Unclear about marriage law

Aug 13, 2020
Hi all, I've been living a few years in Indonesia now, met my girlfriend recently and we want to get married, with the following prerequisites in mind:

  • She's Muslim, I'm not - so I will most likely become one
  • My KITAS ends in March 2021
  • To my understanding, there are two different requirements: a religious wedding, and the legal one as recognized by both my home country Netherlands.
  • Marriage would make it cheaper for my employer to extend my KITAS next year (I've heard this left & right)
  • Due to COVID-19 it is extremely difficult to get the legal part sorted out, since I have no access to my Dutch bank account due to an expired bank card. This is an ongoing (but different) story, been trying to get my card here for almost a year now - lost a lot of money on mailing letters and phone calls.
  • Related to this, I need access to my Dutch account in order to gain a birth certificate from the Netherlands (ie: to prove my identity and pay for admin costs), which I can't at the moment.

So with the above in mind, my question is this: can we get married "the religious way" first, and if so, will that give me any legal "power" to my KITAS extension (ie: will it be cheaper/easier)?

I hope I made myself clear - it's a real legal swamp out there and I'd like to hear from people with some experience.

Thanks a lot in advance for your valuable time.

Helpful Herbert

Well-Known Member
Mar 24, 2019
If by "the religious way" you mean something like a nikah siri ceremony which has no legal status, then no, it will make no difference to the KITAS extension because it is not a legal marriage. You can look at it as an informal commitment to your partner and her family.

If however you mean converting to Islam and doing a full legal marriage in Indonesia and registering it at the KUA, then yes that is a legally valid marriage worldwide. Whether you can do that without your birth certificate is unlikely though.

Jaime C

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Jul 16, 2016
Just remember if you don’t want to convert, for whatever reason, you can just get married outside of Indonesia.


Well-Known Member
Jul 9, 2017
Or the wife can convert herself to your religion. Not exactly common but it does happen from time to time.


Well-Known Member
Aug 20, 2016
For KITAS, if the marriage is done in Indonesia, immigration asks, among other documents:

1. marriage book for Muslims/marriage certificate fo non-Muslims,
2. Non-impediment letter issued by your Embassy in Jakarta or by your country-in that case fully legalized in your country (Your country's Ministry of Law, Ministry of Justice, Indonesian Embassy+fully legalized translations, later translated in Indonesia by a sworn translator).

The required documents are in line what is required in most of the countries, there is no legal swamp about these matters.

For Muslims, religion Marriage is fully legal if done by KUA. For non-muslims, religious marriage document will be the underlying document for a marriage certificate in Civil Registry Office (Catatan Sipil).

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