Australian Embassy
Indonesia
Address: Jalan H.R. Rasuna Said Kav C 15-16, Jakarta Selatan 12940 - Tel: 2550 5555 - Fax: 2550 5467

Marriage in Indonesia

This information sheet sets out procedures for getting married in Indonesia under Indonesian Law through a Minister of Religion or the Civil Registry. The Australian Attorney-General on 7 September 1994 revoked, from 1 January 1995, all appointments of marriage officers at Australian Missions Overseas, so that consular officers may no longer marry Australians outside Australia. Australians will continue to be able to marry overseas, but according to the laws of the country in which the marriage takes place.

Getting Married under Indonesian Law

Generally, Indonesian nationals, and persons of any other nationality may marry in Indonesia provided they hold a religion recognised by the Indonesian Government (Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, or Christian Catholic/Protestant). Under the Indonesian Marriage Law marriages may be performed by Ministers of Religion, officers of the Kantor Catatan Sipil (Civil Registry Office), or the Kantor Urusan Agama (Office of Religious Affairs). For a marriage to be legal, it must be conducted according to the religion, and conform to the laws of the countries of the parties involved.

A broad outline of the Australian Legal position on the Recognition of Foreign Marriages is provided further on. If more detailed information is required, citizens should consult a private solicitor or legal aid body.

In order for an Australian citizen to marry in Indonesia, it is necessary to make an application at the Embassy for a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage. If marrying in Bali, you can also apply for the Certificate at the Australian Consulate General in Denpasar. Application forms are available from the Consular Counter at the Embassy or on our website at www.smartraveller.gov.au/marriage_os.html

To obtain a Certificate you need to:

In most cases the Certificate can be issued while you wait.

It is preferable that applicants apply for the Certificate in person at the Embassy. If this is not possible applications may be processed via post, however the application form must be signed before a person authorised to witness Statutory Declarations (including, in Indonesia, an Indonesian Public Notary). Please contact the Consular Section at consular.jakarta@dfat.gov.au for further details on how to apply via post or registered mail.

The fee, payable in Indonesian Rupiah, is based on the exchange rate at the time the Application for a Certificate of No Impediment is lodged. The present schedule/range of fees are:

Certificate of No Impediment: $A90 IDR 675.000 – 900.000

Please note that the Rupiah equivalent of the Australian Dollar fees is subject to change on the 1st day of every month in accordance to the exchange rate at that time.

The parties to the marriage will need to make their own arrangements with the local religious minister and/or the civil registry celebrants and are advised to seek confirmation of the exact requirements in their particular circumstances. In addition, partners would be advised to discuss with their lawyer in Australia and/or Indonesia any other steps which need to be taken, especially, but not only if, they intend to reside in a country other than Australia, or if they wish to hold property separately.

Couples must be of the same religion

Under Law No.1 of 1974 concerning marriage (the ‘Marriage Law’), both parties must hold the same religion, if not, one party must convert to the other religion. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the process of converting to Islam is not a lengthy one. To start the process, speak with the Imam at the local mosque.

Islamic Weddings

Moslem weddings are performed by the Kantor Urusan Agama (KUA) at a mosque, private home, etc, which issues Marriage Books (Buku Nikah) as evidence of the marriage. There is usually no requirement for people to register such a marriage with the Catatan Sipil. However, if you may move to another country, it is recommended that you arrange for a Marriage Certificate just in case it is needed.

Other Weddings

For non-Moslem marriages (Christian, Hindu, etc), couples have to lodge a Notice of Intention to Marry with the Catatan Sipil at least 10 days prior to the wedding. After the ceremony in the church, temple, garden, etc, the marriage must be registered at the Catatan Sipil office to be legal. Both applicants will need the originals and a photocopy of: the Certificate from the Embassy, passports or KTP, birth certificates, marriage certificate, proof of dissolution of previous marriage (if applicable), four photos (4x6cm) of the couple. As requirements can vary from province to province it would be prudent to check with Catatan Sipil first.

It can be difficult for Australian and other foreign nationals without Indonesian language skills to liaise with the Catatan Sipil and religious celebrants. Unfortunately, the Embassy does not have the resources to assist in making arrangements for local marriages.

Recognition of Foreign Marriages in Australia

The following information on the Australian Legal Position on the recognition of foreign marriages was compiled by the Attorney General's Department in November 1992:

On 7 April 1986 new rules came into force in Australia for the legal recognition of marriages which have taken place overseas. In addition, the rules about marriage in Australia of people whose legal home (domicile) is overseas has also been changed. The purpose of this document is to explain the general principles behind the new rules, for the benefit of those who may want to find out the usual rules applying to their situation, or who may want to advise others.

It should be noted, however, that this document only gives a broad outline of the relevant law. In Particular, as mentioned below, a marriage not recognised under the new rule may be regarded as valid under the rules of common law. For detailed advice on these matters members of the public should consult a private solicitor or legal aid body.

The Basis for the Rules

The rules governing whether or not a marriage is valid under Australian law are to be found in the Commonwealth Marriage Act 1961 ('the Act'). Until recently the rules governing recognition of overseas marriages were primarily to be found in the 'common law' - that body of legal rules developed by judges over the years and inherited by Australia from the United Kingdom.

In 1976 a group of nations met and drew up a new international regime for the recognition in one country of marriages solemnised elsewhere. This was embodied in the Hague Convention on the Celebration and Recognition of Marriages. On 7 April 1986 the Commonwealth Parliament enacted the Marriage Amendment Act 1985 in order to implement the rules contained in this Hague Convention. They apply, however, to all marriages solemnised outside Australia, even if they took place before that date.

Marriages outside Australia under Foreign Law

Part 5a. of the Act contains the rules for recognition of marriages entered into outside Australia under Foreign laws. The basic rule adopted is that, if the marriage was recognised as valid under the law of the country in which it was entered into, at the time when it was entered into, the marriage will be recognised in Australia as a valid marriage unless one of the exceptions mentioned below is applicable.

Exceptions to recognition of foreign marriages

While designed to remove all technical barriers to recognition of marriages celebrated elsewhere, the Hague Convention acknowledges the strong interest many countries have in refusing to recognise certain marriages. Australia, in adopting the convention rules, has also set out certain exceptions to recognition based on its policy.

The following marriages will not be recognised under the new rules; where one of the parties was already married to someone else; where one of the parties was under marriageable age; where the parties are too closely related under Australian law - that is either as ancestor, descendant, brother or sister, including half-brother and half-sister, and whether the relationship is natural or by adoption; where the consent of one of the parties was not a real consent due to duress or fraud, mistake, or mental incapacity.

Marriageable age

In the case of a marriage solemnised on or after 1 August 1992, where one or both of the parties was, at the time of marriage, domiciled in Australia, the marriage will not be recognised in Australia if either of the parties was not at least 18 years old at the time of the marriage. Where neither of the parties was domiciled in Australia at the time of the marriage, the marriage will not be recognised as valid at any time while either party is under the age of 16 years.

In the case of a marriage solemnised before 1 August 1991, where one or both of the parties was, at the time of the marriage, domiciled in Australia, the marriage will not be recognised in Australia if the female was not at least 16 years old and the male was not at least 18 years old at the time of the marriage. Neither party will not be recognised as valid at any time if the female is under the age of 14 years or the male is under the age of 16 years.

Despite the above exception, a marriage which falls into one of those categories may nevertheless be recognised as valid in Australia. This is because the rules of common law may still operate where they would lead to recognition of a marriage as valid. It is recommended that anyone whose marriage falls into the above exceptions should seek detailed legal advice on the operation of the common law.

Frequently asked Questions

 

Contact details for the Embassy:
Consular Section
Australian Embassy
Jl H.R Rasuna Said Kav C15-16
JAKARTA 12940
Ph: 021 25505500
Fax: 021 25505499

Public Hours of Consular Counter: Mon - Fri 08.00 - 12.00, 13.00 - 16.00
Please do not hesitate to seek further advice from the Consular Section of the Embassy.

Consular Section
July 2013

While every care has been taken in preparing this information, neither the Australian Government nor its agents or employees, including any member of the Embassy's consular staff, can accept liability for any injury, loss or damage arising in respect of the information contained herein.