Giving birth in Indonesia is a paperwork f$$k up

February 26, 2016


It’s easy to give birth in Indonesia BUT it’s not easy to get the documents to register the birth. We made the mistake of not researching things first (surprise, surprise). So help you with the process we compiled this guide for you. Please note things can change at any time and this is only a guide.

To give birth in Indonesia as a foreigner it’s necessary to get a local birth certificate before a foreign passport for your child can be issued. Once you have a passport you can then apply for a limit stay permit for your child. This being Indonesia is not as easy as it sounds.

Many thanks to for this info.

If your child is born to a mixed couple i.e. one Indonesian one foreign parent the procedure is very different because the child has the option of becoming an Indonesian citizen if both parents are foreigners no Indonesian citizenship is available.

  • Make sure you have these documents prepared before you start the process (bring all birth certificates with you, we didn’t nightmare):

    • Surat Keterangan Lahir for the child - issued by the delivering hospital

    • Passports of both parents

    • Birth certificates for both parents

    • Parent's marriage certificate (with translation into Indonesian, if needed)

    • Parents' ITAS (for foreigners) / KTP (for Indonesian spouse)

    • Letter from Sponsor (best if from place of employment)

    • Kartu keluarga (for those with an Indonesian spouse)

    • When you have all these documents, be sure to take ALL the originals and AT LEAST 2 photocopies of each one with you.

    • Prepare six 2x3 cm photos (kitas) and six 3x4 cm photos (kitas)and two 4x5 cm (passport). Remember that all photos in Indonesia must have a red background.

  • The hospital where you baby was born should provide you with a Surat Keterangan Kelahiran. Once you have this in hand, you can use this to obtain an official Birth Certificate (Akte Lahir) from Catalan Sipil (Registery office). You need to  the Surat Keterangan Lahir, plus a copy of your passports, to this office in the city/area where the child was born. The Capatan Sipil office will issue the Akte Lahir.

  • You then need to take the Akte Lahir (and the documents listed above) to register your foreign national baby at the local immigration office. You only have 14 days after the baby's birth to register the birth, but this being Indonesia and your mind will be filled with other things this can often take longer. The 14 days includes: the day the child was born, weekends, and public holidays "Tanggal Merah"... even if the immigration offices are not open. Apply for a Birth of Foreigner (Kelahiran Orang Asing) document from the immigration office.

  • If any documents are missing or not complete, the immigaton office will consider the application as a non-registration and the baby is classed as "overstay", which is a fine of $25 US for every day after the inital 14 days (still including weekends and public holidays).

  • Don't let the officials tell you that you can't have a middle or family name for your baby. You may have to fight (their customary practices) to get a birth certificate with three names.

  • According to Indonesian government regulations, you then have 60 days to obtain a passport for your newborn from your foreign embassy and take it back to immigration to get his/her ITAS and other necessary documents.

  • Alternately to the above, the hospital's records department may be able to handle a lot of the documentation hassles for you, including the registration with immigration and a certified translation of the birth certificate for the foreign passport application. By using their services you can avoid the government corruption hassles (by paying the hospital department to handle it). It is not cheap but the price is posted and the service as efficient as it gets. A smile and a few words of Indonesian will help move things along!

  • Go to your embassy to organise the registration of your baby's birth in your home country, using the local birth certificate and other documents as per your country's regulations.

  • At the same time you will need to apply for a passport for your newborn, which will require several pieces of documentation. Depending on the embassy and your country's requirements, these could include:

    • proof of citizenship - i.e., by naturalisation, birth or otherwise, requiring ORIGINAL birth certificates of foreign father/parents, passport or other documents, and

    • original, or certified copy, of marriage documents.

  • Once you have the baby's passport in hand, then you need to return to the Indonesian immigration office to get the ITAS visa stamped in the baby's passport, get the ITAS card, etc. Needed to apply for the ITAS :

    • Surat Keterangan (work letter)

    • Passport of both parents and child

    • KTP or ITAS from mother

    • Kartu Keluarga ( if spouse is Indonesian)

    • Surat Lapor ( the Registration letter that you have to get within 14 days from the immigration office)

    • Birth certificates of child and both parents

    • Marriage certificate

    • Buku Mutasi (blue foreigner's book of father)

    • Surat Sponsor (sponsor's letter). If your wife is Indonesian then she can be the sponsor, if not you need a sponsorship letter from your employer. Best to take a sponsorship letter from your employer just in case.

    • Bring at least 2 photocopies of all documents, or make them at the photocopier just outside the office.

  • Once you've applied you can get the ITAS after approximately three days.

  • Remember that the newborn child will follow the expiration date of the father's ITAS . This is very important. No later than one month before the expiration date of the father's ITAS you need to report your child to the immigration department. There's a US$25 fine for not reporting.

  • Once you get the baby's passport and he/she is registered with immigration and has been issued an ITAS , don't forget to get an exit visa for the baby as well, just in case you need to take him/her out of Indonesia quickly.

Fees will vary depending on your "fix-it facilitator", the immigration office and the embassy. The most expensive part of this process may be the registering of birth at the foreign embassy and issuing of the foreign passport.

First and foremost, don't forget to report to the Immigration office within 14 days of the birth. As soon as you have the original birth document from the hospital, bring it to the Immigration office. If you delay this notification, you will have to pay penalty fees of US$25/day.

This whole process is a hassle and pretty stressful. If you’re not married or a single parent be prepared for more problems. Indonesians just can’t get their heads a round the fact that parents are not married.

Applying for a passport is also another stressful procedure and there’s more info on that on Archie’s passport page.

Good luck. My recommendation unless you are living in Indonesia don’t come here to have your baby come here on holiday after baby is born to work on your tan…even if you’re living here it might just be easy to go home give birth get passport come back. It’s crazy that we still need these documents to live and travel on a planet that belongs to us all but that’s how it seems to work or doesn’t. Birds and fish don’t need passport but humans do!!!

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