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 Bill Proposes Sweeping Changes for Foreign Spouses

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Gemma
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PostSubject: Bill Proposes Sweeping Changes for Foreign Spouses   Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:42 am

A long-awaited immigration bill promising significant and “humane” changes to the way expatriate spouses are treated in Indonesia is a step nearer to being ratified into law.

The House of Representatives and Ministry of Justice and Human Rights signed off on the immigration bill on Thursday evening, meaning the bill could be adopted into law during the next week’s House plenary session.

Eva Kusuma Sundari, a member of the House Commission III which oversees legal affairs, said expatriates — both men and women — who marry Indonesians would almost certainly automatically gain permanent residence.

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) legislator said the law would mean expatriates would not have to renew their limited stay permits (kitas) each year.

Eva said the bill also allowed foreigners to remain in the country after a divorce, provided he or she had been married for 10 years.

This was for the sake of any children the couple may have, she said.

Another key point was that foreign spouses would be able to work in the country, Eva said.

Minister of Justice and Human Rights Patrialis Akbar said he was happy the “humane” bill was now ready to be passed.

He said that Indonesia was attempting to treat foreigners in Indonesia the same as Indonesians would be treated by other countries.

He hoped all lawmakers in the House would approve the bill.





JAKARTA GLOBE STORY
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Renae
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PostSubject: Re: Bill Proposes Sweeping Changes for Foreign Spouses   Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:16 pm

I think this is great news - fingers crossed. Very Happy

I have always wondered if you can stay in the country if your spouse dies Question
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Josi
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PostSubject: When will this.......?   Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:21 pm


* Become an Act of the Parliament

and

* Become effective? (Does the Bill have a date mentioned?)

Josi
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outahere
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PostSubject: Re: Bill Proposes Sweeping Changes for Foreign Spouses   Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:23 am

Well, I hope the article isn't some really bad April fool's day joke. If it is true and it is enacted, it changes everything for me.
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Josi
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PostSubject: It is credible news   Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:43 am

Freogirl,

Sounds very credible to me.

My qustion is how soon it will take effect i.e., percolate to the level of "immigrasi".

Josi
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outahere
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PostSubject: Re: Bill Proposes Sweeping Changes for Foreign Spouses   Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:15 am

Josi, when they changed the law to allow extension of the VOA in country, it came through very quickly. Within a couple of weeks in some offices. When they enacted new law to allow dual citizenship for children of mixed marriage couples, it took a couple of months for it to start to trickle through. Even if it takes a few months, the point is that there would be some certainty that eventually it would be available, even if it is months. It allows one to plan. You know how hard that can be in your own dealings with other matters in Indonesia.

Just like when the citizenship laws changed, I would say that a few pioneering expats will force immigrassi to catch up - previously they did this by armouring themselves with the facts and the law and presenting it to immigrassi who then had to catch up. If enough people do so, it forces them to get the creaky cogs slowly turning - and eventually those creaky cogs become better oiled.
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PostSubject: Re: Bill Proposes Sweeping Changes for Foreign Spouses   Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:06 am

This thread throws a bit more light on the subject http://www.livinginindonesiaforum.org/showthread.php/14460-Update-on-changes-to-Indonesian-law-regarding-mixed-marriages
I think you better keep putting the rupiahs aside for your kitas Gemma. Even if the law is passed, it will take a very long time for the other acts it affects to be changed to support the changes.
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tom
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PostSubject: Re: Bill Proposes Sweeping Changes for Foreign Spouses   Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:23 am

you and me both freo. the skeptic in me say it falls under the too good to be true category. i am sure gemma wouldalso benefit from this.
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Gemma
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PostSubject: Re: Bill Proposes Sweeping Changes for Foreign Spouses   Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:01 pm

In case you missed my new post on the changes - the law was ratified yesterday and looks like it will be in place within 30 days.

See the story on the new post please- I have closed the page and dont have the link saved any more!


sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny
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Josi
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PostSubject: Full text of the story   Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:04 am

Foreign Spouses Granted More Residency Rights
Anita Rachman | April 08, 2011

Amid cheers, elation and applause, the House of Representatives passed a new immigration law on Thursday that introduced sweeping changes for foreign spouses and children of mixed marriages.

Fahri Hamzah, deputy chairman of House Commission III overseeing legal affairs, spoke of a “breakthrough” as the gavel was banged passing the bill.

House Deputy Speaker Priyo Budi Santoso called the new law “monumental,” while Justice and Human Rights Minister Patrialis Akbar said the law was aimed at taking good care of citizens’ foreign spouses and children.

“We want to give protection to Indonesian citizens and their foreign relatives,” Patrialis said. “They are the children of Indonesia. Their [foreign] wives and husbands are part of our big family.”

The law, among other things, grants permanent residency to foreigners married to Indonesians and to their children, and allows foreign spouses to work in the country without sponsorship.

Patrialis said the law would officially become effective when ratified by the president — “30 days at the latest.”

Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) lawmaker Eva Kusuma Sundari told the Jakarta Globe that the law did not address issues such as property ownership related to foreign spouses. These, she said, will be dealt with in the upcoming revision of the Agrarian Law.

“But this is not a small gain. People no longer need to extend their Kitas every year and could still stay here after a divorce, provided they have been married for at least 10 years. It’s more humane,” she said, referring to the current limited stay permit that has to be renewed annually.

Isabelle Mace Panggabean, 31, said she couldn’t believe the law had finally been passed. Half-French, Isabelle has been married to an Indonesian for five years and the couple have one child.

“I was afraid that this law would never get passed,” she said. “There are too many bills, and the immigration bill seemed to get less attention.”

She said that in the past, she had been forced to go through the complicated process of annual Kitas renewal and regretted she was not allowed to work.

“What if my husband falls ill? Then I need [a job] to take care of our child,” she said.

Juliani Wistarina Luthan, who has been married to a Japanese for 15 years, thanked both the government and the House for passing the “reformist” law. She said she was happy her husband would no longer need to extend his Kitas.

Julie Mace, a representative of the International Rainbow Alliance and the Indonesian Mixed Marriage Society, said she would wait for the implementation phase of the law before passing judgement. She expressed hope that related institutions such as the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration would strictly abide by the law, especially when it came to the rights of foreign spouses to work.

Mace also said the groups she represented would in the short term monitor the government’s steps in implementing the law.

“We will keep focusing on the government motions in producing the ministerial decrees and government regulations because the new law will not work effectively without those,” Mace said, adding that the relevant decrees and regulations should be issued within a year.

“In the long term, we want to increase awareness of this law across the country, so that all state officials know and understand there is a new immigration law,” she said. It will be very important to have these stakeholders involved, she added, because only then will the new policies be implemented smoothly.

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Josi
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PostSubject: Key aspects of the immigration bill passed recently   Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:13 am

• Foreign spouses of Indonesian citizens can get a permanent residence permit (Kitap) after two years of marriage. They will only be required to report to the immigration office once every five years — a free service — instead of the annual renewal currently required.

• If they have been married to an Indonesian citizen for at least 10 years, foreigners can stay in the country even after a divorce.

• Foreign spouses will be allowed to work in the country.

• Children from mixed marriages will automatically get a Kitap regardless of their nationality. Under the current arrangement, these children have to choose a citizenship at the age of 18. If they choose to adopt foreign citizenship, they have to apply for a residence permit.

• Foreign investors who have worked in Indonesia for three years, less than the five years now required, can get a Kitap.

• Former holders of Indonesian citizenship can get a Kitap.



PS How about a "NO MORE KITAP PARTY" in October at Mimpimanis bounce
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Gemma
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PostSubject: Re: Bill Proposes Sweeping Changes for Foreign Spouses   Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:19 am

That would be a No more KITAS party - but on reflection I am guessing that I am still going to have to pay an agent to do this for me so I may only be saving about Rp700,000 - as that is all the KITAS itself actually costs - the other 4.3 million goes to the agent. But could still be cheaper than going to Jakarta and trying to do it myself.... I will call my agent in the next day or two and see what he has to say on it all.
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Jonathan Matterson
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PostSubject: Re: Bill Proposes Sweeping Changes for Foreign Spouses   Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:12 pm

Gemma wrote:
That would be a No more KITAS party - but on reflection I am guessing that I am still going to have to pay an agent to do this for me so I may only be saving about Rp700,000 - as that is all the KITAS itself actually costs - the other 4.3 million goes to the agent. But could still be cheaper than going to Jakarta and trying to do it myself.... I will call my agent in the next day or two and see what he has to say on it all.

Gemma I know this is a little of topic from the original post but in regard to the price of a KItas I paid the following. Setting up the Kitas from scratch was 3.5M then a flight to Singapore plus $140 Singapore dollars for the visa. They dropped the ball with the Kitas telling me 3 weeks processing time which then went to 5 weeks. But I did allow them extra time to process so I was not that set back from this.

But they did delay the Singapore documentation which threw me out the next week and all the appointments I had with people. So I ended reporting late to immigration past the 7 day requirement. So yeah immigration they were rather pissed with this I still had to pay an extra 3m to sort it. But it did save a trip to Sumbawa Bessar to finish the KItas there and another possible flight to Singapore. Yep throw in another 1200 US for the man power fee......

Oh yeah they gave me a box of biscuits for the trouble they caused hehehehe but I would have preferred not paying the last 3M.

J

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PostSubject: Re: Bill Proposes Sweeping Changes for Foreign Spouses   Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:53 pm

There is a lot of very good information still going on the thread I referenced before Living In Indonesia - Immigration changes discussion.

Something that I'm delighted with is that I will be able to get a Kitap straight away even though I haven't been living in Indonesia, but have been married > 2 years (7 in fact).

Gemma, the other thing that looks really exciting is that renewals look like they will be free!!

The other really significant thing for you and Made is how this affects Marty. At the moment he could get dual UK and Indonesian citizenship, but then have to chose which citizenship he wants at 18. He will still have to do that, but he will automatically be entitled to a Kitap if he choses UK (and all the benefits that would go with that).

I have to say again, I am so thrilled with this reform. Well done Indonesia.
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PostSubject: Re: Bill Proposes Sweeping Changes for Foreign Spouses   Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:21 am

Hi Jonathan

Are these prices you are quoting for a KITAS or KITAP?

If KITAS then you paid more to do it yourself than it would have cost for an agent to do it. For the first few years I paid 4 juta per year with an agent and last year it went up to 5 juta. The cost of the KITAS itself is only Rp700,000. However the cost of a KITAP is 3juta which is why I am wondering if it was the KITAP you were referring to rather than KITAS.

If it was the KITAP then I would be very interested in more info about how you got it as it seems agent costs for a KITAP start at 20juta which is way out of my range and though under the new law KITAP renewals are to be free I understand that the first one must be paid for, so looks like I am going to have a trip to Jakarta in the coming months - not something I relish the idea of.
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PostSubject: Re: Bill Proposes Sweeping Changes for Foreign Spouses   Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:45 pm

There are quite a lot of mixed marriage spouses who will now be eligible for a KITAP, if you think not only western, but heaps of Malaysians living in Java and Sumatra too, all who now can get a KITAP.

Just speculating Gemma, but I think they will extend this out to other immigration offices across the country - particularly to Bali and maybe Lombok given the size of the expat population there and how many would now qualify. I know it is looming large on the horizon for you, I'm wondering if it would be worth doing something less expensive short-term in the hope everything is in place a bit later in the year and won't 1. cost 20 Juta (No way people can afford that) and 2. won't require expensive trips to Jakarta.


Another thought came to me today and that is that if I get my Kitap in place, I won't have to pay visa costs in/out of Indonesia. I am going to watch the developments very closely and see if it can be applied for outside Indonesia here in Perth - maybe leave it until later this year/early next.
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