Thinking of getting married to an Indonesian Catholic Girl - UK or RI?

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  • sirno
    Member
    • Dec 2012
    • 35

    Thinking of getting married to an Indonesian Catholic Girl - UK or RI?

    Hi all... i'm after a bit of advice/opinion if you'd be so good as to help.

    Myself and my Indonesian girlfriend have just returned from 3 weeks holiday in the UK over Xmas. The visa process as a 'general visitor' was a bit drawn out TBH, but thankfully they did permit a single trip visa.

    Now we are back in Indonesia and we need to sort out our life for the next few months and beyond. My work contract over here keeps getting extended, but is likely to finish at the end of March. At which point I will either go back to work in the UK, or will look to find a job in Asia.

    I'm planning to stay with my girlfriend and we are now thinking about marriage.

    But, timing is a bit of an issue maybe, considering my work contract may be finishing at the end of March?

    I've read a little on the forums about obtaining a CNI. I believe this process will take 3 weeks once initiated. Can this only be done in Bali or Jakarta??

    Then once teh CNI is complete, the marriage process can go ahead. I guess if this was fast-tracked it would take a couple of weeks to fix? I'm not sure what rules/regulations there are in Indonesia to marry a Catholic woman? Is church schooling a requirement?? Baptism?

    So, after marriage, we then need to apply for a visa to travel to the UK together as partners.


    Or.....

    Pretty much straight away we could apply for a visa to enter the UK as 'fiance', meaning we must marry in the UK within 6 months. But, I dont understand what requirements there are for an Indonesia woman to marry in the UK.... and also, is the embassy going to be less willing to grant a visa for a fiance, than if we were infact already married?

    If anyone has any advice on the above timings / requirements or advice about experiences in applying for these types of UK visa, I'd be interested to hear from you.

    Cheers...
  • JayJay
    Certified Troll
    • Jan 2013
    • 91

    #2
    By law in Indonesia both of you must be of the same religion to wed. If your wife is to remain Catholic and you are to marry in a Catholic Church you will have to convert to Catholicism. If that is the case I suggest that you go and see your wife's priest fairly quickly to find out what will be involved in the conversion and how long it will take.

    Comment

    • jstar
      Member
      • Jul 2011
      • 6054

      #3
      Not really needed to convert JayJay. As we discussed before, this is the official stance from the Catholic Church:

      Both partners do not have to be a Catholic in order to be sacramentally married in the Catholic Church, but both must be baptized Christians (and at least one must be a Catholic). Non-Christians cannot receive the sacraments. For a Catholic to marry a non-Catholic Christian, express permission is required from his or her bishop. A Catholic can marry an unbaptized person, but such marriages are natural marriages only; they are not sacramental marriages. The Church, therefore, discourages them and requires a Catholic who wishes to marry an unbaptized person to receive a special dispensation from his or her bishop. Still, if the dispensation is granted, a non-sacramental marriage is valid and can take place inside of a Catholic church.

      Some more info on the process in Indonesia:
      [COLOR=#333333]If the marriage will be done at the[/COLOR] Catholic church, there is always an 'intake' conversation with the priest. They use dedicated forms for that. And here comes the trouble: 'it all depends' is the right answer if you want to know how long the process takes. In some cases complete conversion with baptism and first communion and 6 month training was necessary, in others almost nothing.

      It's rather important to find how how 'relaxed' the priest is, what is his status/influence at the diocese (bishop's secretary needs to sign off). And: what is the image/influence of the family-in-law.
      [FONT=arial black]
      [/FONT]

      Comment

      • JayJay
        Certified Troll
        • Jan 2013
        • 91

        #4
        Originally posted by jstar View Post
        Not really needed to convert JayJay. As we discussed before, this is the official stance from the Catholic Church:

        Both partners do not have to be a Catholic in order to be sacramentally married in the Catholic Church, but both must be baptized Christians (and at least one must be a Catholic). Non-Christians cannot receive the sacraments. For a Catholic to marry a non-Catholic Christian, express permission is required from his or her bishop. A Catholic can marry an unbaptized person, but such marriages are natural marriages only; they are not sacramental marriages. The Church, therefore, discourages them and requires a Catholic who wishes to marry an unbaptized person to receive a special dispensation from his or her bishop. Still, if the dispensation is granted, a non-sacramental marriage is valid and can take place inside of a Catholic church.

        Some more info on the process in Indonesia:
        [COLOR=#333333]If the marriage will be done at the[/COLOR] Catholic church, there is always an 'intake' conversation with the priest. They use dedicated forms for that. And here comes the trouble: 'it all depends' is the right answer if you want to know how long the process takes. In some cases complete conversion with baptism and first communion and 6 month training was necessary, in others almost nothing.

        It's rather important to find how how 'relaxed' the priest is, what is his status/influence at the diocese (bishop's secretary needs to sign off). And: what is the image/influence of the family-in-law.
        Now I'm confused by what you write jstar, I don't know how to split quotes yet so please see what I have bolded up, your answer seems self conflicting to me??

        By Indonesian Law two people who wish to wed must be of the same religion. How can the OP be a Catholic if he doesn't officioally convert?

        Comment

        • JayJay
          Certified Troll
          • Jan 2013
          • 91

          #5
          Originally posted by jstar View Post
          It's rather important to find how how 'relaxed' the priest is, what is his status/influence at the diocese (bishop's secretary needs to sign off). And: what is the image/influence of the family-in-law.
          Hence my suggestion to the OP to see his future wife's priest quickly.

          Comment

          • sirno
            Member
            • Dec 2012
            • 35

            #6
            Thanks for the responses so far...

            I have never been baptised and my GF now tells me she is not yet baptised either.

            Another complication to add to the list it seems!

            Comment

            • JayJay
              Certified Troll
              • Jan 2013
              • 91

              #7
              Originally posted by sirno View Post
              Thanks for the responses so far...

              I have never been baptised and my GF now tells me she is not yet baptised either.

              Another complication to add to the list it seems!
              Well that might make matters easier for you if your wife is not a devout Catholic and pedantic about being married as a Catholic. You could both see a Kristen pastor and get Baptised very quickly. I was not baptised when I wed, although I was Christened. The Pastor who married us presented me with my Certificate of Baptism and sorted Catatan Sipil out etc. I literally did nothing but pay the candy, sign a few bits of paper and turn up at the wedding

              Comment

              • jstar
                Member
                • Jul 2011
                • 6054

                #8
                Originally posted by JayJay View Post
                Now I'm confused by what you write jstar, I don't know how to split quotes yet so please see what I have bolded up, your answer seems self conflicting to me??

                By Indonesian Law two people who wish to wed must be of the same religion. How can the OP be a Catholic if he doesn't officioally convert?
                Know what you mean Jay. But here, as so often, is a difference between the letter and the spirit (interpretation) of the law.

                We need to separate the religious and civil parts of the marriage.

                About the intake process of the Catholic Church: The bolded sentence reflects the reality. In some cases there were major issues (even if the partner was a baptized Catholic but there was no first communion). But there is also something called dispensation (see the stance paragraph above); then often more interviews and even lessons are required (an unmarried priest will explain to you how it is to be married). Now in some cases I know of they did not even ask for a proof of baptism and communion when the person stated he was Catholic!

                When there is a Catholic marriage, the reality is as follows: The approval by the Catholic Church of the application, is sufficient; in this case there are no signed conversion statements (declarations) required by the Catatan Sipil*.

                So if there is scrutiny, it is applied at the religious part of the wedding. NB: a divorce from a Catholic marriage is a big no-no. This is not recognized. So if one of the partners has been married in a Catholic church and got divorced, it's almost always a deal breaker to get married again.

                *Perhaps it has to do with the fact Christian Catholic and Christian Protestant are so closely related? I don't know what would happen in Indonesia if they find out in the intake process that the partner is a non Christian though.
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                [/FONT]

                Comment

                • JayJay
                  Certified Troll
                  • Jan 2013
                  • 91

                  #9
                  Thanks for the clarification of your post jstar but it still seems complicated and a bit confusing to me although I understand what you are trying to say now. Fortunately for me, as above my experience via the Kristen route was painless.

                  Comment

                  • Ross1
                    Member
                    • Jul 2012
                    • 67

                    #10
                    Originally posted by sirno View Post


                    Or.....

                    Pretty much straight away we could apply for a visa to enter the UK as 'fiance', meaning we must marry in the UK within 6 months. But, I dont understand what requirements there are for an Indonesia woman to marry in the UK.... and also, is the embassy going to be less willing to grant a visa for a fiance, than if we were infact already married?

                    If anyone has any advice on the above timings / requirements or advice about experiences in applying for these types of UK visa, I'd be interested to hear from you.

                    Cheers...
                    Hi Sirno,

                    I'm a British citizen in a similar situation. I would really like to know what people think about this too. Would it be easier for a visa for fiance or if already married?

                    Sirno you say the Visa application was 'long drawn out', but you were successful, from what I have heard once you have been in and out o.k once it should be easy a second time.

                    My girlfriend and I made an application for UK visit last year and it was refused.

                    Comment

                    • sirno
                      Member
                      • Dec 2012
                      • 35

                      #11
                      Hi,

                      I believe things will be easier the second time around to apply for an entry visa, which is why I made sure we stuck to our agreed time in the UK, etc. I'm sure things would have been a whole lot simpler if I researched this process before travelling to the UK, as I could have got the ball rolling whilst at home!

                      I'm still unsure whether to get wed in RI or try the UK visa route as fiance.

                      It seems you can not register intent to marry in England or Wales without both parties arriving at the registry office in person... so when the UK embassy requires evidence of intent to marry for the visa process what do they mean? Email conversations or some booking for a ceremony? Surely this isn't formal enough.

                      It seems you can register intent to marry in Ireland and Scotland without turning up in person; you can do it via the post. Tricky whilst im in RI, but not impossible



                      So, switching back to the RI process again as I need to get check things out on both fronts. I have an appointment on Friday to start the CNI process.

                      My GF has been to her (Catholic) church and asked about baptism. They require 12months of schooling?!

                      She's since asked for advice at a protestant church and been told they can fix a letter of baptism pronto... if we pay.


                      Still work in progress!!!

                      Comment

                      • jstar
                        Member
                        • Jul 2011
                        • 6054

                        #12
                        Yes, since none of you is baptized, it could be a lengthy process. Also, the title might not really cover the load; for the church she's not really Catholic (yet), well at least she's not gone through the necessary sacraments.

                        If speed is really key, and if you don't care about the process that much, you might consider a third option: Marrying abroad. Then a Singapore, KL or Bangkok could make sense. It's always possible to have a ceremony 'at home' afterwards (not the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony).
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                        [/FONT]

                        Comment

                        • sirno
                          Member
                          • Dec 2012
                          • 35

                          #13
                          It seems the simplest way to proceed may be if we are both baptised Protestant. I'm not too religious if I'm honest so I am open to options...

                          I have a friend who married a Thai lady in Singapore last year. One slight drawback is one of the couple must reside in Singapore for 14days prior to the marriage.

                          I think it may be easier when it comes to registering the marriage in RI if the marriage happene in RI, so for now we will continue to look at the route of marriage in RI.

                          I start the CNI process tomorrow. Is this just a paper exercise, or are there any special requirement I should know about before arriving at the consulate? Does religion have to be stated during the CNI process?

                          Comment

                          • Hombre de Maiz
                            Banned
                            • Aug 2009
                            • 9254

                            #14
                            Originally posted by sirno View Post
                            ... I'm not too religious if I'm honest so I am open to options......
                            Are you suggesting that religiosity is positively related to being closed and intolerant?

                            Comment

                            • sirno
                              Member
                              • Dec 2012
                              • 35

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Hombre de Maiz View Post
                              Are you suggesting that religiosity is positively related to being closed and intolerant?
                              No... That's just what you are suggesting my comment may mean.

                              Comment

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