A guide to Indonesian visas and work permits

Asia Pacific Global Employment and Mobility

By Charles Pfauwadel
May 31, 2021

June 29, 2021

0 min read

Source: naum/Shutterstock

How to get the working permit in Indonesia

As Southeast Asia’s second largest economy, Indonesia is an attractive choice when it comes to expanding your business overseas. Over the last 10 years, Indonesia has seen steady growth and is set to become the fourth-largest economy in the world by 2050.

It's fast growing economy presents various opportunities in a variety of sectors. These include construction, oil and gas, mining and metals, and electronics.

If you’re planning to mobilise your workforce in Indonesia, you must take several considerations into account.

This blog looks at the work permit Indonesia application process for staff relocating to the country. It also addresses various important immigration processes from an an HR perspective.

Different types of visas in Indonesia

The government of Indonesia provides Visa exemptions to nationals of 169 countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia and Singapore.

For the rest, an extendable tourist visa on arrival or multiple entry visa can be obtained if they want to visit Indonesia.

For individuals who are planning to work in Indonesia, the process is more complex.

Previously, in order for a foreign employee to enter Indonesia for work, they would need an individual work permit (IMTA). This has now been replaced with a Notification from the Ministry of Manpower.

Once an employee or business has obtained a notification, they can apply for an Indonesian visa. International workers will be issued a Visa Telex (visa index 312), which allows them to work and travel to Indonesia. 

There are two types of Visas for foreign nationals who intend to live and work in Indonesia

Izin Tinggal Terbatas or Electronic ITAS (e-ITAS)

This grants employees the right to stay in Indonesia, as well as open up a bank account. They can also stay in the country and after three years, apply for a permanent residency. Before applying for the ITAS the employee must also get a Visa Izin Tinggal Terbatas (VITAS) - an Indonesian limited-stay permit visa.

Kartu Izin Tinggal Tetap (KITAP)

Employees can also apply for a permanent residence permit (KITAP). This is only available to staff who have held an ITAS for three consecutive years or more.

As the employer, you will need to apply for an ITAS on behalf of your employees. You can also partner with a global mobility company to oversee the process of obtaining Indonesian visas and work permits for your organisation.

How to apply for an Indonesian work visa (ITAS)

Work permit application process (1)

In 2018, Indonesia developed a new Work Permit Regulation to allow for faster processing of work permits.

As of 2021, the process of applying for a work visa in Indonesia is as follows:

1. Submit a RPTKA to the Ministry of Manpower risk-icon-accept-checkmark

In order to employ a foreign national in Indonesia, the sponsor company in Indonesia must get a formal approval from the government before making a visa application.  

The sponsor company must submit a Foreign Manpower Placement Plan (RPTKA) to the Ministry of Manpower (Article 42 Manpower Act number 13-year 2003). Without this, the government will not issue the IMTA and e-Visa notification to your employee. 

However, there are some exceptions to the rule.

If the employee works in any of the following roles, they won’t need to apply for an RPTKA:

  • Director or commissioner (shareholders and members of the board)
  • Counsel or diplomatic officer to foreign company representatives
  • Those working in specific types of government work

Once the RPTK has been issued, the expat employee should apply for the Confirmation of the Duration of Work Authorization. Upon approval of the confirmation letter by the Ministry of Manpower, the DPKK fees should be paid within three days.

Referred to as Dana Pengembangan Keahlian dan Keterampilan or Expertise and Skills Development Fund, DPKK is paid directly to Indonesia's Department of Manpower (DEPNAKER) in accordance with the Manpower Act No.13 Year 2003).

2. Apply for an IMTArisk-icon-accept-checkmark

When the RPTKA has been approved and a copy of the DPKK has been uploaded online, you’ll need to apply for a working permit (IMTA) for your employee.

To do this, you will need to provide the following information about the applicant:

  • Nationality
  • Place and date of birth
  • Gender
  • Passport number and how long it is valid for
  • Job role
  • Certificates of work experience and education
  • How long they have worked for your organisation

This part of the work permit processing time usually takes three to five working days for the information to be processed and approved by the Ministry of Manpower.

Your employee’s IMTA will be valid for a minimum of one year; this can be extended depending on how long the RPTKA is valid for (up to two years). 

3. Apply for an ITASrisk-icon-accept-checkmark

Once the IMTA has been approved, the next step is to apply for your Electronic Visa or e-Visa (type C312 for working visa).This can be done at the Indonesian Immigration office in the expat employee's intended city of residence.

The e-Visa will be sent to the sponsor company by email once it's approved. The expats will enter the country with the E-Visa. When all the paperwork for the e-visa is complete, you will be issued the ITAS or Resident’s Permit.

Upon arrival in Indonesia, the expat employee will receive a Stay Permit & Re-Entry sticker on their passport.

Indonesian work visa requirements

There are a number of requirements the employee and employer will need to demonstrate in order to obtain an Indonesian work permit.

The employer must provide:

  • Their NPWP number for tax identification
  • A Capital Registration License issued by the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM)
  • A copy of the sponsor’s ID card (KTP)
  • A copy of a local employee’s KTP
  • Wajib Lapor report
  • A company registration letter
  • A company stamp
  • A sheet of paper containing only the letterhead of the company
  • The certificate of domicile for the company
  • The company’s deed establishment, authorized by the Department of Justice
  • Certificates of approval for the employer’s place of business

The employee on the other hand, should provide these documents:

  • A copy of their highest degree of education, the certificate should be stamped and signed by the employer
  • A copy of their passport, valid for at least 18 months
  • Passport photos printed in colour
  • A minimum of five years work experience related to the position, or a certificate of competence
  • A copy of their resume, stamped and signed by the employer
  • Proof of life insurance / health insurance for their entire stay in Indonesia

Age requirements for a work permit in Indonesia

Though foreign workers are generally eligible for a Indonesian work permit at any age, some industries do have specific rules surrounding age limitation.

For example, as regulated by the Indonesian Ministry of Energy, employees in the oil and gas industry need to be aged between 30 and 55 to work in the country.

However, age restrictions are not applicable to the highest-level position in your organisation, such as directors or commissioners.

Extending Indonesian visas and work permits

extending indonesian visas and work permitsSource: Creative Images/Shutterstock

If you want to extend an employee’s Indonesian work permit, you will only need to pay the second-year DPKK. The bill will be sent by the Ministry of Manpower one month before the notification is due to expire.

Any workers holding a permit valid for less than two years can submit a new work permit application or extension at least two months before the notification expires.

Working with a global mobility company can simplify the process of obtaining a work permit and help you navigate various aspects of Indonesian law. Allowing you focus on running your business. 

Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you.

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