How transnational couples can start owning properties in Indonesia

If you are a foreigner married to an Indonesian or vice versa, this would be a forum you’d want to attend.

The reason is that until two weeks ago you’d have a pre-nuptial agreement if you want to have a normal life in Indonesia that allows you to buy and sell properties.  Article 29 of the 1974 Marriage Law makes it a bitch for you to divide up your property and debts unless this was agreed on before you get married. It does not recognize any agreement between consenting adults on their property and debts if it is made after marriage.

The consequences of such an interpretation of the law makes it virtually for transnational couples to buy and own property. Banks  would not give you a loan because the Law does not recognize the foreign spouse as a legal entity, meaning that if you die then they cannot take up the payments for the loan. There is apparently also some provision that if you do not have a prenup should any of you die, half of your assets would be surrendered to the state.

This was clearly unfair to Indonesians most of all, so it was good news that the Constitutional Court last month declared this policy unconstitutional. For more details on this decision see here.

But now that the Court has overturned the 42-year policy, what next for married couples? How should they go about drafting their Post-Nup agreements? Should it be bilingual? Where should such an agreement be filed at?

The Indonesian Mixed-Marriage Society (PerCa), that has been doing an excellent job championing the rights of transnational couples in Indonesia, is holding a talkshow next week to have these questions answered. Make sure you attend it if you want to avoid the uncertainties that usually accompany any simple bureaucratic procedure in Indonesia.




Government officials to answer questions on work and residence permits of mixed couples in Indonesia

Those of you married to Indonesians will know this story. You have 1,001 questions bout your work permits, your KITAS, your KITAB or your marriage status and what rights it confers or strips to your spouse.

The answers you’ve got are usually vague, conflicting or outright wrong because you rely on your office administrator, who in turn relies on a call  or agent that liaises between you or your office and the Immigration Department. What answers you get usually depends on who you or the agent speaks with.

Part of this confusion is because there is a mismatch between the Immigration Laws and the Manpower Laws that were revised about 10 years apart but mostly the confusion is because the officials down the line have different understandings of how the law should be interpreted and the latest developments.

In a great effort to get some straight answers from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, PerCa or the Masyarakat Perkawinan Campur Indonesia (the Mixed Marriage Community) is organising a discussion with senior officials from the Immigration Department, the Manpower Department, the Civil Registrar and the South Jakarta Religious Office. The panel on The Socialisation of Immigration Regulations for Mixed Families, Manpower and Residence Permits, will attempt to address some of the more common questions that mixed couples have such as:


  • What are the rules and regulations of that Mixed couples need to follow, especially those relating to Residence Permits, Labor and Population Administration?
  • What documents should be prepared and legalised before getting married? What about those who married abroad? Why and when marriages should be reported and recorded?
  •  For a newborn child, when do you have to file an affidavit and apply for a passport?
  • What about the residence permit for foreigner husbands or adult children?
  • Can husbands and children use the same family card? What is an ID card for a foreigner spouse?
  • How to process a work permit for a foreigner husband who works in Indonesia? What about his residence permit?
  • Can that husband remain in Indonesia if his work contract is terminated or completed?
  • If sponsored by the wife, can the husband work?

Should be an interesting discussion and the number of places is limited so if you are married to a foreigner or are contemplating to do so it may be worthwhile to troop down to the South Jakarta Immigration Office on the 15th of October.


Mixed up about the law on mixed marriages?

If you are in a mixed marriage in Indonesia you would probably have heard that the government has changed the law to allow foreign spouses and children to qualify for permanent residency in Indonesia. But, as in all things in Indonesia, is it as straight forward as that?

The Masyarakat Perkawinan Campuran Indonesia group (PerCa Indonesia) is organizing a gathering for those interested to learn more about the new legislation.  It’s also, according to PerCa Chairperson Rulita Anggraini, an opportunity to meet other mixed marriage families and friends.

Sounds like an educational and possibly fun event. Unspun plans to be there, crises notwithstanding.Here’s the flyer and details: