How to Work in Indonesia for Foreigners
A Rising Power in Asia
Southeast Asia’s largest economy and the world’s fastest growing economy, it’s no wonder that over 100,000 expats now call Indonesia home. Famous for attracting foreigners for its oil and gas industry, Indonesia’s economic boom has led to growth in other sectors, such as education, business services, and information technology. Home to over 300 different languages and ethnicities in its working force, you’ll find yourself right at the intersection of rich culture and diverse people in this island nation. On this page, you’ll get an overview of the application process for an ITAS, which is what you’ll likely use to live and work in Indonesia. We hope that following this guide will help you make Indonesia your next workplace destination.
There are two types of residence permits available for foreign workers planning to work and live in Indonesia: ITAS, a temporary stay permit, issued by the Indonesian Immigration Directorate General through the local immigration office; and KITAP, a permanent stay permit that is available for application to only those foreign workers who have held ITAS for a minimum of three consecutive years.
While ITAS is the limited stay permit, you must first apply for the VITAS, the limited stay permit visa, which is the prerequisite for applying for the ITAS.
A. Have your employer apply for your IMTA (work permit)
In order to begin the process, your employer must first obtain a formal government approval by submitting an Expatriate Placement Plan (RPTKA). After the RPTKA is approved, companies must submit an application for the IMTA, which legally authorizes the company to hire a foreign worker.
You will likely need to provide your employer with the following:
- A scan of your passport;
- Proof of your education relevant to the position
- A certificate of competence or work experience of at least five years in a position relevant to the position
- A statement from you agreeing to transfer his/her knowledge to the Indonesian counterpart;
- Two photographs
After your IMTA is approved by the government, you can start to apply for a visa.
B. Apply for the VITAS (Limited Stay Visa) and ITAS (Limited Stay Permit)
Next, you should submit an application for a VITAS to the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM). The BKPM issues a letter of recommendation to the Department of Immigration, notifying it that it has issued a VITAS to the foreign employee.
You may simultaneously apply for an ITAS at an Indonesian embassy or consulate using a common application form for both that and the VITAS. The relevant Indonesian diplomatic mission will issue the VITAS and a letter approving the issuance of the ITAS within two working days of receiving a completed application form. On arriving in Indonesia, the immigration authorities will issue the ITAS to you as soon as they produce their ITAS approval letter.
Furthermore, you will be granted a multiple re-entry permit to Indonesia with a validity period equivalent to the ITAS. You will need to provide the following documents to obtain the ITAS:
- Scan of your passport with validity of at least 18 months;
- University certificate or highest education degree in English or Bahasa Indonesia
- Work certificate with minimum 5 years of experience
- Health insurance
- Colored photographs
An ITAS will allow you to legally obtain employment and salary, open a bank account, unlimited exit and entry into Indonesia, and apply for permanent residence (KITAP) after three years.
C. Apply for a KITAS Card and Blue Foreigner’s Registration Book
After you obtain the ITAS, you can apply for a KITAS Card and Blue Foreigners Registration Book that records your immigration status. Both the KITAS card and Blue Foreigners Registration Book grant permit for a stay up to two years and can be extended for up to two years each time with a maximum stay of six years.
Once you obtain your card, you are, for most intents and purposes, now considered a resident of Indonesia. You are free to travel around Indonesia and can come and go as often as you wish, without needing any extra paperwork. Congratulations, now go make your dreams a reality!