Getting Married in Indonesia as a Foreigner: Requirements

5 Jun 2024·13 min read

Planning to tie the knot in Indonesia as a foreigner? It’s a journey filled with legal steps and rich traditions. You’ll need a religious ceremony, and both of you must follow the same faith. With six major religions – Islam, Catholicism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism – the rules vary depending on your faith.

Reaching out to the Indonesian Consulate General in Cape Town, South Africa is wise. They offer help for those marrying in Indonesia. Information from the third source sheds light on what you’ll need, such as age, proof of being single or divorced, visa info, and the importance of a wali and witnesses.

Key Takeaways

  • Foreigners can get married in Indonesia, but must meet specific legal requirements
  • Both parties must be of the same religion, or one partner must convert, for a legal marriage in Indonesia
  • Obtaining a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage from the embassy is a crucial pre-marriage requirement for foreigners
  • The marriage registration process involves submitting various documents and registering the marriage with both civil and religious authorities
  • Understanding and respecting Indonesian wedding traditions and customs is important for cross-cultural marriages

Understanding Marriage Laws in Indonesia

When we talk about indonesian marriage laws for foreigners, knowing the details is key. Both people must share the same religion. The marriage must also follow each involving country’s laws.

Religious Requirements for Marriage

In Indonesia, there are six main religions recognized for marriage: Islam, Catholic Christianity, Protestant Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. The rules for a valid marriage change based on the religion.

For instance, Muslim couples must marry at a local Office of Religious Affairs (Kantor Urusan Agama or KUA). They’ll get a Marriage Book (Buku Nikah) showing their marriage is legal.

Legal Recognition of Marriages

Marriages not under Islamic law, like Christian, Buddhist, or Hindu, follow a different process. The couple first has their religious ceremony. Then, they have to record their marriage with the Civil Registry Office (Dinas Kependudukan or Kantor Catatan Sipil). This records their marriage legally and issues a Marriage Certificate (Akte Perkawinan or Surat Nikah) as proof.

Understanding these steps is vital for those from other countries looking to marry in Indonesia.

can foreigners get married in Indonesia

Yes, according to the third source, foreigners can marry in Indonesia. They need to meet specific rules and have certain documents. Foreigners wanting to marry Indonesians need to be 19 or older. They must have a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage from their home country. Also, they need the correct Indonesian visa. They must prove they’re single or divorced.

They also need translated, legal birth certificates and more documents. The source says nobody in Indonesia can say they’re atheist or agnostic. And if they follow different religions, one must change religion for the wedding to happen.

Eligibility Criteria for Foreign Marriages

Foreigners in Indonesia must meet several conditions to marry:

  • They should be 19 years old at least
  • Get a no impediment to marriage certificate from their home country’s embassy
  • Need the correct visa for Indonesia
  • Must show proof if they were single or divorced

Documents Required for Foreign Spouses

Besides the conditions, foreigners wanting to marry in Indonesia need to show other documents:

  • Legal birth certificates that are translated
  • Family’s card and Indonesian ID
  • International passports
  • If applicable, religious certificates
  • If there’s a change of religion, a declaration must be made

The source underlines that no one can be atheist or agnostic in Indonesia. Also, if the couple has different faiths, one must convert for the wedding to occur.

Marriage Registration Process

To get married in Indonesia, there are important steps to follow for your union to be legally recognized. Couples first need to submit a Notice of Intention to Marry at the Kantor Catatan Sipil. They do this at least 10 days before their wedding. This notifies the public of the upcoming marriage. It also gives anyone the chance to object, if they have a valid reason.

Notice of Intention to Marry

Once the religious marriage ceremony takes place, couples must then register their marriage officially at the Kantor Catatan Sipil. This action makes the marriage legally binding in Indonesia. When registering, they must provide specific documents. These include the Certificate of No Impediment, passports, and others. The documents needed might change by region. So, always check with the local office to know exactly what to bring.

Marriage Ceremony and Certificate

For Muslim marriages, the ceremony takes place at the local Office of Religious Affairs. Here, they receive a Marriage Book (Buku Nikah). This book proves their marriage is legally valid. Non-Muslim ceremonies, like Christian or Hindu, follow a similar but slightly different process. First, they conduct the religious ceremony. Then, they record the marriage with the Civil Registry Office. This results in a Marriage Certificate (Akte Perkawinan or Surat Nikah), showing their non-Muslim marriage is officially recognized.

Post-Marriage Registration

After the wedding ceremony, couples must finish their post-marriage registration. This step is necessary for the government to fully recognize their marriage. Again, the documents needed may differ depending on the province. It’s key to cooperate with the local civil registry office closely. This way, you ensure you have all the correct paperwork.

Islamic Marriages in Indonesia

In Indonesia, Muslim couples have the nikah ceremony at the Office of Religious Affairs (Kantor Urusan Agama). This makes their islamic marriage in indonesia official. They get a marriage book, known as Buku Nikah, after the ceremony. This book is their proof of nikah ceremony at kua in indonesia.

Muslim marriages in Indonesia don’t need to be registered with the Civil Registry Office. However, it’s wise for the couple to register there. This can be important if they plan to move to another country. It ensures their marriage is recognized internationally.

Non-Muslim Marriages in Indonesia

In Indonesia, couples from Christian, Buddhist, and Hindu backgrounds follow a unique marriage process. They celebrate with two ceremonies, a religious and a civil one. First up is their religious ceremony, held at a church, temple, or other religious spot. This step is crucial in the country’s marriage customs for couples who are not Muslim.

Religious Ceremony

The religious ceremony matches the couple’s faith. It’s a meaningful ceremony that symbolizes their spiritual bond. Yet, having a marriage certificate from the church isn’t enough to legally marry in Indonesia.

Civil Ceremony and Registration

In addition to their church wedding, these couples must have a civil ceremony. They also need to register it with the local Civil Registry Office, called the Kantor Catatan Sipil. This extra civil step is vital since some countries don’t acknowledge the church-issued certificate as legal.

This process makes their marriage both legally binding in Indonesia and accepted worldwide.

Pre-Marriage Requirements

Before tying the knot in Indonesia, there are essential steps for both locals and foreigners. They must make sure their marriage is legal and legit. These steps involve getting a

Certificate of No Impediment


Proof of Singlehood or Divorce

, as well as meeting the

Age Requirements

The Certificate of No Impediment is key for foreigners. They get it from their own embassy or consulate. It shows there are no legal problems with the marriage back home.

Next, it’s important to show you’re free to marry. You can do this with a statement or official documents. These prove your single status or that any past marriages are over legally.

To marry in Indonesia, both partners have to be at least 19. Those under 21 need their parents’ okay to wed.

Following these rules is vital for a recognized marriage in Indonesia. If you skip any steps, the marriage might not be official according to Indonesian law.

Pre-Marriage RequirementDetails
Certificate of No ImpedimentForeigners must get this from their embassy or consulate. It says there are no marriage barriers back home.
Proof of Singlehood or DivorceLove birds need to show they’re free to marry. They can use statements or official papers.
Age RequirementsBoth need to be 19 to say “I do” in Indonesia. Teens need parent approval if under 21.

By knowing and doing these steps, foreigners make sure they’re married legally in Indonesia.

Documentation for Marriage Registration

According to the third source, the documentation required for marriage registration in Indonesia includes:

  • Certificate of No Impediment from the embassy or consulate (for foreign spouses)
  • Kartu Keluarga (family card) and Kartu Tanda Penduduk (Indonesian ID)
  • International passports
  • Certified, legalized, and translated birth certificates (including for any legal children)
  • Church or temple-issued marriage certificate
  • Divorce certificate or death certificate of former partner (if applicable)
  • Tax receipt or proof of settled tax (for foreigners working in Indonesia)
  • 4 colored passport photos
  • Copy of temporary residence permit or visa (if applicable)
  • Citizenship letter and Endorsement Letter by Police (if living in Indonesia)
  • Police reports from the home country of the foreign spouse
  • Certificates of Religion
  • Declaration of Change of Religion (if spouse has converted)

These documentation requirements for marriage registration in Indonesia make sure all needed information and legal proofs are given. This is to officially recognize and register the marriage in the country.

Interfaith and Same-Sex Marriages

Indonesia has six accepted religions for marriage. These include Islam, Catholicism, and others like Hinduism and Buddhism. However, interfaith marriages face big restrictions there. The law says both partners should follow the same religion to marry legally. If they don’t, one must change their religion for the marriage to happen.

Restrictions on Interfaith Marriages

Same-sex marriage is not allowed at all in Indonesia. This is because marrying partners must not be atheists or agnostics. They must follow one of the approved religions in the country. So, both interfaith and same-sex couples find it hard to get married there.

Illegality of Same-Sex Marriages

Even with many different religions, Indonesia’s marriage laws are quite strict. They mainly support traditional marriage between a man and a woman. Those not fitting these rules might choose a non-legal ceremony elsewhere. For example, Bali hosts many symbolic ceremonies for such couples. But, these events are not recognized as legal marriages by Indonesia.

Prenuptial Agreements in Indonesia

In Indonesia, before getting married, many couples create prenuptial agreements. These agreements, known as “Perjanjian Pra Nikah” or “Prenups,” help protect each person’s rights if they later divorce. This is true for both Indonesian couples and those with one or both partners from elsewhere.

Such agreements are very detailed. They cover how each person’s stuff will be handled after marriage. Things like personal belongings, business assets, and even any debts are all part of what these agreements look after.

Statutory RegulationsIndonesia’s Civil Code provides the legal basis for prenuptial agreements in Indonesia. It explains what can and cannot be agreed upon. It also outlines when such agreements are most needed.
Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement

Having a prenuptial agreement in Indonesia can bring some key advantages:


  • It helps keep your own stuff yours.
  • It clears up who owns what, making things smoother in marriage.
  • It decides how things are split if someone passes away.
Legal ProtocolsCreating and making a prenuptial agreement in Indonesia official involves meeting certain rules. Both partners need to agree and sign it. They also need to register it. If the agreement is not fair, a court might change it.

For couples with international ties, extra care is needed when making a prenup in Indonesia. This is because different countries have different laws. Also, there’s a big legal difference between prenuptial agreements and those made after marriage.

prenuptial agreements in indonesia

Wali (Marriage Guardian) and Witnesses

In Indonesia, the Wali has a major part in marriage. Normally, the Wali is the father, grandfather, or brother of the bride. If not, the mother or another lady relative can take on this role. The Wali looks after the bride’s interests. They make sure the marriage follows all religious and legal regulations.

Role of the Wali

The Wali is key to Indonesian marriage customs. They must be at the wedding, often playing a big role. Without their approval, the marriage can’t be legally recognized. The Wali checks that the couple matches all marriage rules. This includes being from the same faith and having the right paperwork.

Requirements for Witnesses

The third source adds that two people over 19 must witness the marriage besides the Wali. These witnesses confirm the marriage’s legality and watch the event closely. For Muslim weddings in Indonesia, remember that women can’t be these witnesses.

In Indonesia, the Wali and witnesses are vital for marriage. They help make sure the wedding is both legal and respects local customs.

Translating and Legalizing Foreign Documents

For those wanting to marry in Indonesia from another country, it’s vital to get all your documents translated and legalized. This is important for papers like birth or divorce certificates. A key document is also the Certificate of No Impediment.

All these must be translated into Bahasa Indonesia. Make sure a certified translator does this. Without this step, your documents might not be accepted in Indonesia.

Certified Translations

The right way to get your documents translated is through a service like Translayte. They offer certified translations that are approved by Indonesian officials. Their services include sworn, notarized, and legalized translations.

Using certified translations ensures your documents’ content is accurately presented in Indonesian. This is crucial for your marriage process to move forward.

Legalization by Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Once translated, the next move is to have them legalized by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This step proves your documents are real and meet the country’s legal requirements. Only after translation and legalization can your documents be used for your marriage registration.

Visas and Residency for Foreign Spouses

To enter Indonesia and get married, a foreign spouse needs the right visa. The details on the required visas or residency aren’t fully covered by sources. Still, the importance of legal status for marriage is clear.

A spouse visa in Indonesia supports two types of stay permits. These are KITAS/ITAS and KITAP. You should apply for an Electronic VITAS within ten days of your arrival. After two years of marriage, consider upgrading to a KITAP for a longer stay.

Visa TypeValidityEligibility
KITAS/ITASTemporary stay permitGranted for the duration of the marriage, can be converted to KITAP after 2 years
KITAP5 years, renewable indefinitelyMarried to an Indonesian citizen for at least 1 year and resided together in Indonesia

It takes 4 to 14 weeks to process a spouse visa in Indonesia. If married to an Indonesian, you can switch from a work-related visa to a KITAP. This requires a sponsor letter from your spouse.

“Ensuring the foreign spouse has the appropriate legal status to be in the country and get married is crucial.”

Understanding the visa and residency rules in Indonesia is key. It helps couples through the marriage and stay process smoothly.

Cross-Cultural Marriages and Traditions

When foreigners marry Indonesians, they might be surprised by law and culture differences. It’s key to respect these differences when marrying in Indonesia. Knowing about religious and civil wedding needs and traditional Indonesian wedding customs is important.

Respecting Cultural Differences

Understanding cross-cultural marriages in Indonesia means valuing and learning diverse cultural customs. Knowing about the Wali (marriage guardian) and the Buku Nikah (Marriage Book) is crucial for a Muslim marriage. This helps make the wedding smooth and full of meaning for everyone.

Traditional Indonesian Wedding Customs

Indonesia’s weddings show its diverse culture through traditional Indonesian wedding customs. Weddings vary by ethnic background but often include special clothing, dances, and speeches. These aspects are very significant locally. Knowing and respecting them makes weddings more special for everyone involved.

By welcoming and understanding marriages in Indonesia, foreigners can have a better time. This approach helps build strong bonds with their Indonesian loved ones and their families.

Registering Your Marriage Abroad

Registering your marriage abroad can seem hard, mainly if done outside Indonesia. It’s key to know how to register Indonesian marriages abroad. This matters for couples connected to Indonesia.

Recognition of Indonesian Marriages

The U.S. usually says Indonesian marriages are real, but they keep no record. For your Indonesian marriage to count in the U.S., check with your state’s Attorney General. They’ll show you what’s needed.

To be sure your marriage gets accepted, some U.S. states want your Indonesian marriage papers in English. They also need to be signed by KEMLU to prove they’re legit.

Procedures for Registration

Law No. 1 of 1974 on Marriage in Indonesia says Indonesia accepts overseas marriages if between two Indonesians or with a foreigner. These marriages need to be reported to an Indonesian office, like an embassy or consulate, there.

It can take 4 to 7 days to register your marriage in Indonesia, and it’s free. But not registering can lead to your kids being seen as born out of wedlock. This could affect their rights and legal status in Indonesia.

It’s crucial for couples tied to Indonesia to register their marriage there if married abroad. It can influence many things, like citizenship and owning property in the country.

Registering Indonesian Marriages Abroad


Foreigners can marry in Indonesia. They just need to follow some rules. First, they must get a Certificate of No Impediment. They also need to show they’re single or divorced. They have to meet age rules. Their faith should match one of Indonesia’s six recognized religions.

Before marriage, they must complete some paperwork. Foreign documents need translation. They also must be made valid in Indonesia. Then, couples can register their marriage with both civil and religious bodies.

Understanding Indonesian marriage laws is key. Respect for local customs is vital. This ensures a trouble-free and legal marriage. Through proper prep and rule-following, foreigners can have a wonderful marriage experience in Indonesia.

Getting married in Indonesia as a foreigner might look hard. But with good help and focusing on details, it’s a joyful journey. Adapting to local traditions means the wedding honors both partners and Indonesia’s rich culture.


Can foreigners get married in Indonesia?

Yes, foreigners can marry in Indonesia. They need to follow some rules and go through the right steps.

What are the requirements for foreigners to get married in Indonesia?

To wed in Indonesia, foreigners must be at least 19. They need a Certificate of No Impediment from their country. Also, the correct visa is required. Evidence of their single or divorced status, along with birth certificates, must be shown.

What are the legal requirements for marriage in Indonesia?

Both parties must share the same religion in Indonesia. The marriage should meet each person’s country laws. Indonesia recognizes six religions.

How do foreigners register their marriage in Indonesia?

To register, a Notice of Intention to Marry must be filed 10 days ahead. The marriage is then registered after the ceremony. Original and copy documents are needed, including the Certificate of No Impediment, birth certificates, and passports.

What are the requirements for Muslim marriages in Indonesia?

For Muslim ceremonies, the service must be at a KUA. A Marriage Book is given, showing the marriage is legal.

What are the requirements for non-Muslim marriages in Indonesia?

For other religious weddings, like Christian or Hindu, the religious ceremony comes first. Then, a Marriage Certificate from the Civil Registry Office is needed.

Can foreigners and Indonesians of different religions get married in Indonesia?

Couples in Indonesia must share the same religion for their marriage to be valid. If they don’t, one person must convert.

Are same-sex marriages legal in Indonesia?

Same-sex marriage is not allowed in Indonesia. Marriages must follow the country’s religious laws.

Do foreigners need a prenuptial agreement to get married in Indonesia?

While prenups are not a must, they have become common for many marrying couples. They safeguard the rights of both partners in case they divorce.

What is the role of a Wali (marriage guardian) in Indonesian marriages?

In Indonesian weddings, a Wali is needed. This is often the bride’s male relative. At least two witnesses, over 19, are also required.

What happens if the foreign spouse’s documents are not in Indonesian?

All foreign papers must be translated into Bahasa Indonesia by an approved translator. The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs must also validate these translations.

What type of visa does a foreign spouse need to get married in Indonesia?

A correct visa for entering Indonesia is needed for marriage. Exact visa type and residency criteria are not detailed. Legal status to marry in Indonesia is crucial.

How can foreigners register their Indonesian marriage in their home country?

The U.S. recognizes marriages from Indonesia once they are legally registered there. To register in the U.S., couples need to find their attorney general for guidelines.