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AU citizenship & separated from WNI husband

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  • AU citizenship & separated from WNI husband

    I was born and bred in Jakarta and became an Australian PR when I was 11 years old (thanks to my Dad who got a Business PR visa for the whole family at that time) and moved to Sydney shortly after that. I got married in 2007 but has been separated from my estranged Indonesian husband for almost 4 years now. We used to live in Sydney but moved to Jakarta in 2013 - sold everything that we owned in Sydney. I moved back to Sydney in 2015 (only spent two years in Jakarta) and have not reunited with him since then (yes I chose to be a single mum in Sydney) due to a number of differences. We have spoken about reconciliation a number of times, but sadly he refused to return to Sydney due to a number of personal reasons, one is about fulfilling his 'dream' to be a business owner, rather than being stuck as an employee like he used to be in Syd. Our differences in vision and mission has led us to live two different lives now. I have to say I'm VERY happy and content with my current life in Sydney and ever since I returned to Sydney soil I have been thinking of becoming an Australian citizen. I have thought a few risks if I become an Aust citizen and what impact it has on my current relationship status, as we are not divorced and have an 8 year old child together. The child lives with me in Sydney and he is an Australian citizen by birth. I hope someone here is able to help me from an Indonesian law perspective?

    1. As we are living two very different lives, we have no intention to mingle in each other's business now. We do not share any common properties together, not in Jakarta nor Sydney. However he owns a land and a shop-house under his own name (he uses for both his current business) and if he wants to sell those properties, do I need to be involved as well? I have seen in past experiences and heard from my parents that if one of the couple has a property, by the time they want to sell the property/land, both of them must give consent to sell (even if it's in one spouse's name). I just want to minimise my involvement with my estranged husband's matters for now.

    2. Will my citizenship change allow (or even trigger!) my husband to obtain child custody if we are divorcing, or even today as we're already separated?. My son has an Australian citizenship. He used to have an Indonesian passport too (i just haven't renewed a new one for him), and he's currently eligible to get an affidavit too (legally I'm still a WNI). Somehow i heard that Indonesian law recognises a child's citizenship by their father's citizenship, so if the mother is a WNA, the child's citizenship follows their dad's.

    3. I am not foreseeing myself to own any assets in Indonesia and i'm confident to say that i have minimal involvement with Indonesian matters at the moment (like ownership of assets, work, career, etc). Will citizenship changes have any impact on any spouse's matters particularly when one spouse becomes a WNA?

    Hope someone out there can shed a light for me. I wanted to seek advice here in Australia, but i thought since the matters are more related to Indonesian law i decided to ask amongst Indonesian / expat professionals here. Thank you.

  • #2
    Originally posted by CBee2019 View Post
    1. ... he owns a land and a shop-house under his own name .. and if he wants to sell those properties, do I need to be involved as well?

    1a. I have seen in past experiences and heard from my parents that if one of the couple has a property, by the time they want to sell the property/land, both of them must give consent to sell (even if it's in one spouse's name) ...

    2. Will my citizenship change allow (or even trigger!) my husband to obtain child custody if we are divorcing, or even today as we're already separated?.

    2a. My son has an Australian citizenship. He used to have an Indonesian passport too (i just haven't renewed a new one for him), ...

    2b. Somehow i heard that Indonesian law recognises a child's citizenship by their father's citizenship, so if the mother is a WNA, the child's citizenship follows their dad's.

    3. ... Will citizenship changes have any impact on any spouse's matters particularly when one spouse becomes a WNA? ...

    1. I am not a lawyer but I guess you need to tell :
    - if you married in Indonesia or in Australia
    - if Australian marriage , is it with separation of wealth or joint wealth .
    - if you registered the Australian marriage in the Indonesian Embassy in Australia and later in Jakarta's Catatan Sipil
    - if a prenup was also registered with the marriage certificate at Jakarta's Catatan Sipil , and is it prenup/separation of wealth or prenup/joint wealth ?

    - if Indonesian marriage , is there a prenup/separation of wealth ?

    1a. I think that this is assuming a marriage in Indonesia and there is no prenup/separation of wealth (because by default an Indonesian marriage is joint of wealth , so each one owns 50% of everything bought during the marriage) .

    2. I guess that no matter the citizenship , any spouse can go to the Justice/Civil Court to request the child custody at any time . The question may be if in an Australian Court or in an Indonesian Court .

    I would suggest you two , wife & husband , to decide this without the need to go to Court .

    2a. Be alerted that your child can lose the Indonesian citizenship if you don't report to the Indonesian Embassy his intention to be Indonesian (too) every 5 years when living abroad .

    2b. Not anymore . The Law changed . And anyway it refers to when the child is born , not applicable to your child anymore .

    3. I don't remember of any impact if you become Australian , except that if you have any Hak Milik rights in your husband's properties in Jakarta , you will have 1 year to sell those rights .

    I suggest you to consider that , when you retire , in my view Indonesia is a better option to live than Australia (living cost/social relations/..) . By being Australian you cannot buy a Hak Milik Indonesian house (although you can become Indonesian again later) .

    Sorry , I am answering too quickly so please do expect mistakes that I will revise later .
    Last edited by marcus; 04-03-19, 15:34.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi!

      Thanks so much for answering my questions. Sorry for the late reply as I've been inundated lately.

      So to answer your questions:

      1. I registered my marriage in Australia and Indonesia. I never registered my Australian marriage in Indonesian embassy, but when we did another wedding in Indonesia which we had a proper, full, legal Indonesian marriage (both in Church and Catatan Sipil)
      2. No Pre-nup or separation of wealth was done. I'd assume my marriage whether under Australian law or Indonesian law is joint wealth.


      Regarding answer 2a, it has been 4 years since my son's Indonesian passport expired. I visited the KJRI Sydney to apply for a new passport for him about 4 years ago, but was sent home because I didn't have my husbands Australian visa details at that time (they wanted to make sure the other spouse was a WNI with a visa, not a WNI who also held a WNA, as the way to check if you are legit holding a WNI and not dual citizenship is when the Aust govt grants you a visa, weird but true). The lady at the consular services told me that it was actually more important for me to renew my son's Aust passport first, then get an affidavit as affidavit is the entitlement that enables him to enter and leave Indonesia unrestricted. Is that right? Do I even need to have a WNI passport for my son?

      Originally posted by marcus View Post


      1. I am not a lawyer but I guess you need to tell :
      - if you married in Indonesia or in Australia
      - if Australian marriage , is it with separation of wealth or joint wealth .
      - if you registered the Australian marriage in the Indonesian Embassy in Australia and later in Jakarta's Catatan Sipil
      - if a prenup was also registered with the marriage certificate at Jakarta's Catatan Sipil , and is it prenup/separation of wealth or prenup/joint wealth ?

      - if Indonesian marriage , is there a prenup/separation of wealth ?

      1a. I think that this is assuming a marriage in Indonesia and there is no prenup/separation of wealth (because by default an Indonesian marriage is joint of wealth , so each one owns 50% of everything bought during the marriage) .

      2. I guess that no matter the citizenship , any spouse can go to the Justice/Civil Court to request the child custody at any time . The question may be if in an Australian Court or in an Indonesian Court .

      I would suggest you two , wife & husband , to decide this without the need to go to Court .

      2a. Be alerted that your child can lose the Indonesian citizenship if you don't report to the Indonesian Embassy his intention to be Indonesian (too) every 5 years when living abroad .

      2b. Not anymore . The Law changed . And anyway it refers to when the child is born , not applicable to your child anymore .

      3. I don't remember of any impact if you become Australian , except that if you have any Hak Milik rights in your husband's properties in Jakarta , you will have 1 year to sell those rights .

      I suggest you to consider that , when you retire , in my view Indonesia is a better option to live than Australia (living cost/social relations/..) . By being Australian you cannot buy a Hak Milik Indonesian house (although you can become Indonesian again later) .

      Sorry , I am answering too quickly so please do expect mistakes that I will revise later .

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by CBee2019 View Post
        1. ... he owns a land and a shop-house under his own name .. and if he wants to sell those properties, do I need to be involved as well? (No Pre-nup or separation of wealth was done) .

        4. The lady at the consular services told me that it was actually more important for me to renew my son's Aust passport first, then get an affidavit

        5. as affidavit is the entitlement that enables him to enter and leave Indonesia unrestricted . Is that right?

        6. Do I even need to have a WNI passport for my son?

        1. Just now , you own 50% of those properties , if they were bought after the marriage . So if he sells when you two are still married , then I think you will be involved in the selling process .

        4. I my view it was a mistake of the Indonesian Consular service . I think this is a procedure for new born baby , not for a child who already had an Indonesian passport .

        5. Right , but if you want , your child could use 2 passports (Indonesian + Australian) and not getting the affidavit or always leaving the affidavit at home .

        6. No if you want your child to use the Australian passport + the affidavit .


        ----------------------------------------


        This is that requirement for your child to report the intention to remain Indonesian , every 5 years when living abroad :

        UU no.12 , year 2006
        CHAPTER IV
        LOSS OF INDONESIAN CITIZENSHIP
        Article 23
        An Indonesian citizen will lose his/her citizenship due to the following:
        ......
        i. Living outside Indonesia for 5 (five) consecutive years for non official purposes, without legal reason and deliberately refuses to declare their intention to remain as Indonesian citizens before the 5 (five) year limit ends, and in each of the next 5 (five) years the said person fails to declare their intention of retaining their citizenship to the Indonesian Representative offices in which the said person’s residence is under their jurisdiction although the said Representative Office has duly informed them in writing, as long as the incumbent does not become stateless because of such negligence.
        Last edited by marcus; 12-03-19, 16:56.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks so much for your reply! My comments (or more questions rather!) are below:

          Just now , you own 50% of those properties , if they were bought after the marriage . So if he sells when you two are still married , then I think you will be involved in the selling process .

          - OK thanks for this. But what happens if one day in the future I have already changed my citizenship, will that make the land registration office in Indonesia confused? As you know the bureaucracy process in Indonesia is quite dragging. They are not hard if you try hard!


          5. Right , but if you want , your child could use 2 passports (Indonesian + Australian) and not getting the affidavit or always leaving the affidavit at home .

          I remember the Indonesian immigration officer asked me where the affidavit was when I was at the Jakarta arrival customs. I showed him both Australian and Indonesian passports, and he said he'd do the arrival stamp on the Australian one as entry and exit between countries should be consistent in one passport. He told me that the affidavit is REALLY important and i always had to keep it safe with me at all times. It's just a piece of laminated paper, half of passport's size.

          6. No if you want your child to use the Australian passport + the affidavit .

          Will that mean he'll still be a WNI? I just can't make up my mind whether to get him a new Indonesian passport or not.


          Originally posted by marcus View Post


          1. Just now , you own 50% of those properties , if they were bought after the marriage . So if he sells when you two are still married , then I think you will be involved in the selling process .

          4. I my view it was a mistake of the Indonesian Consular service . I think this is a procedure for new born baby , not for a child who already had an Indonesian passport .

          5. Right , but if you want , your child could use 2 passports (Indonesian + Australian) and not getting the affidavit or always leaving the affidavit at home .

          6. No if you want your child to use the Australian passport + the affidavit .


          ----------------------------------------


          This is that requirement for your child to report the intention to remain Indonesian , every 5 years when living abroad :

          UU no.12 , year 2006
          CHAPTER IV
          LOSS OF INDONESIAN CITIZENSHIP
          Article 23
          An Indonesian citizen will lose his/her citizenship due to the following:
          ......
          i. Living outside Indonesia for 5 (five) consecutive years for non official purposes, without legal reason and deliberately refuses to declare their intention to remain as Indonesian citizens before the 5 (five) year limit ends, and in each of the next 5 (five) years the said person fails to declare their intention of retaining their citizenship to the Indonesian Representative offices in which the said person’s residence is under their jurisdiction although the said Representative Office has duly informed them in writing, as long as the incumbent does not become stateless because of such negligence.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by CBee2019 View Post
            1. But what happens if one day in the future I have already changed my citizenship, will that make the land registration office in Indonesia confused? ...


            5. ... He told me that the affidavit is REALLY important and i always had to keep it safe with me at all times ...

            6. Will that mean he'll still be a WNI? I just can't make up my mind whether to get him a new Indonesian passport or not.

            1. I mentioned this situation in my first post , item 3. above (... if you have any Hak Milik rights in your husband's properties in Jakarta , you will have 1 year to sell those rights .) .
            In other words : if you become an Australian , you lose your Indonesian citizenship , so you cannot own any Hak Milik property anymore , except that in this case the Law allows you to keep the ownership for 1 year maximum .

            5. It is not uncommon that Immigration doubts the legality of somebody with 1 Indonesian passport + other foreign passport , because Immigration knows that sometimes an Indonesian gets a new foreign citizenship but does not inform the Indonesian government and keeps using the Indonesian passport (which is illegal) . So this may be the reason why .

            6. If your child has already the affidavit he does not need the Indonesian passport , because the affidavit is the proof he has dual citizenship (Indonesian + Australian) .
            But your child has also the right to request/have an Indonesian passport , that may be useful one day .

            Comment

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