When Lil’ A was born in December 2006, the Dual Citizenship law for mixed children born out of marriages between Indonesian and foreign citizen parents were still pretty much fresh from the oven.
We were pretty lucky as the law stated children born after the law was implemented (June 11, 2006) should immediately granted with Indonesian citizen, while the ones that were born prior, have a more tedious steps to follow. By the time he was 7 months old, Lil’ A proudly have his Indonesian passport and the process at Indonesian Consulate in Houston was a breeze.
Although the law stated that when the child turns 18, they will have to decide which citizenship to follow and ditch the other one, it still brought plenty of happiness for mothers like myself. Prior to the law, Indonesia does not recognize dual citizenship and every children born out of a mix marriage will automatically follow their father’s citizenship. I’ve seen and read plenty of horror stories out there about nasty child custody battles resulting in children being totally seperated from their Indonesian mothers.
Several mix marriage associations such as KPC Melati and KPC Melati Worldwide are still actively lobbying Indonesian government to pass another citizenship law, this time to allow dual citizenship for the parents (mother/father). I am hoping this bill will be approve in the future as it would definitely makes life a little easier for a mix marriage couple.
Being Indonesian, it is somewhat of a hassle to travel abroad. Not only certain countries put such a strict ‘filtering systems’ for Indonesian visa applicants to avoid either illegal immigration movements or simply because of this country’s history to terrorism activities. By all means, I do not blame the ‘other country’ as they are just trying to protect their own and yes, there are way too many people who will bail out on their tourist visas once they landed in the country of their dream. These ‘reputations’ sometimes makes it hard for ‘genuine’ people who just wants to travel to obtain a visa.
Have to admit I am somewhat jealous of Lil’ A’s status of holding two passports and after seeing how it works can you blame me if I sometimes dream I could have a ‘blue passport’ too?
One example, when we were applying for a Chinese visa from The US of course Lil’ A used his American passport and were automatically granted with a 6 months multiple entry-90 days maximum stays visa-renewable! His Mommy? Not so lucky! I only got 3 months with maximum stay of 30 days and I can’t extend it without leaving the country first. When I showed our passports to my inlaws, their jaws dropped “That’s discrimination!” claimed my mother inlaw. No…that’s just how it is, their rules and as unfair as it seems, it’s one of the thing I hate about using my ‘green passport’.
These does not only happening to me, I’ve heard stories from friends who had to jumped through so much hurdles just to get a visa and how much easier it is to travel using the ‘blue passport’. One girl I knew who travel frequently to the Netherlands told me the first time she went there with her newly obtained American passport, the immigration officer didn’t even ask her any questions (oh she’s used to being ‘partially interrogated’ on her trips there) and just stamped her passport. Nice!
Someday…yes I still have hopes that one day it will be much easier for us who chose to ‘stay green’ to travel to these places that has strict ‘filters’ or better yet, a dual citizenship for women in mix marriages.