Tuesday, October 9, 2012

On Being Indonesian And Having Indonesian Passport

I had the following conversation with my boss and it made me re-evaluating my own options. Would I keep my nationality if I could change it?

BEE: I'm thinking to change my nationality. I want to be an Indonesian.
Me: Why would you do that? What for?
BEE: Oh my God. The chief editor, Fith, you and even the immigration officer also said the same thing.
Me: It's difficult to travel abroad with an Indonesian passport. And you said that your parents are still living in the UK.
BEE: I don't travel much and I feel comfortable here. I've spent more than 20 years, almost half my age, in Indonesia.

A few weeks later, WW asked Fith and I on how to apply for Schengen visa. He plans to take a holiday to Paris next year.

BEE: Do you need visa to go to Europe?
Fith: Yes. We use Indonesian passports, which means we'll need visa to travel to most countries in the world. If we have the Schengen visa, we can enter 26 European countries.
Me: We don't need visa to travel to the South East Asian countries and countries that have the visa on arrival agreement, like Turkey.
BEE: I didn't know that. The bearers of British passport don't have to apply visa to most countries. Wow, thank God I haven't completed the application to change nationality.
Me: The problem is you don't travel.
BEE: -_- 

Going back to that question I wrote on the first paragraph, my answer is perhaps I would keep my Indonesian nationality. I could have worked abroad or married a man of foreign nationality and travels would be hard if I kept my Indonesian passport, but I would probably cling on to it. It is not about being nationalistic. I was born and grew up here, all memories and people I care about (read: parents, friends, families) live here.

This goes out of curiosity, but if you could change your nationality, would you do it? Which nationality would you like to have?

P.S. I'd consider applying for a PR (permanent residence) though.

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