KMILN: The Indonesian Overseas Card

Diaspora KMILN Sydney
President Jokowi greeting Indonesian diaspora children in Sydney (Photo: Biro Setpres)

Indonesia creates Overseas Card (KMILN) for members of the Indonesian diaspora. For ex-citizens, it does not grant any new privileges beyond what is already set by current law.

On August 24, 2017, President Joko Widodo signed Presidential Decree Number 76, 2017. It calls for the creation of the Kartu Masyarakat Indonesia di Luar Negeri (KMILN). Literally, it means the Indonesian Community Abroad Card. It is also known as the Indonesian Overseas Card or the Indonesian Diaspora Card.

Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has promised the card for over a year. Recently, the government of President Widodo has paid attention to the potential of the Indonesian diaspora. The Indonesian Diaspora Network, says there are currently 8 million people who are part of the diaspora.

Many within the diaspora had hoped that this card would lead to dual nationality. Perhaps similar to India’s Overseas Citizenship model. Or that it could grant right to live and work in Indonesia to its ex-citizens. Sadly, for ex-citizens, the KMILN does not grant any new privileges beyond what is already set by current law.



Who are the Indonesian Diaspora?

The Indonesian diaspora consists of Indonesian nationals, former Indonesian citizens, former dual national children, and descendants of Indonesians living abroad. Therefore there is overlap between the Indonesian diaspora and the Indonesian expat communities. In particular for expats in a mixed marriage with dual national children, who eventually will have to choose a single nationality. Therefore many of the concerns of the diaspora mirrors that of expats in Indonesia.

The Indonesian Overseas Card (KMILN)

The title of the presidential decree is “Fasilitas Bagi Masyarakat Indonesia di Luar Negeri“. In English it translates to Facility for the Indonesian Community abroad. The title seems to imply certain rights beyond the issuance of a card. However, reading the body of the decree, it is clear that this is not the case.

KMILN
Illustration: Kartu Masyarakat Indonesia di Luar Negeri – KMILN (Photo: Kemenlu)

Within the decree, it separates the holders of KMILN into two categories. Namely those who are citizens (WNI) and those who are not. KMILN holders who are not citizens are former citizens, foreign children of former citizens and foreigners whose parents are citizens.

The decree then says KMILN holders who are WNI may open bank accounts, own property and form legal entitities. They can also live and work in Indonesia. WNI already enjoy those rights, so this is meaningless.

Further, KMILN holders can use it instead of a KTP and/or a Kartu Keluarga where needed.

KMILN holders who are not WNI may be given considerations according to the current law.

In other words, nothing has changed.



Registering for KMILN

Register for the card by following this link: https://iocs.kemlu.go.id/login/register

Requirements

For WNI and former WNI:

  • Copy of valid passport.
  • Valid stay permit in foreign country for at least 2 years.

For foreign children of former WNI and foreigners whose parents are WNI:

  • Copy of valid passport.
  • Valid stay permit in foreign country for at least 2 years.
  • Birth certificate

Downloads

Download the text of Presidential Decree Number 76, 2017 (Bahasa Indonesia) by following this link: LINK

Conclusion

The KMILN may have some use for WNI abroad who for some reason do not have an Indonesian ID card, such as a KTP. Beyond that it has little use. Even the foreign minister has said that the card is only a data gathering tool.

For those with some understanding of Indonesian law, this should not come as a surprise. A higher statute than a presidential decree governs citizenship, the right to work and to abode. Therefore a presidential decree can not override it. Instead, parliament (DPR) has to pass a law (undang-undang) to amend those rules.

Indonesia’s parliament is currently considering a law that amends the rules for dual citizenship. However it has stalled due to lack of support.

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About dafluff 22 Articles

Dafluff is a second generation expat in Indonesia. His parents, being a mixed WNA-WNI couple, moved the entire family to Bali in the early 80s. He was educated in the Indonesian national school system, then obtained engineering degrees in the US and lived in the US and Canada. A relatively recent returnee to Indonesia, he has benefited greatly from the online expat community, and is working hard to return the favor.