The Guide to Employment Permits for Foreign Workers in Indonesia

Posted by Written by Ayman Falak Medina Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Labor Law (Law No 13 of 2003) regulates all employment in Indonesia. Employers must fulfil the following rights for employees:

  • Receive the minimum wage, this varies depending on sector and province;
  • Receive social security, which includes pension, healthcare, life insurance, accident insurance, and old-age benefits;
  • Receive religious holiday allowance (1 month’s salary)
  • Receive statutory absence or payment when the employee does not take annual leave; and
  • Receive payment for overtime.

There are a variety of visas foreign visitors can apply for depending on their purpose of visit.

Business visas

This is a single-entry visa valid for 60 days upon arrival and can be extended up to four times. This type of visa is intended for business people who are engaging in meetings in the country, attending conferences, or undertaking market research.

This visa must be sponsored by a legal entity in Indonesia and the holders are not allowed to gain employment while in the country.



Multiple entry business visas

Multiple entry business visas allow foreign visitors to make repeated trips into Indonesia for one year. The visa, however, has a 60-day limit upon arrival, meaning that visitors will have to leave the country before it expires before entering Indonesia again.

The requirements for obtaining this visa type is the same as that of the business visa. The fee is US$100.

Application requirements

The application requirements for the business visa is as follows:

  • A passport valid for at least six months;
  • A letter of invitation from the Indonesian-based sponsor mentioning the purpose of the applicant’s visit, and length of stay. The Indonesian sponsor will also need to do an online application to the immigration office in Jakarta on behalf of the applicant;
  • The process usually takes five working days by which the immigration office will issue a visa approval letter. This will then be sent to the applicant’s nearest Indonesian Embassy, who will issue the visa.
  • A business cover letter from the applicant’s own company;
  • One passport-sized photograph (white background);
  • A copy of the applicant’s round trip, electronic airline ticket;
  • Pay the US$50 fee; and
  • A bank statement proving the applicant has at least US$1,500.

Working visas

A work visa (IMTA) can only be applied by the Indonesian company that will hire the foreign worker. The company must prove to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) that the foreign applicant is required to fulfil certain positions.

Foreign employees are not allowed to obtain work in the following sectors:

  • Human resource management;
  • Legal;
  • Health and safety;
  • Quality control; and
  • Supply chain management.

Application requirements

The MOM will issue a recommendation letter to the Directorate General of Immigration in Jakarta, who will issue the final approval. Other than employees, applicants who have an Indonesian spouse are also eligible for this visa with the Indonesian spouse acting as the sponsor.

The applicant’s sponsor must then pay US$100 in advance as part of the Develop Fund for Expatriate Workers Law (DKPTKA) to the MOM. This amount is to be paid monthly to the MOM.

The MOM will issue the IMTA, and the immigration office will issue a limited stay visa (VITAS). Upon arriving in Indonesia, the applicant must convert their VITAS into a limited stay permit (KITAS).

Permanent stay visas

The permanent stay visa (KITAP) allows expatriates to permanently stay in Indonesia. To qualify for this visa, expatriate workers would need to have held a Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas (KITAS) for four consecutive years, work in the same company, and having the same position. As with other visas, applicants will need a local sponsor. In addition to their employer, this could also be their spouse (who must be Indonesian).

Visa on arrival

Foreign tourists can obtain visas on arrival at any of the country’s main international airports. Those that are eligible must belong to one of the 73 nationalities listed in the Directorate General of Immigration’s website. The visa is valid for 30 days and can be extended by an additional 30 days. Holders of this visa are not permitted to work in Indonesia.

Editor’s Note: The article was first published on March 15, 2018 and has been republished on September 10, 2020.

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