Minister wants Indonesia to copy India's approach to dual citizenship

Felicia Liana Adema (right), a child of a mixed marriage couple, signs the document of her Indonesian citizenship at the West Java office of the Law and Human Rights Ministry in Bandung, West Java, on March 8, 2023. - Antara/Law and Human Rights Ministry file photo

JAKARTA: Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly has suggested that Indonesia adopt a similar approach to an Indian scheme to resolve dual citizenship issues for the Indonesian diaspora.

The Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) scheme allows members of the Indian diaspora the same rights as Indian citizens, except for political rights.

Yasonna said this scheme could be a good measure to help the Indonesian diaspora who wanted to return to the country.

"The diaspora could have lifetime multiple entry visas but no political rights, such as to vote, be elected or hold public positions, like the Indian scheme," he said during a meeting with House of Representatives’ Commission III overseeing legal, human rights and security issues on Wednesday (June 12), as reported by

The prevailing Citizenship Law does not permit dual citizenship except for children under 18 years of age.

The law stipulates that individuals with dual citizenship must choose a nationality once they reach 18 years old or before marriage.

Yasonna acknowledged Indonesia's commitment to a single citizenship system, citing philosophical and ideological foundations tied to the nation's history, the Youth Pledge of Oct 28, 1928.

"One homeland, Indonesia. One nation, Indonesia. One language, Indonesian," he said, quoting the Youth Pledge.

Yasonna jokingly said that the Indonesian diaspora seeking dual citizenship would require a second volume of the Youth Pledge.

Previously, Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan suggested in April that offering dual citizenship for members of the Indonesian diaspora working in the digital technology industry could boost the country’s talent pool.

The question of dual citizenship cost Arcandra Tahar his job as energy and mineral resources minister due to his having United States citizenship.

Arcandra was appointed minister on July 16, 2016, before his dual citizenship was revealed. He was then removed on Aug 15 that year.

However, after renouncing his US citizenship and affirming his Indonesian citizenship, Arcandra was named deputy minister on Oct 16, 2016, and served until the end of the first term of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in Oct 20, 2019. - The Jakarta Post/ANN

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Indonesia , minister , India , dual citizenship


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