In Indonesia, according to the 1974 Marriage Law, the marriage is legal if it is performed according to your religion affiliation. You need to have the same religion with your partner. If you have two different religions, either of you must convert. It sounds awkward, but we find the religion plays important role in the success of your marriage. That’s why the Law requires you to have the same religion marriage. It is imposed by Article 2 (1) of the Marriage Law. So, if you want to do it legally, you need to do it according to your religion. It is either Moslem or Non Moslem.
You need to perform the marriage and it must be registered with the marriage registry. This is to have a legal recognition to your marriage. You see, the marriage is the foundation of everything in your life. When you’ve decided to get marry, you’ve just made a big decision. You’re starting a new page in your life. If you want to live your life the right way, get your marriage legally registered. It’s the right thing to do. It is imposed by Article 2 (2) of the Marriage Law. The marriage registry will in turn issue marriage license for you. It is the evidence that your marriage has been officially registered.
Furthermore, the Marriage Law imposed more requirements for you before you can perform the marriage. They are:
- Consents from both parties. Both of you must love each other. You can’t force your partner to marry you. It takes two to tango!
- You need to be old enough to get marry in Indonesia. You need to be at least 21 years old. This is the minimum age requirement. Otherwise, you need to have consent from your parents.
- In the event both parents are no longer complete, for example one of them passed-away or legally incapacitated, consent from either parent is enough.
- In the event both parents are not available, you need consent from your guardian. This guardian must have blood relationship with you. That person can be, among others, your grand-parents, if they still alive. They must also have legal capacity to do so.
- You need to get a court order, if there’s dispute between parents, grand-parents, or marriage guardian, in procuring the consent for marriage.
In order to get marry legally in Indonesia, you must submit the Notice of Marriage Intention to the marriage registry. There’s 10 (ten) working days as waiting period. You can get marry after the 10 (ten) days waiting period is over. I mean, you can get marry on the eleventh day. This is imposed by the Government Regulation number 9 of 1975 regarding the Implementation of Marriage Law.
As for supporting documents required to register your marriage are as follows:
- If you are a foreigner: copy of your passport, copy of your birth certificate, copy of your divorce decree, photos, and Certificate of Non-Impediment (so called it "CNI") Letter printed on your embassy’s letterhead.
- If you are an Indonesian: copy of KTP, family card, birth certificate, N-forms, photos, and original divorce decree and certificate.
A very interesting part about one of the supporting documents, some countries called it "the CNI" (Certificate of Non Impediment), like the US Embassy in Jakarta. But other countries may have different title such "the NOC." It stands for the No Objection Certificate. Both of them serve the same purpose. They certify that you are legally free to marry. The procedures in retrieving them are also varies. This is very interesting as some countries just require you to make an appointment, fill a form, pay a fee. They will release the form to you, after they took your oath.
Some countries would require you to submit a supporting document from your home country certifying that you are legally free to marry, before they can issue the NOC to you. What's important is that Indonesia's law imposed that either the CNI or the NOC printed on the embassy's letterhead. At least, signed and sealed by the authorized officer at your embassy in Jakarta. Some countries via their embassy even refuse to issue such document for their citizen. Well, this is the tricky part that you will have to deal with before tying the knot. As the Indonesians said it: "Indah Pada Waktunya."
In most of the cases, the marriage registry may issue the marriage evidence on the same day of the marriage. The marriage licenses from Indonesia's marriage registries are worldwide recognized. Most major countries such as United States, United Kingdom, Australia, China, and Canada are familiar with Indonesia's marriage documents. I know this when I work with K-3 visa, a spousal visa for the spouse of a U.S. citizen.
So, consider Indonesia as venue of your marriage because getting marry in Indonesia is simple, legal, and hassle-free. Good luck, and welcome aboard!
Our thanks to Mr. Asep Wijaya of Wijaya & Co for sharing this article!