Indonesia is a southeast Asian island country with emerging tech industries and a rapidly growing digital economy, making it attractive to remote workers and employers alike.
Furthermore, with booming cities and idyllic destinations like Jakarta and Bali, more digital nomads are considering a temporary or permanent shift to Indonesia, which means employers will need to find a way to harness this market.
While Indonesia presents a significant market for remote employers, it's also essential that employers and employees abide by Indonesian employment laws to avoid legal complications and fines.
Obtaining the necessary Indonesian work permits requires individuals and companies to navigate the Indonesia immigration system and successfully apply for the relevant visas and permits. This article will provide an overview of the types of work permits in Indonesia for which you can apply and how you can successfully meet the Indonesia visa requirements to start working and hiring in Indonesia today.
Types of Indonesia work visas and permits
Obtaining the correct work permits in Indonesia can be relatively challenging compared to other countries, and requires a significant amount of work on the employer's part.
In Indonesia, foreign employees will be required to obtain both a visa and a work permit to live and work in the country legally. The work permit is called an Ijin Mempekerjakan Tenaga Kerja Asing (IMTA), and the employer must apply for the IMTA on behalf of the employee.
In addition to the IMTA, employees must possess one of the two following types of visas to work in Indonesia legally.
Izin Tinggal Terbatas, or ITAS
Izin Tinggal Terbatas translates to "limited stay permit." Employees who obtain an ITAS will be legally entitled to stay in Indonesia for up to one year. Although ITAS is only valid for 12 months, employees can renew their ITAS annually for up to four years after their initial ITAS was granted.
It's important to note that having an ITAS does not entitle an employee to work in Indonesia. They will also need to get an IMTA.
Kartu Izin Tinggal Tetap, or KITAP
Kartu Izin Tinggal Tetap translates to "permanent stay permit card." The KITAP is the long-term alternative to the ITAS. Employees can apply for their KITAP after fulfilling the maximum ITAS applications, meaning they will have lived and worked in Indonesia for five years.
In terms of employment, the KITAP is similar in function to the KITAS, except the KITAP is valid for five years instead of a single year.
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Indonesia work visa requirements
Obtaining the necessary work visas and permits in Indonesia is an involved process that requires active participation from both the employer and employee. The ITAS and KITAP applications have different requirements, as one is designed for short-term employment, and the other is a long-term resident solution.
Whether you're an employer planning to hire workers located in Indonesia or an employee considering a relocation to the country, you should determine which type of visa is needed and gather all the necessary documentation ahead of time.
In Indonesia, unlike many countries, employers are required to prove the need to hire a foreign employee to fill a role, which means significant documentation is required.
Consider the following documents that employees must gather to complete their ITAS and KITAP applications. Some of the necessary employer documents are listed below, but employers should be prepared to gather additional documents to file their employee's visa and permit applications.
Documents required for an ITAS application
Because ITAS is an umbrella term encompassing all types of short-term resident visas (tourist visas, student visas, etc.), the exact requirements will change based on the ITAS visa you're applying for.
It's best practice to contact your local Indonesian embassy to ensure you fill out the correct ITAS application form and submit all necessary documentation.
Although the exact documents required may vary based on the type of job an employee is being hired to perform, the employee's country of origin, and other factors, below is a list of the documents you should be prepared to submit when applying for an ITAS:
- A valid passport
- A colored photocopy of the employee's valid passport and two colored passport photos
- A digital or photocopy of the employee's Rencana Penempatan Tenaga Kerja Asing (RPTKA), which translates to "foreign worker placement plan"
- Financial statements indicating the employee can afford to live in Indonesia
- Proof that the employee has a health insurance policy with a local insurance agency
- Proof that the employee has a minimum of five years' work experience relevant to the position they're being hired for
- A colored photocopy of the employee's relevant educational documents (degrees, certifications, licenses, etc.)
- A colored photocopy of the employee's resume. The copy must include the stamp of the employer. Additionally, it must include the employer's signature, which will appear directly on top of the stamp.
- The employer's company information, including but not limited to the following:
- The company's tax identification number (TIN)
- The company's Surat Izin Usaha Perdagangan (SIUP), which translates to "business license"
Documents required for a KITAP application
An individual applying for a KITAP must have held their ITAS for at least five years. To apply for a KITAP, you will need the following documents:
- A colored photocopy of the employee's valid passport (which cannot expire within 18 months of the application date) and six colored passport photos meeting the following criteria:
- Two of the photos need to be two-by-three and have a red background
- The remaining four photos need to be four-by-six
- Colored photocopies of the employee's work permits, called Ijin Mempekerjakan Tenaga Kerja Asing (IMTA) (cannot be more than five years old)
- The employee's original Rencana Penempatan Tenaga Kerja Asing (RPTKA), which translates to "foreign worker placement plan"
- Colored photocopies of the employee's residence permits (cannot be more than five years old)
- A colored photocopy of the employee's identity card called a Kartu Tanda Penduduk (KTP)
- The employee's original ITAS card and a colored photocopy of subsequent ITAS cards (cannot be more than five years old)
- All requested employer information and documentation
Remember that the specific documentation required may change based on your personal needs. Working with an embassy representative will help ensure your KITAP application is processed correctly and that you've gathered all necessary documentation ahead of time.
How to apply for an Indonesia work permit and visa
Unlike some other countries, obtaining a work permit in Indonesia requires individuals to have a job lined up and for the employer and employee to work in tandem to obtain employee work permits.
Although the exact process may change based on individual circumstances, you can follow the blueprint listed below to acquire your Indonesia work permit:
- The employer indicates their need to hire a non-Indonesian candidate to fill a specific role in the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration (MOMT), called Kementerian Ketenagakerjaan.
- The employer applies for a work permit on behalf of the employee (IMTA).
- The employer applies for a VITAS (the VITAS is the visa that eventually grants ITAS status) on behalf of the employee with the Badan Koordinasi Penanaman Modal (BKPM), which translates as the "investment coordinating board."
- The BKPM then submits a letter of recommendation on behalf of the employer to the Direktorat Jenderal Imigrasi, which translates as the "Directorate General of Immigration."
- The employee applies for a VITAS through their local Indonesian embassy.
- Upon approval, the employee can enter Indonesia using their VITAS, where they will then receive their ITAS.
- After obtaining their ITAS, the employee will need to apply for their KITAS (the KITAS is the card that proves the employee's ITAS status) with the Direktorat Jenderal Imigrasi.
- After obtaining their KITAS, the employee will need to legally register themselves with a local police department by obtaining a Surat Tanda Melapor (STM), which translates to "Indonesian report card."
- Finally, the employee will need to apply for an Izin Kerja Tenaga Asing (IKTA), which translates to an "Indonesian foreign workers work permit" with the Ministry of Manpower.
Application processing time
When applying for a visa or work permit in Indonesia, there is no exact timeframe in which you will be guaranteed to receive your documents. However, it typically takes about two months for visa applications to be processed and approved, so you should allow adequate time for processing before beginning work in the area.
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With endless tools available to help connect global employers and employees, employees have the freedom to partner with companies that align with their values, while employees can find the most talented candidates, regardless of where they live.
However, to legally partner with global employers and candidates, you must not only meet the necessary visa and permitting requirements but ensure all aspects of your employment relationship comply with the regulations outlined by Indonesian law.
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Indonesia work visa FAQs
Below is a list of frequently asked questions regarding obtaining Indonesia work permits and navigating the Indonesia immigration system.
How can I get a work permit in Indonesia
To get a work permit in Indonesia, the employer will need to submit an application on behalf of the employee.
Follow these steps:
- The employer requests the ability to hire the employee from MOMT, the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration.
- The employer applies for the employee’s work permit.
- The employer applies for the employee’s visa.
- The BKPM (investment coordinating board) submits a letter of recommendation.
- The employee applies for their own visa.
- The employee uses their visa to enter Indonesia.
- Once in Indonesia, the employee receives their ITAS (short-term resident visa) and applies for their KITAS (identity card).
- The employee registers with their local Indonesian police department.
- The employee applies for their IKTA (foreign workers' work permit).
How long does it take to get a work permit in Indonesia?
Typically, you can expect your Indonesia work visa to be approved or denied within 60 days of submitting your application. However, you should be prepared for the possibility that it takes longer than this and allow enough time for error.
How much is an Indonesia work permit?
The exact cost of your work permit will vary based on the type of visa and work permit you need.
However, the total cost to obtain a standard KITAS and work permit is IDR 10,000,000 ($655). In addition, you will need to pay a worker levy to the MOMT for every month of your year-long visa at a rate of $100 per month. You must pay the total $1,200 worker levy in advance.
Adding these expenses together, you can expect to pay roughly $1,855 for a year of work and residence entitlements in Indonesia.
Is Indonesia open for a work visa?
Indonesia is open for a work visa, and foreign nationals must obtain both a visa and a work permit to live and work in Indonesia legally.
Can I live and work in Indonesia?
If you’re considering moving to Indonesia, you can live and work there if you obtain the appropriate visa and work permit.
The limited stay permit is called Izin Tinggal Terbatas (ITAS), and this is a required document to live in Indonesia. The work permit is called Ijin Mempekerjakan Tenaga Kerja Asing (IMTA), and this s a required document to work in Indonesia.
While you are responsible for applying for your ITAS, you will need to have an employer apply for the IMTA on your behalf.
How long can U.S. citizens stay in Indonesia?
U.S. citizens can stay in Indonesia as long as their ITAS is valid. ITAS is issued annually and can be renewed up to four times. After five years, you can apply for a Kartu Izin Tinggal Tetap (KITAP), a more extended residence permit valid for five years.