquires Indonesian citizenship by virtue of being born in Indonesia. In parallel, if the foreign parent's country recognizes the child as a citizen based on the parent's nationality, the child would also hold citizenship of that country.

"As a foreign national couple, would our children have Indonesian citizenship if they were born in Indonesia?"

The answer to this question is not straightforward.

Indonesian law primarily adopts the principle to 'jus sanguinis' (right of blood). This principle grants citizenship based on the parents' nationality, not the place of birth. Therefore, children born in Indonesia to foreign national parents do not automatically receive Indonesian citizenship.

This doesn’t mean that children who are born from foreign parents strictly cannot obtain Indonesian citizenship.

Indonesian law also adopts the principle 'jus soli', however it’s a limited ‘jus soli, which means that it only applies to children in specific circumstances. One of these circumstances would be if one of the foreign national parents acquires Indonesian citizenship before the child turns 18, In this situation, the child then becomes eligible to obtain Indonesian citizenship in addition to retaining the nationality of the parents.

"I am a foreign national who was born in Indonesia and lived there for a number of years, am I entitled to become an Indonesian citizen?"

Before answering this, we need to take into account several factors:

1) When were you born?

2) What are the nationalities of your parents?

If you were born before the issuance of the Indonesian nationality law in 2006 and are currently a foreign national, then typically, you would not be eligible for Indonesian citizenship, because prior to 2006, Indonesia did not recognize dual citizenship.

However, the 2006 Nationality Law does apply retroactively to children below 18 years old who were born before 2006, but only if the parents registered their children's dual citizenship within four years after the law's enactment.

If you were born after the 2006 law came into effect, the nationality of your parents at the time of your birth becomes crucial. If one of your parents was Indonesian, then you might have been eligible for Indonesian citizenship. In such a case, if your parents obtained Indonesian citizenship for you before you turned 18, you would be subject to Indonesia’s limited dual citizenship policy.

"Would my children lose their Indonesian nationality if I lose my Indonesian nationality?"

No. The loss of Indonesian nationality for a parent does not automatically result in the loss of nationality for their children.

Indonesian Nationality Law has clearly outlined 9 (nine) specific conditions under which an individual can lose their nationality, as detailed in Article 23.

These conditions include:

  1. Acquiring another nationality by one's own volition.

  2. Failing to reject or relinquish another nationality when given the opportunity.

  3. Being declared to have lost Indonesian nationality by the President upon one's own request, provided the individual is at least 18 years old or married and living abroad, and that the loss of Indonesian nationality does not render the person stateless.

  4. Joining a foreign military service without prior permission from the President.

  5. Voluntarily entering into service of a foreign state in a position that, according to Indonesian law, can only be held by Indonesian nationals.

  6. Voluntarily taking an oath or pledging allegiance to a foreign state or a part thereof.

  7. Participating in a political election of a foreign country when not required to do so.

  8. Possessing a valid passport or similar document from another country, or a document that implies citizenship of that country.

  9. Residing outside Indonesia for a continuous period of five years, not in the context of state service, without a valid reason, and intentionally not declaring the desire to retain Indonesian citizenship before the end of this period, as well as every subsequent five-year period, especially when the individual has not declared their intention to retain Indonesian citizenship to the Indonesian representative in whose jurisdiction they reside, provided the person does not become stateless as a result.

Therefore, the loss of a parent's Indonesian nationality does not necessitate the loss of their children's Indonesian nationality, assuming the children have already legally obtained it.


END NOTE: This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Specific cases require specific advice, and the content provided herein may not be applicable in all situations. Legal regulations and interpretations can vary widely and may change over time, necessitating consultation with legal experts. If you require specific legal advice or guidance, please contact a qualified legal professional. It is crucial to consult with legal experts before applying the information in this article to ensure compliance with current legal standards and requirements.

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Children with Dual Nationality

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