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International Marriage in Indonesia, What You Need to Know?

Updated: Apr 2

International marriage refers to a relationship between two individuals of different nationalities. This is a common phenomenon in today's global world, where people from different countries meet, fall in love, and decide to get married.


However, international marriages can be more complicated than traditional marriages because they involve legal and cultural considerations that differ from country to country. In this article, we will comprehensively discuss international marriage in Indonesia and what you need to know if you are planning to marry someone from another country within Indonesia's jurisdiction.


What is the definition of marriage in Indonesia?


According to Law Number 1 of 1974 concerning Marriage in Indonesia Article 2 (1), Marriage is defined as: “Marriage is valid if it is carried out according to the religious laws of each party concerned.”


It is also important to remember that Indonesian law requires that "Husband and wife must have the same religion, if not, one of the partners must make a written statement changing religion/changing religions."


International Marriage Indonesia - Tampubolon Legal Solutions

What are the general requirements for holding an international marriage in Indonesia?


In Indonesia, marriage is lawful once it has been solemnized and further registered to the state at the relevant institution.


The solemnization of marriage is conducted in accordance with the religions of the spouses. For example, for Muslims, the solemnization shall be in accordance with the Sharia law.


The registration to the state can also differ according to the religion of the spouses. The registration of Muslim marriage is conducted at the Office of Religious Affair/Kantor Urusan Agama (KUA), and for other religions, the registration is conducted at the local civil registry office.


In addition to the above, if two foreigners, or an Indonesian and a Foreigner, wish to get married in Indonesia, then certain requirements must be fulfilled:

  1. Age, Both men and women have to be a minimum of 19 years old to get married in Indonesia. However, individuals between the ages of 16 and 18 may get married by asking a court approval for specific causes.

  2. Legally Capable, In order to be legally permitted to marry, the future spouse has to not be already married or in an officially recognized relationship. A divorce certificate or death certificate must be shown as evidence of the previous marriage's dissolution if one or both parties have previously been married.

  3. Notification, No later than 10 days before the expected wedding date, the parties must go through notification procedures at the local Civil Registry Office. Personal details, such as full name, nationality, residence, and documents of legal capacity, need to be provided throughout this process.

  4. Religion, There are actually six recognized religions in Indonesia: Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. The couple may need to decide on a single faith for the ceremony of marriage if they observe different religions. Please note that Indonesian law does not allow non-religious unions.

  5. Witnesses: Two witnesses over the age of 18 must be present at the marriage ceremony.


What documents are required for foreign spouses?


If one of the spouses is a foreigner, then the following are the required documents that are generally needed from the said spouse:

  1. CNI (Certificate of No Impediment).

  2. Copy of Passport.

  3. Copy of birth certificate.

  4. A certificate that clarifies his/her single status.

  5. Current domicile certificate.

  6. Divorce certificate, if the spouse has previously been married.

  7. Death certificate of previous partner, if deceased.

  8. Colored photograph.

  9. If the marriage is conducted at KUA, then the spouse needs to include a certificate of conversion to Islam, if the spouse were previously non-Muslim.

As a note, a Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) is a certificate for foreigners stating that they can marry and will marry Indonesian citizens.


The certificate is issued or legalized by the embassy of the foreigner's country of origin. The requirements to obtain a CNI can differ from embassy to embassy, however in general, the embassy normally requires the following documents:

  1. Latest birth certificate (original).

  2. Passport photocopy.

  3. Marriage form from the relevant embassy.

  4. Domicile letter or proof of residence.

The above requirements which are in English must be translated into Indonesian by a sworn translator.


If I got married abroad, how do I register my marriage in Indonesia?


If a couple holds their marriage abroad, and they wish to have the marriage recognized under Indonesian law, then it is possible to report the marriage to the Indonesian government.


The said report is conducted at the local civil registry office where the Indonesian spouse has his/her domicile.


This is as provided in Article 56 of Law Number 1 of 1974 concerning Marriage which reads,


"A marriage solemnized outside Indonesia between two Indonesian citizens or an Indonesian citizen and a foreign citizen is valid if it is conducted in accordance with the applicable law of the country where the marriage is solemnized and for Indonesian citizens does not violate the provisions of this Law.."


Within 1 (one) year after the husband and wife return to the territory of Indonesia, their marriage certificate must be registered at the Marriage Registration Office where they live.”


The following are the conditions that must be met to submit an application for marriage registration in Indonesia for marriages held abroad;

  1. Marriage Certificate or marriage certificate from the country of origin which has been translated into Indonesian, and has been super legalized by the local Indonesian Representative.

  2. Marriage Certificate from the Indonesian Embassy in that country.

  3. Copy of birth certificate of husband and wife.

  4. Copy of KTP and Family Card from the Indonesian spouse.

  5. Copy of passport of the foreign spouse.

  6. 3 side-by-side photographs measuring 4×6 with a red background; and

  7. Power of attorney if the process is conducted by a representative.

By fulfilling the requirements and procedures for registering marriages above, the marriage of the two foreigners has been reported or registered in Indonesia.


International marriages in Indonesia essentially include fulfilling legal requirements, going through the marriage contract and registration process, as well as obtaining the necessary documentation. In addition, post-marital considerations such as citizenship, residence, property, and children's affairs must also be taken into account.


HOW CAN TAMPUBOLON LEGAL SOLUTIONS HELP YOU?


At Tampubolon Legal Solutions, our team is ready to help our clients not only with various immigration legal matters, such as Indonesian citizenship and obtaining Indonesian Police Clearance Certificate (SKCK), but we are also accustomed to assisting our clients with the preparation of the prenuptial agreement. We are experienced in handling the unique challenges of international marriages. We provide a comprehensive range of services uniquely designed on a case-by-case basis to guide couples through the entire process, from understanding the legal requirements of marriage in Indonesia to navigating the complexities of immigration law for the foreign partner.

Our experienced lawyers are able to draft and review prenuptial agreements to protect the assets and interests of both parties, and we also offer legal advice regarding property ownership in Indonesia. Our immigration lawyers are further able to assist the foreign partner to obtain all the immigration documentation prior to the marriage and then get the residency permits required after the marriage.

With our extensive knowledge and experience our team in this field, we are committed to providing the support and advice our clients need to navigate the legal landscape of marriage in Indonesia with confidence and peace of mind.


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International marriage in Indonesia

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