Australian Consulate-General
Bali and Nusa Tenggara Barat

Getting married in Bali

Marriage in Bali & Nusa Tenggara Barat


This information sheet sets out procedures for getting married in Bali and Nusa Tenggara Barat. 

In January 1995 the Australian Attorney General revoked all appointments of marriage officers at Australian overseas missions. Therefore consular officers can no longer marry Australians. 

Australians may now marry overseas according to the laws of the country in which the marriage takes place.
Under Indonesian law, this means marriage by a minister of religion and a civil registrar.

You will need to bring to the Australian Consulate in Bali:

  • Passports
  • Copy of Decree Absolute if divorced
  • Copy of Death Certificate of former spouse if applicable
  • Copy of Documentary evidence of any change of name (eg, former marriage certificate/deed poll)
  • Birth certificates are normally required by the Indonesian authorities and it is recommended that you bring these with you
  • Fee: A$110 (payable in Rupiah only)

Getting married under Indonesian law

Generally, persons of any nationality may marry in Indonesia providing they hold one of the five religions recognised by Indonesia (Buddhism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Islam, and Protestantism). Marriages under Indonesian law are performed by religious ministers and the Catatan Sipil (civil registrar); or by the Kantor Urusan Agama (Directorate of Islamic Religion Affairs) in the case of Islamic marriages.

A broad outline of the Australian legal position on the recognition of foreign marriages is attached. If more detailed information is required, members of the public should consult a private solicitor or legal aid body.

In order for an Australian citizen (or a permanent resident who is domiciled in Australia) to marry in Bali or NTB, it is necessary to make an application at the Consulate for a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage. Persons who wish to marry in other provinces of Indonesia are advised to contact the Australian Embassy, Jakarta. Nationals of other countries should check the requirements for their nationality with their nearest Embassy or Consulate.

Australian citizens (and permanent residents who are domiciled in Australia) should apply to the Consulate in person during public office hours. In most cases the certificate can be processed on the same day. The Australian applicant is required to sign a declaration in front of a Consular Official and produce their original passport as proof of identity, along with original proof of dissolution of marriage if applicable (ie, a decree absolute if divorced, or death certificate if widowed).

The fee, payable in Indonesian Rupiah, is based on the exchange rate at the time the Application for a Certificate of No Impediment is lodged. The fee for the Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage consists of witnessing the application, preparing the certificate and translating the certificate.

The parties to the marriage, or their agent, will need to make arrangements with the religious minister and the civil registrar. They should seek confirmation of the exact requirements in their particular circumstances. In addition, partners would be well-advised to discuss with their lawyers in Australia and/or Indonesia, any other steps which need to be taken, especially but not only, if they intend to reside outside Australia, or if they wish to hold property separately.

Wedding Agents

It can be difficult for people without Indonesian language skills to liaise with local civil registrars and religious celebrants. The Consulate does not have the resources to make fax and telephone calls on a client’s behalf to enquire about arrangements or requirements for local marriages.

Many people wishing to marry in Indonesia therefore find it easier to engage an agent to act on their behalf. Agents may provide the information needed in particular cases, make arrangements with the religious minister and civil registrar, organise flowers, photographers, and lodge papers and fees on the client’s behalf. The Consulate only processes applications for the "Certificate of No Impediment" and its translation. It does not advise on other arrangements.

Recognition of Foreign Marriages

The following information on the Australian legal position on the recognition of foreign marriages was compiled by the Attorney General's Department in November 1992:

On 7 April 1986, new rules came into force in Australia for the legal recognition of marriages, which have taken place overseas. In addition, the rules about marriage in Australia of people whose legal home (domicile) is overseas has also been changed. The purpose of this document is to explain the general principles behind the new rules, for the benefit of those who may want to find out the usual rules applying to their situation, or who may want to advise others.

It should be noted, however, that this document only gives a broad outline of the relevant law. In particular, as mentioned below, a marriage not recognised under the new rule may be regarded as valid under the rules of common law. For detailed advice on these matters, members of the public should consult a private solicitor or legal aid body.

The basis for the new rules

The rules governing whether or not a marriage is valid under Australian law are to be found in the Commonwealth Marriage Act 1961 ('the Act'). Until recently, the rules governing recognition of overseas marriages were primarily to be found in the 'common law' - that body of legal rules developed by judges over the years and inherited by Australia from the United Kingdom.

In 1976, a group of nations met and drew up a new international regime for the recognition in one country of marriages solemnised elsewhere. This was embodied in the Hague Convention on the Celebration and Recognition of Marriages. On 7 April 1986, the Commonwealth Parliament enacted the Marriage Amendment Act 1985 in order to implement the rules contained in the Hague Convention. They apply, however, to all marriages solemnised outside Australia, even if they took place before that date.

Marriages outside Australia under foreign law

Part VA of the Act contains the rules for recognition of marriages entered into outside Australia under foreign laws. The basic rule adopted is that, if the marriage was recognised as valid under the law of the country in which it was entered into, at the time when it was entered into, the marriage will be recognised in Australia as a valid marriage, unless one of the exceptions mentioned below is applicable.

Exceptions to recognition of foreign marriages

While designed to remove all technical barriers to recognition of marriages celebrated elsewhere, the Hague Convention acknowledges the strong interest many countries have in refusing to recognise certain marriages. Australia, in adopting the convention rules, has also set out certain exceptions to recognition based on its policy. The following marriages will not be recognised under the new rules: where one of the parties was already married to someone else; where one of the parties was under marriageable age; where the parties are too closely related under Australian law - that is either as ancestor, descendant, brother or sister, including half-brother and half-sister, and whether the relationship is natural or by adoption; where the consent of one of the parties was not a real consent due to duress or fraud, mistake, or mental incapacity.

Marriageable age

In the case of a marriage solemnised on or after 1 August 1991, where one or both of the parties was, at the time of marriage, domiciled in Australia, the marriage will not be recognised in Australia if either of the parties was not at least 18 years old at the time of the marriage. The law also provides that a valid marriage can take place where one of the parties to the proposed marriage is under the age of 18 but over 16 and has the consent of the guardian(s) of that child and also an authorisation of a judge or magistrate from an Australian state or territory. Where neither of the parties was domiciled in Australia at the time of the marriage, the marriage will not be recognised as valid at any time while either party is under the age of 16 years.

Despite the above exceptions, a marriage that falls into one of those categories may nevertheless be recognised as valid in Australia. This is because the rules of common law may still operate where they would lead to recognition of a marriage as valid. It is recommended that anyone whose marriage falls into the above exceptions should seek detailed legal advice on the operation of the common law.