Legal Requirements for Weddings in Indonesia
Indonesia is a massive country with a huge diversity of cultures, spectacular scenery and wildlife as well as delicious food. Bali is one of the most popular destinations in Indonesia for British tourists and is a wonderful destination for a wedding as well, provided the planning is carefully done in advance.
This article outlines the requirements for UK citizens looking to get married in Indonesia, the documents and procedures required, and guidance on how to obtain translations or legalisations if any are required.
Getting married in Indonesia
Weddings anywhere in Indonesia, especially away from the most visited places where foreigners congregate, can be more challenging to arrange than other wedding destinations, because of local regulations, the emphasis on religious denomination and difficulties in communicating in Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia).
For British Muslims, a wedding in Indonesia would be a memorable experience. Islam is the majority religion in most of Indonesia, but other major religions are also legally recognised. Bali, for example, is predominantly a Hindu enclave, while Timor to the East is predominantly Christian.
It’s important to plan the wedding and any legal requirements well before you travel and not leave it too late.
Civil partnerships and same sex marriages in Indonesia
Civil partnerships are not recognized in Indonesia and ceremonies to mark them cannot legally be arranged. Technically, all marriages must be religious ceremonies to be recognized in Indonesia and that also means that both partners must be of the same religion.
Same sex relationships and marriages are illegal in Indonesia, making even a honeymoon in Indonesia for a same-sex couple a relatively clandestine affair.
What documents do I need to get married in Indonesia?
You will both need to show evidence of your religious status. This should be translated into Bahasa Indonesia by an Indonesian translator. Regulations depend on your religion. Muslims intending to marry in Indonesia need to visit the Office of Religious Affairs (Kantor Urusan Agama).
Evidence of the marriage (Buku Nikah) in Indonesian will be supplied by this office, but you should then register the marriage with the Civil Registry office (Kantor Catatan Sipil) so that a marriage certificate can be issued which you can use back in the U.K. You will need to have this translated into English by a UK certified translator.
Indonesia’s marriage requirements are a little different for non-Muslim couples.
For non-Muslim marriages, you will need to register your intention to marry 10 days in advance at a Civil Registry Office (Kantor Catatan Sipil) with the documents listed below, which must be translated into Indonesian (except passports). The marriage ceremony will take place at the registry office. You will be issued with a marriage certificate that should be translated into English for use back in the U.K.
- Evidence of your religious affiliation (both partners must be the same);
- A Certificate of No Impediment (CNI);
- Birth certificates;
- Proof of dissolution of previous marriage or death certificate of former partner (if applicable);
- Four photos (4x6cm) of the couple.
You can get the CNI before you leave the U.K. and have it translated into Indonesian. CNIs cost £35 from your local registry office. You have to wait for 28 days while the intention to marry is posted at the register office. You will then get the certificate as long as there have been no objections. You can also get a CNI from a British Embassy or Consulate in Jakarta or Bali.
For all other documents needed to obtain the CNI and statutory declaration please check our general destination wedding document information here.
Your marriage certificate will be recognized in the UK as long as:
- you follow the correct process according to the law in Indonesia;
- it would be allowed under UK law.
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- Civil Partnership: Not recognised;
- Same-Sex Marriage: Illegal;
- You will need to make an appointment to swear your affirmation locally;
- You may also be required to notify the local registry about your intention to marry;
- Your wedding ceremony in Bali must be a religious ceremony, regardless of the religion;
- You will need to provide additional documentation which confirms your religious status;
- Marriage in Bali is complex and it’s highly recommended that you contact the local district office in Thailand before your marriage;
- There are no official residency requirements.
Click here for more information about getting married in Bali.