Shock: No working permit as spouse of Indo.Wife ?

Magnum3455

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Hello,
I’m new here because I need your help and advice.

I’ve been browsing the internet now for hours and still couldn't find an answer.


First my story. I wanna make it as short as possible:
I’m 28 years old from Germany and 1,5 years ago I met a woman from Indonesia (on an internet chat). I visited Indonesia last January for 1 month to meet her and her family to really wanna make sure if I want to marry her. Everything was great and we decided to get married (Yes we have the same religion). Of course it was not that casual, we’ve been talking every day and we are sure that we wanna be together but thats not the topic here now.


Initially the plan was to live in Germany and some years later move to Indonesia. During the past months we figured out that it makes no sense that we live in Germany due to the ridiculously high costs of living and some other things that would bother us here. For us it would be much better to live in Indonesia for many personal reasons and not even waste time and money here in Germany including the visa procedure.

I already have saved up enough money to buy a house in Indonesia and I’ve been learning Bahasa Indonesia for some moths. So I thought that I was almost set, I just wanted to wait until the Corona crisis is over and then I would be ready to move there.


Now my problem:
I found out that I cannot legally work there even if I’m married to her. I found out quite late because I have never thought of that there would be a problem. From Europe I’m used to that there are no restrictions in terms of working when you are married to a citizen, so I naively never wasted any thoughts on that.

One of the main reasons why I wanted to move to Indonesia was because I wanted to open a small business as a freelancer. I don’t think it is important what exactly because if I’m not allowed to legally work there, there might not even a point in working there at all because I probably have to work for many many years to come and I might have to change my profession or whatever I wanna do there. But under such circumstances I cannot plan to stay there for the rest of my life and earn money that way. It might work on the short term but it has no sustainability.

I wanna live normally with my house and wife and work. I don’t leave my country to have a more complicated live that I already have here.

Yes I have read that it’s like a grey zone to be a freelancer but seriously, I cannot build my future on ‘being in a grey zone and stay inconspicuous as possible’. I just cannot leave everything behind and start over under such circumstances. My business that I wanna do can’t work under such conditions and it’s not the way I wanna life.
I wanted to move to Indonesia to start a new life and do the things that I cannot do here but now I found out this. :(

Has anyone help or advice for me?

You have much more experience and I bet I’m not the first person facing this dilemma.


I don’t know it feels like my dream shattered because I was really looking forward to moving and living there.
How risky is this all?


Of course I still wanna marry this woman but this all is not going to make it easier for us.
 

cestpasmyjob

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As you are EU citizen, you can get married and live somewhere cheaper in the EU - Portugal say.
 

gemima

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I don’t leave my country to have a more complicated live that I already have here.
I cant offer you much advice (I'm not looking to marry an Indonesian and I am here based on my skills with a job and KITAS), but I can say with much certainity that if you are looking to come here for a less complicated life you wont get that. Your life will probably have more complications!
I recommend that you come and spend an extended period here (sosobud visa for instance) with your wife-to-be BEFORE you get married to see if you really could see yourself living here and having a happy life with her here.
The laws about working on a spousal kitas are grey and unlikely to change any time soon. Indonesians in general are not keen on having loads of foreigners coming here to work. Any changes to the law probably wont go down so well with the public.
 

harryopal

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I cant offer you much advice (I'm not looking to marry an Indonesian and I am here based on my skills with a job and KITAS), but I can say with much certainity that if you are looking to come here for a less complicated life you wont get that. Your life will probably have more complications!
I recommend that you come and spend an extended period here (sosobud visa for instance) with your wife-to-be BEFORE you get married to see if you really could see yourself living here and having a happy life with her here.
The laws about working on a spousal kitas are grey and unlikely to change any time soon. Indonesians in general are not keen on having loads of foreigners coming here to work. Any changes to the law probably wont go down so well with the public.
Sensible advice but a difficult time to even organize that with lockdowns, quarantining and restrictions changing from week to week with Corona spikes.
 

snpark

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So many alarm bells but lets keep opinions out of this regarding this "relationship" and keep it professional:

Just open a company legally here with her, a PT is the cheapest, then you can be a director and be employed legally with a KITAS, IMTA, get tax card etc etc etc
On paper she will own 51% of it but since you are married she will own it all anyway (joke)
Suggest you also keep your own personal bank account for yourself seperate to any joint ones etc

Likewise regarding any land or house purchases, you cannot legally, another complicated system here, has to be in her name etc etc and lots of legal paperwork required regarding marriage, assets, prenups etc so again warning bells if she gets bored of you in 3 years and kicks you out from your own house.

So disregarding all that stuff, and sticking to work - well just open a PT company, she will be the director and then the company can legal sponsor you to live and work here. But again if one day she is in a bad mood and cancels your visa (since she owns half the company legally etc etc) then you will not be able to stay here.
So you lose your money and company and house but hey after you get deported you don't need to worry about seeing her cruise round in your Mercedes and opening bottles in the clubs with her new guy,


But if you still want to come here then I suggest opening a company.
BIG BIG warning - the grass is not always greener. It might be cheaper to live here or to survive on $1,000 a month alone if it goes tits up, but living and working in Jakarta is a lot more hassle than coming here on a holiday for a few weeks.
 

snpark

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PS again sorry about opinions but you met her on the internet and have only met her in real life for 4 weeks? Are you also sponsoring her - supporting her financially monthly? Even if only a few hundred dollars a month?
Don't be shy, we are not mocking you, yeh your one is different etc etc, we are just here to provide advice of every kind. Some of us have been here decades and some of us are actually Indonesians, and some of the male sounding posters are women lol

So better to be upfront and honest and clear and you will find you get better answers also

But this one has lots of warning signs all over it, even just for the working side of the issue
 

Magnum3455

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Are you also sponsoring her - supporting her financially monthly? Even if only a few hundred dollars a month?
No, I don't give her money and she never asks for money. Even when I was there she felt uncomfortable when I bought her stuff. She mostly denied it. She even bought me stuff and food even though her salary is little. And no, the family never asked for money too. Her parents are educated people and doing well.
I have known her for 1,5 years by now I can estimate her. She is 100 times better then western women I met so far. She is also my same age.
One time when we had an argument, she even gave the money I sent her before (I just did it voluntarily she DID NOT ask for it) to poor people.
She is very religious and does not live for this world and chases transient things.


I know that its common for westerners to get tricked by Asian women there and I also laugh at them. But in my case it's really different. It's not like I met her in a nightclub. I have known her since April 2019 and since then we first talked every day for one hour or more. Then last December I only flew to Indonesia to met her because I wanted to make sure that I'm right about her. I did not go there to make holiday. Her parents would not even allow a marriage if they hadn't met me anyways. And even now we still talk daily and I wanted to fly to Indonesia again in November but now I can't because of the Covid.
I really know her and I know that she is the right woman for me. Yes sure, no one knows what is in 5, 10 or 15 years but that's the case in every marriage. But you can believe me, I made sure that she does not marry me for money.
 
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fastpitch17

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All I can add since I do nothing in regards to business here is that Indonesia can be complicated to live in as a foreigner even without the corona virus. The legal paperwork can be a hassle, a marriage here can get very expensive, especially for a foreigner, and noting will be in your name. If you plan on living in Jakarta, be aware that the major cities are the most expensive as well as any popular tourist type areas like Bali. Houses can be 4 to 5 times the price of the same houses in other cities like my little city of over 1 million people and only a 25 minute flight from Jakarta or a 4 hour car trip that includes a 2 hour ferry ride. You really need to do your homework for what things cost in the various areas.

As far as her family. Good they do fine economically by themselves. Still, they will have a lot of influence on your wife's life and it will be quite different than any Western style you are familiar with. They will also be controlling towards any children you have. They have their ways and guaranteed, their ways will be different than what you think parenting is. You may say you are accepting of all things Indonesia but trust me, after living here, you will be scratching your head about most of it. If you have children and every Indonesian woman has children be if they want to or not, you have to think about schooling for them and without a lot of cash, it will be sub standard. Really, you need to prepare yourself much more before ever thinking about working here.

I know your feelings but I married in the US. Lived there with plans to retire in Indonesia. Raised our children in the US so they could get a proper education. Saved every payday and then retired a bit early. Now, we do not own a house. Cost us less at our age to rent than to buy something and have no one locally we could leave it to. Sure, there are those family members that think we should buy and then leave it all to them. Ha Ha. I would need to live another 20 years to spend on rent what my house would cost. I doubt I or my wife will see those days. I pay just over US 1,700 dollars per year where I live compared to the same house in Jakarta for over US2,000 dollars per month or more. I did not buy a car and use Grab and Go car when I need one. Will never spend what a car cost. I do however have a motor for close trips. I sell it every year with 400 to 600 kilos on it and get what I paid for it. A new motor every year has been costing me a little over a juta.

OK, as for business. Your wife can own a business and with little hassle. Many think you can help out. No payroll listing, no schedule, and not listed on any paperwork. Any other business you may want to do some searching in the EU for someone that may be hiring for an Indonesia assignment.

Just get married in the EU. If her parents are financially sound, they can attend. A ticket for her will be cheaper than a wedding here. A lot. Build a life at your home. Have children. Educate them properly. Then, when they are grown and you are empty nesters, move to Indonesia. Of course, most likely by then your wife will want nothing to do with life in Indonesia learning the Western ways. I know you ask about starting a business but I have seen others who didn't do their homework get here and then find out this is no place for them. They never looked into much and took the information they were getting from people who wanted them here. Do your homework. All of it. This isn't paradise no matter what the tourist ministry says. jmho
 

Banana72

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My only (attempt at) advice is don't buy a house...not even in your wife's name, particularly you've known her for such a short time....at least you're not doing too bad if you got enough money saved up to buy a house (I assume it's down payment?You're doing great if it's enough to buy it outright)..IF/when you do get married....try living under the same roof first...rent an apartment for 1-2 years...one hour long distance video chat is a different experience than 24/7 physically together.
 

snpark

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And standard of housing here sucks. Better to build your own to your own spec. Which is another Pandora's box

At least live together first in a rented place. And even with a house. Rent it then see what's wrong with it and then make an offer. Never buy a house without living in it first.
 

macvert

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Rent it then see what's wrong with it and then make an offer. Never buy a house without living in it first.
& never rent a house for more than 1 month without camping in the street for a couple of weeks to test the neighbourhood for the likes of dogs barking 24/7, loud, pathetic little motorbikes 24.7 & neighbours with loud noises coming from every orifice 24.7.
 
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R Cameron

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I was kind of rooting for you until I read that. If your thought processes are so simplistic that you can lump all "western women" into one category, you really shouldn't be contemplating marriage. You need to gain a little perspective and maturity first.
Well he did say, "western women I met so far". And by "met" he may mean in a romantic context, in which case his statement is more like, "she is 100 times better than the western women who have been romantically interested in me." I think that may be a common sentiment for those western people who marry Indonesians!
 

cestpasmyjob

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Magnum, are you also very religious? I have seen western/ indonesian marriages like yours work well where both are devout muslims, because money/ educating kids is not seen as important vs being good muslims, and it is easier to do that in rural Java than in Germany.
 

Will_M

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I know a few people that made and a business with their Indonesian wife. They’re also not “hidden” and play an active role in the business. Regularly visited by immigration and have very little issues. Everything within the business is owned by the wife. I guess this is only achievable in certain sectors, though.

Where there is a will, there is a way.
 

fastpitch17

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Only if you're weak and let them...
No, you just have to not understand their intentions or customs. I have seen some strong willed men pull their hair out dealing with the families. It isn't a matter of weakness and even if you can fight them off, you have to take the time to fight them and do not tell me daughters are not loyal to family. Read some past post about family influences. Evidently your experiences are far fewer than so many others.
 

lifelongexpat

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I have seen some strong willed men pull their hair out dealing with the families
No need for confrontations. No need to pull your hair out. No need to waste time. You just need to be firm at the start and go forward on their right foot.
 

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