02 April 2011

Indonesian Nationals and Foreign Spouses...

Whenever I have had an extended break from posting I always feel the need to apologise for my absence. I am not sure why that is. Maybe it is that I really enjoy posting odds and ends on my blog, and the fact that I have been way so irregular in doing that probably bothers me more than it bothers anyone else. But hey, duty or work calls and I have been busy doing the thing that pays my bills.

However, it is Saturday, there is only one week of Term 1 to go before the school holidays kick in, and it has been a particularly lazy Saturday to date. And, aside from a need to mow the front lawn, a lazy Saturday it seems destined to remain. That said, I have installed and set-up a new Canon Pixma MG6150 printer on our wireless home network. For the technologically challenged like me, even in a "move mouse and click" environment it was quite an achievement.

So, enough of the beating around the bush, on with the show!

It was with some interest that I read in The Jakarta Globe today an article about a draft bill and changes to the immigration law. I am particularly interested in the changes that will impact significantly on the foreign spouses and children of Indonesian citizens. My interest is personal, I am a foreign spouse and Will is the son of an Indonesian and Non-Indonesian parent.

Perhaps a reality check in the environment of euphoria is needed to start with. I really do not want to be a wet blanket and smother everyone else's fun here or to be the party-pooper, but the argument that the draft bill allows mixed-marriage families to stay together is rather simplistic. The truth of the matter is that the procedures for foreigners married to Indonesians and living in Indonesia are onerous. In fact, they are quite painful at times. They are also very expensive. But, to suggest that they are the sole source of families coming apart as the argument that the current changes will enable families to stay together has that logical fallacy feel to it.

From a personal perspective, the idea that my wife can sponsor me to live in Indonesia is a plus. The fact that Will would now be able to qualify for permanent residency if we opted for only Australian citizenship for him is a plus. Nevertheless, the current laws and regulations allow for Will to be a dual citizen until he is 18 and that seems like the best deal for him. The process of getting Indonesian citizenship for Will though is much easier outside of Indonesia than it is while in Indonesia.

Again, on the personal perspective. It is pleasing to see that the Indonesian government has finally recognised that there are foreigners who marry Indonesians for all the right reasons and establish roots in the country and establish lives there that are not always so easily packed up with the purchase of a ticket to another country. It is also a pleasing development that the draft bill seems to provide for foreign spouses to be sponsored by their Indonesian partner rather than rely on the sponsorship of an employer.

These developments have been a long time in the making. They have been on the table and in discussion for many years. In fact, I had discussions about these very amendments when we were living in Indonesia. We have been back in Australia since 2009. Come to think of it, in about 14 days we would have been back in Australia for 2 whole years. Time flies!

The changes are not enough to warrant an immediate "pack-up and go" for us. But, the truth is that it does, or at least will, make it easier for us to contemplate a move back to Indonesia in the sooner rather than later sense. However, there are no immediate plans for a return for any other reason other than a holiday this year or in the next 3 or 4. Yet, if someone was to offer me a great package deal for a job teaching at a school in Indonesia, then who knows...

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

starting at the bottom"

"Great package teaching" - mana?

congratulations on making it through term one.

Multibrand said...

Hi Rob,

Glad to hear that. Congrats to you and your family.

Saturn Air Conditioner Compressor said...

I like it because i was seeking for such type of info.

I hope it benefits all one who land up here.

Thanks for sharing!!

Rob Baiton said...

@ Anonymous...

Maybe you could tell me ;)

There have to be great packages out there somewhere doesn't there?

As an aside...what are the packages at international schools looking like these days?

Rob Baiton said...

@ Harry...

Thanks.

How ya been of late?

Rob Baiton said...

@ Saturn Air

No dramas.

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

Jakartass said...

I see it as good news, a rarity from the DPR, as I noted here.
.
But, strewth, it has taken its time coming!

Rob Baiton said...

@ J...

It has been a long time coming. I would argue that there is still a long way to go.

Indonesians should be entitled to dual citizenship, and not just till the age of 18.

lawbugger said...

HOw long do you think it will be before any of this is implemented. Eg I am married to an Indonesian. Can I hand in my KITAS tomorrow?

Rob Baiton said...

@ Lawbugger...

I would have thought that one as "educated" as you on all things Indonesian would be able to answer this one for yourself :)

It is a draft. It still needs to go through the process of discussion and debate at the DPR including all the fun stuff like working committees and the like (at least as I understand it).

After it is in a format that is agreeable to a Plenary Session of the DPR and gets the obligatory 'Yes' vote from the various factions, then it becomes law.

After that little charade there is the obvious need to secure the necessary implementing regulations whether they be at a government or ministerial level.

so, as for handing in your KITAS tomorrow and taking up the spousal sponsorship option would seem to be some time off yet.

Nevertheless, the point of the post was to point out that this was a positive development, and one that has been a long time coming.

lawbugger said...

WELL lucky I didnt bin the thing right away. And I can't go up to the boss and say Im more saleable now that I can work anywhere anytime and you can shove your KItas up under your moustache

oh drat

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