Unique opportunity: Government regulation provides special window for reclaiming Indonesian identity


Children with dual citizenship who aspire to regain Indonesian citizenship have until May 31, 2024, to seize a special opportunity under Government Regulation Number 21 of 2022. The regulation, which addresses the procedures for obtaining, losing, cancelling, and regaining citizenship, is set to expire in six months, according to Baroto, the Director of State Administration at the Directorate General of General Legal Administration of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.

Baroto emphasized the time-sensitive nature of this provision during a recent talk show, titled ‘Menuju Mei 2024 Akhir Kesempatan ABG Kembali Menjadi WNI,’ held at the Royal Kuningan Hotel in Jakarta on Tuesday, November 21, 2023.

The unique Article 3A of Government Regulation Number 21 of 2022 allows individuals who have "become foreigners" due to dual citizenship to return to being Indonesian citizens. This temporary opportunity, while offering convenience, carries a strict time limit.

Under Law Number 12 of 2006 concerning Citizenship of the Republic of Indonesia, individuals with dual citizenship are required to choose one citizenship after turning 18 or upon marriage, as Indonesia adheres to single citizenship. However, the recent government regulation acknowledges the vulnerability of children with dual citizenship who may unintentionally lose their Indonesian citizenship.

Baroto expressed concern that many individuals with dual citizenship may be unaware of the necessity to register as citizens of the Republic of Indonesia, inadvertently rendering them "foreigners." He assured that the state is committed to protecting these individuals and facilitating their return to Indonesian citizenship.

Apart from offering the chance for dual citizens to reclaim their Indonesian identity, the government's regulation provides several advantages. These include reduced costs, with a fee of only Rp5 million (compared to IDR 50 million for pure naturalization), simplified requirements for an immigration certificate, and expedited processing by the regional office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.

Baroto urged eligible individuals to act swiftly, as the six-month window is a brief opportunity. He appealed to those who have already registered to encourage friends and relatives to follow suit.

After May 31, 2024, individuals with dual citizenship seeking Indonesian citizenship will be required to undergo the naturalization process, either purely or in accordance with Article 8 of Law Number 12 of 2006. The clock is ticking, and the government is encouraging those eligible to take advantage of this time-sensitive opportunity for a smoother path to reclaiming Indonesian citizenship.

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