This article is an English translation of Dapatkah Perantau di Luar Negeri Kehilangan Kewarganegaraan which was written by Tri Jata Ayu Pramesti, S.H. and was published on Thursday, 9 June 2022.
This article below is an update of the article entitled Does Settling Abroad Deprive Citizenship? (Apakah Menetap di Luar Negeri Dapat Menghilangkan Kewarganegaraan?) which was first published on Thursday, 27 August 2015.
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From the information you have provided, we assume and conclude that both of your parents were Indonesian Citizens (Warga Negara Indonesia/ "WNI") who became migrants in Australia and then changed the citizenships of their own accord/will. This is because the Citizenship Law or Law 12/2006 does not recognize dual citizenship for people who have obtained Indonesian Citizenship from the start.
Dual citizenship is only granted to children who are born to parents who are foreign citizens and Indonesian Citizens, or children who are born in Indonesia but whose nationalities are unclear. Thus, when both of your parents are granted Australian citizenship, they will lose their Indonesian Citizenship. Meanwhile, you are an Indonesian Citizen who was born in Indonesia and then moved with your parents to Australia. Your question is, do you still gain Indonesian Citizenship?
Principles of Citizenship
Previously, it is important to understand the following principles of citizenship, as embodied in Law 12/2006, namely:
- ius sanguinis principle (law of the blood) is the principle that determines a person's citizenship based on descent, not based on the country of birth.
- ius soli principle (law of the soil) is the principle that determines a person's citizenship based on the country of birth, which is limited to children in accordance with the provisions stipulated in the Citizenship Law.
- The principle of single citizenship is the principle that determines one citizenship for each person.
- The principle of limited dual citizenship is the principle that determines the dual citizenship of children in accordance with the provisions stipulated in the Citizenship Law.
Law 12/2006 basically does not recognize dual citizenship (bipatride) or statelessness (apatride). Dual citizenship granted to children under the Citizenship Law is an exception and it is limited in nature. If a child who has dual citizenship is 18 years old or married, then he/she must choose one of their nationalities.
Citizenship Status for Migrants
Answering your question, if you move to Australia, this does not necessarily deprive your Indonesian Citizen status. It's another case if you also change your citizenship to become an Australian Citizen, then this will deprive your Indonesian Citizen status. Therefore, you are currently still an Indonesian Citizen.
You, who were born from a legal marriage to a father and mother who were Indonesian Citizens (before your parents finally changed citizenship) are a child of Indonesian Citizenship as well.
Meanwhile, if migrants live abroad, they can lose their Indonesian Citizen status if:
- acquire another nationality of their own accord/will;
- does not reject or renounce other nationalities, while the person concerned has the opportunity to do so;
- being declared to have lost their nationality by the President at his own request, the person concerned is 18 years old or married, lives abroad, and by being declared to have lost his/her Indonesian Citizenship does not make him/her stateless;
- enter into foreign army service without prior permission from the president;
- Voluntarily entering into foreign state services, whose positions in such services in Indonesia in accordance with the provisions of laws and regulations may only be held by Indonesian Citizens;
- Voluntarily take an oath or pledge allegiance to a foreign country or part of the said foreign country;
- are not obligated but participate in some constitutional election, for a foreign country;
- have a passport or a letter in the nature of a passport from a foreign country or a letter that can be interpreted as a valid citizenship certificate from another country on his/her behalf; or
has resided outside of the territory of the Republic of Indonesia for 5 continuous years for non-state service purposes, for no valid reason, and for not expressing a desire to remain an Indonesian Citizen before the relevant 5-year period ends, and every subsequent 5 years the person concerned does not submit a statement wanting to remain an Indonesian Citizen to the representative of the Republic of Indonesia whose working area encompasses the place of residence even though the representative of the Republic of Indonesia has notified the person concerned in writing, as long as the person concerned is not stateless.
How to File an Application to Become an Indonesian Citizen for a Child?
As we explained earlier, you are born from a legal marriage of an Indonesian father and mother (before both your parents changed citizenship), therefore you are an Indonesian Citizen.
Meanwhile, in response to your question on how to regain Indonesian Citizenship, then this matter is regulated under Government Regulation 21/2022.
Regulation 21/2022 adds several new regulations relating to the re-acquisition of Indonesian Citizenship, specifically for children who wish to re-acquire Indonesian Citizenship.
Previously, it should be noted that children who have not registered or who have registered but who have not yet chosen their citizenship may submit a Citizenship application to the President through the Minister.
An application shall be submitted in Indonesia, by the applicant in Bahasa Indonesia, in writing, on a stamped paper, and shall at least contain:
- full name;
- place and date of birth;
- marital status;
- residential address;
- profession and/or fixed income;
- nationality of origin;
- identity card number or single identity number.
In addition, the abovementioned application must be enclosed with:
- photocopy of an excerpt of a birth certificate or letter proving the birth of the applicant is legalized by the authorized official;
- photocopy of an excerpt of a marriage certificate/marriage book, an excerpt of a divorce certificate, or an excerpt of a death certificate of the applicant's wife/husband for those who are under 18 years old and are married which is legalized by the authorized official;
- photocopy of an excerpt of a marriage certificate/marriage book, an excerpt of a divorce certificate, or an excerpt of a death certificate of one of the applicant's parents which is legalized by the authorized official;
- Immigration certificate issued by the immigration office whose working area encompasses the applicant's residence stating that the applicant has been residing in the territory of the Republic of Indonesia for at least 5 consecutive years or for at least 10 non-consecutive years;
- certificate of physical and mental health from the hospital;
- affidavit of the applicant that he/she is able to speak Bahasa Indonesia;
- affidavit of the applicant that he/she acknowledges Pancasila as the Foundation of State, and the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia;
- police record certificate;
- affidavit from the representative of the applicant’s country that by obtaining the Citizenship of the Republic of Indonesia he/she does not become a dual citizen;
- affidavit from the sub-district head whose working area includes the applicant’s residence, which states that the applicant has a job and/or a fixed income;
- proof of payment of Citizenship as non-tax state revenue; and
- 6 pieces of 4X6-centimeter recent photographs (colored) of the applicant.
In the event that the child was born in the territory of the Republic of Indonesia and does not have the requirement of an immigration certificate, the applicant must enclose a resident's biodata issued by the population and civil registration office.
The appendix to the application is then delivered to the official whose working area encompasses the applicant's place of residence.
Thus, to answer your question, you are still an Indonesian Citizen. This is because you were born in Indonesia to Indonesian parents when you were born. Although your parents have changed citizenship due to migration, your Indonesian Citizenship status is still attached to you. Meanwhile, if it turns out that you are already a foreign citizen, you may re-acquire Indonesian Citizenship status under several conditions, as regulated under Government Regulation 21/2022.
These are the answers we can provide, we hope you will find them useful.
- Law Number 12 of 2006 on Citizenship of the Republic of Indonesia;
- Government Regulation Number 2 of 2007 on Procedure for Obtaining, Losing, Nullifying, and Regaining Citizenship of the Republic of Indonesia as amended by Government Regulation Number 21 of 2022 on The Amendment of Government Regulation Number 2 of 2007 on Procedure for Obtaining, Losing, Nullifying, and Regaining Citizenship of the Republic of Indonesia.
 Article 6. Jo. Article 4 letter c, d, h, i, and Article 5 Law Number 12 of 2006 on Citizenship of the Republic of Indonesia (“Law 12/2006”).
 Article 23 Letter a Law 12/2006.
 General Elucidation of Law 12/2006.
 Article 6 Section (1) Law 12/2006.
 Article 4 Letter b Law 12/2006.
 Article 23 Law 12/2006.
 Article 3A Section (1) Government Regulation Number 21 of 2022 on The Amendment of Government Regulation Number 2 of 2007 on Procedure for Obtaining, Losing, Nullifying, and Regaining Citizenship of the Republic of Indonesia (“Government Regulation 21/2022”).
 Article 3A Section (2) Government Regulation 21/2022.
 Article 3A Section (3) Government Regulation 21/2022.
 Article 3A Section (4) Government Regulation 21/2022.
 Article 3A Section (5) Government Regulation 21/2022.