Indonesia may offer dual citizenship to attract overseas workers, minister says

Indonesia's Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan, talks during an interview at his office in Jakarta

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia may offer dual citizenship to people of Indonesian descent to entice more skilled workers into the country, a senior cabinet minister said on Tuesday.

Indonesia does not recognise dual citizenship for adults, according to Indonesian law, as a child with two passports must choose one and renounce the other when they turn 18.

Luhut Pandjaitan, the coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment, said the government plans to give dual citizenship to former Indonesian citizens living overseas, without offering details.

Luhut was speaking ahead of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who pledged a $1.7 billion investment in Indonesia.

"We also invite diaspora Indonesia and we give them also, soon, dual citizen," he said. "Which I think will ... bring very skilful Indonesians back to Indonesia."

Nearly 4,000 Indonesians became Singaporean citizens between 2019 to 2022, according to data from the Directorate General of Immigration.

The immigration agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the plans to allow for dual citizenship.

The issue of dual citizenship caused some controversy in 2016 when Indonesia's President Joko Widodo removed Arcandra Tahar as energy and mining minister after less than a month on the job following reports he held U.S. and Indonesian passports.

(Reporting by Stanley Widianto; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)