A four-step guide to obtaining an expat work visa in Indonesia A four-step guide to obtaining an expat work visa in Indonesia

A four-step guide to obtaining an expat work visa in Indonesia
24 Aug 2018

There are two types of employment visas available for foreign workers planning to live and work in Indonesia. These are the:

  • ITAS (Izin Tinggal Terbatas), a limited-stay permit that is issued by the Indonesian Immigration Directorate General through a local immigration office. In order to obtain an ITAS, it is necessary to first obtain a VITAS (Visa Izin Tinggal Terbatas), which is a limited-stay permit visa;
  • KITAP (Kartu Izin Tinggal Tetap), a permanent-stay visa that is only available to foreign workers who have held an ITAS for a minimum of three consecutive years.

In Indonesia, applying for an ITAS is carried out by employers on behalf of their foreign workers and involves the following process:

Step 1: Seek government approval and submit an RPTKA to the Ministry of Manpower

Employers wishing to employ a foreign national must obtain formal government approval to do so before applying for a VITAS permit visa. Requesting approval must take the form of an announcement letter (SPT), or letter from the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) indicating that an employment contract has been signed.

An Expatriate Placement Plan (Rencana Penempatan Tenaga Kerja Asing or RPTKA) must also be submitted to the Ministry of Manpower. When approved, this RPTKA will be used as the basis for issuing a limited stay permit (ITAS) to the foreign employee in question.

The documents required to obtain an RPTKA comprise a:

  • RPTKA application form;
  • Letter detailing the reasons for hiring a foreign national as well as their expected role within the company;
  • Copy of the company’s incorporation document;
  • A tax number (NPWP) and letter confirming the organisation has a business license (SIUP);
  • Recommendation from another organisation if the company operates in certain sectors such as oil and gas, mining or transportation;
  • Copy of the company’s ‘Wajib Lapor’ annual report to the labour department stating the number of expats and local workers it employs;
  • Document outlining its organisational structure;
  • Copy of the ID card (KTP) of an Indonesian work colleague.

As per the new Presidential Regulation enacted on 29 March 2018, companies employing foreign workers in the following roles do not need to apply for a RPTKA as of 29 June 2018:

  • Shareholders, who are members of the company’s board of directors or board of commissioners;
  • Diplomatic and consular officers to representatives of foreign countries;
  • Specific types of government work.

Organisations wishing to hire foreign workers for urgent or emergency work may apply for a RPTKA from the Minister or an appointed official at the Ministry of Manpower after their foreign employee has started work – as long as it is no later than two working days after they begin.

Employers should also note that foreign workers cannot be hired to work in the HR department of any company operating in Indonesia and/or in certain other jobs specified by the government.

Step 2: Apply for an IMTA

Once the RPTKA has been approved, employers must apply for an IMTA. To do so, they must also submit personal information about the applicant to the Ministry of Manpower. This information includes their gender, nationality, place and date of birth, passport number and length of time it is valid for, their job role and how long they have worked for the company, along with certificates of education and work experience.

Under the new regulations on the employment of foreign workers, this information will be processed and approved in no longer than two working days. IMTAs, which legally authorise an employer to hire a foreign worker, are issued for a maximum period of one year. But they may be extended in line with how long the RPTKA is valid for, up to a maximum period of two years. 

The documents required to obtain an IMTA comprise a:

  • RPTKA;
  • Letter of recommendation from a technical ministry, if applicable;
  • Copy of the expat’s passport;
  • Proof of any education that is relevant to the position the foreign worker will hold;
  • Certificate of competence or work experience of at least five years’ duration in a role that is relevant to the job;
  • Statement from the foreign worker agreeing to transfer their knowledge to an Indonesian counterpart;
  • Copy of the employment contract of the Indonesian colleague referred to in the RPTKA application;
  • Tax identification number (NPWP), if the expat is to work in Indonesia for longer than six months;
  • Insurance policy issued by an insurance company incorporated in Indonesia;
  • National Social Security policy, if working in Indonesia for longer than six months;
  • Receipt for a Skill and Development Fund (DKP-TKA) payment of US$1,200 per annum;
  • Two colour photographs.

After approval has been obtained from the Ministry, employers are required to pay compensation for the fact they have hired a foreign worker through any one of a number of banks approved by the Minister or their appointed official. Government agencies, foreign country representatives and international agencies are exempt from paying this fee.

Step 3: Apply for a Limited Stay Visa and Permit

The next step is to submit an application for a VITAS or Telex visa 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.

Under the new regulations, applicants 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 the foreign worker as soon as they produce their ITAS approval letter.

Furthermore, foreign workers will be granted a multiple re-entry permit, which will be valid for the same length of time as their ITAS. Currently, an ITAS only allows entry on a one-off basis into Indonesia.

On the employer side, the documents required to obtain an ITAS comprise, a:

  • Copy of the RPTKA;
  • Copy of the sponsor’s identity card (KTP);
  • Copy of the KTP of a local employee who is working for the same company;
  • NPWP tax identification number;
  • Business licence (SIUP);
  • Capital Registration Licence (SPPMA) from the BKPM;
  • Company registration letter (TDP);
  • Wajib Lapor report;
  • Company’s certificate of domicile (SKTU);
  • Certificates of approval relating to the company’s place of business and any permits (SITU & HO);
  • Authorisation of deed establishment (Akta Notaris) by the Department of Justice;
  • Blank piece of paper containing the company’s letterhead;
  • Company stamp.

Necessary documentation from foreign applicants consists of a:

  • Colour copy of a passport that is valid for at least 18 months;
  • Colour copy of their curriculum vitae, which has been stamped by the company and signed by a director on the stamp itself;
  • Colour scan of their university certificate or highest level of educational degree in either English or Bahasa Indonesia, which must be stamped by the company and signed by the director on the stamp;
  • Work certificate, indicating a minimum five years of experience;
  • Health insurance;
  • Colour photographs. 

An ITAS allows expatriates in Indonesia to legally take up employment, earn a salary and open a bank account. It also gives them the right to stay without having to leave the country on a regular basis and enables them to obtain permanent residency status after three years.

The overall cost to the employer of obtaining an ITAS is roughly between US$1000 and US$1,200.

It is important to note that under the new regulations, foreign workers will be permitted to work for two different employers concurrently, in the same role and within the same business sector.

Step 4: Apply for a KITAS Card and Blue Foreigner’s Registration Book

After the ITAS has been obtained, foreign workers can apply for a KITAS Card and Blue Foreigners Registration Book, which is used to record their immigration status. Both the KITAS Card and Registration Book grant permits for a stay up to two years and may be extended for up to two years each time, up to a maximum total of six years. 

By Vasundhara Rastogi, editor.

This article was first published on ASEAN Briefing

Since its establishment in 1992, Dezan Shira & Associates has been guiding foreign clients through Asia’s complex regulatory environment and assisting them with all aspects of legal, accounting, tax, internal control, HR, payroll and audit matters. As a full-service consultancy with operational offices across China, Hong Kong, India and ASEAN, we are your reliable partner for business expansion in this region and beyond. For inquiries, please email us at info@dezshira.com. Further information about our firm can be found at: www.dezshira.com.

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There are two types of employment visas available for foreign workers planning to live and work in Indonesia. These are the:

  • ITAS (Izin Tinggal Terbatas), a limited-stay permit that is issued by the Indonesian Immigration Directorate General through a local immigration office. In order to obtain an ITAS, it is necessary to first obtain a VITAS (Visa Izin Tinggal Terbatas), which is a limited-stay permit visa;
  • KITAP (Kartu Izin Tinggal Tetap), a permanent-stay visa that is only available to foreign workers who have held an ITAS for a minimum of three consecutive years.

In Indonesia, applying for an ITAS is carried out by employers on behalf of their foreign workers and involves the following process:

Step 1: Seek government approval and submit an RPTKA to the Ministry of Manpower

Employers wishing to employ a foreign national must obtain formal government approval to do so before applying for a VITAS permit visa. Requesting approval must take the form of an announcement letter (SPT), or letter from the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) indicating that an employment contract has been signed.

An Expatriate Placement Plan (Rencana Penempatan Tenaga Kerja Asing or RPTKA) must also be submitted to the Ministry of Manpower. When approved, this RPTKA will be used as the basis for issuing a limited stay permit (ITAS) to the foreign employee in question.

The documents required to obtain an RPTKA comprise a:

  • RPTKA application form;
  • Letter detailing the reasons for hiring a foreign national as well as their expected role within the company;
  • Copy of the company’s incorporation document;
  • A tax number (NPWP) and letter confirming the organisation has a business license (SIUP);
  • Recommendation from another organisation if the company operates in certain sectors such as oil and gas, mining or transportation;
  • Copy of the company’s ‘Wajib Lapor’ annual report to the labour department stating the number of expats and local workers it employs;
  • Document outlining its organisational structure;
  • Copy of the ID card (KTP) of an Indonesian work colleague.

As per the new Presidential Regulation enacted on 29 March 2018, companies employing foreign workers in the following roles do not need to apply for a RPTKA as of 29 June 2018:

  • Shareholders, who are members of the company’s board of directors or board of commissioners;
  • Diplomatic and consular officers to representatives of foreign countries;
  • Specific types of government work.

Organisations wishing to hire foreign workers for urgent or emergency work may apply for a RPTKA from the Minister or an appointed official at the Ministry of Manpower after their foreign employee has started work – as long as it is no later than two working days after they begin.

Employers should also note that foreign workers cannot be hired to work in the HR department of any company operating in Indonesia and/or in certain other jobs specified by the government.

Step 2: Apply for an IMTA

Once the RPTKA has been approved, employers must apply for an IMTA. To do so, they must also submit personal information about the applicant to the Ministry of Manpower. This information includes their gender, nationality, place and date of birth, passport number and length of time it is valid for, their job role and how long they have worked for the company, along with certificates of education and work experience.

Under the new regulations on the employment of foreign workers, this information will be processed and approved in no longer than two working days. IMTAs, which legally authorise an employer to hire a foreign worker, are issued for a maximum period of one year. But they may be extended in line with how long the RPTKA is valid for, up to a maximum period of two years. 

The documents required to obtain an IMTA comprise a:

  • RPTKA;
  • Letter of recommendation from a technical ministry, if applicable;
  • Copy of the expat’s passport;
  • Proof of any education that is relevant to the position the foreign worker will hold;
  • Certificate of competence or work experience of at least five years’ duration in a role that is relevant to the job;
  • Statement from the foreign worker agreeing to transfer their knowledge to an Indonesian counterpart;
  • Copy of the employment contract of the Indonesian colleague referred to in the RPTKA application;
  • Tax identification number (NPWP), if the expat is to work in Indonesia for longer than six months;
  • Insurance policy issued by an insurance company incorporated in Indonesia;
  • National Social Security policy, if working in Indonesia for longer than six months;
  • Receipt for a Skill and Development Fund (DKP-TKA) payment of US$1,200 per annum;
  • Two colour photographs.

After approval has been obtained from the Ministry, employers are required to pay compensation for the fact they have hired a foreign worker through any one of a number of banks approved by the Minister or their appointed official. Government agencies, foreign country representatives and international agencies are exempt from paying this fee.

Step 3: Apply for a Limited Stay Visa and Permit

The next step is to submit an application for a VITAS or Telex visa 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.

Under the new regulations, applicants 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 the foreign worker as soon as they produce their ITAS approval letter.

Furthermore, foreign workers will be granted a multiple re-entry permit, which will be valid for the same length of time as their ITAS. Currently, an ITAS only allows entry on a one-off basis into Indonesia.

On the employer side, the documents required to obtain an ITAS comprise, a:

  • Copy of the RPTKA;
  • Copy of the sponsor’s identity card (KTP);
  • Copy of the KTP of a local employee who is working for the same company;
  • NPWP tax identification number;
  • Business licence (SIUP);
  • Capital Registration Licence (SPPMA) from the BKPM;
  • Company registration letter (TDP);
  • Wajib Lapor report;
  • Company’s certificate of domicile (SKTU);
  • Certificates of approval relating to the company’s place of business and any permits (SITU & HO);
  • Authorisation of deed establishment (Akta Notaris) by the Department of Justice;
  • Blank piece of paper containing the company’s letterhead;
  • Company stamp.

Necessary documentation from foreign applicants consists of a:

  • Colour copy of a passport that is valid for at least 18 months;
  • Colour copy of their curriculum vitae, which has been stamped by the company and signed by a director on the stamp itself;
  • Colour scan of their university certificate or highest level of educational degree in either English or Bahasa Indonesia, which must be stamped by the company and signed by the director on the stamp;
  • Work certificate, indicating a minimum five years of experience;
  • Health insurance;
  • Colour photographs. 

An ITAS allows expatriates in Indonesia to legally take up employment, earn a salary and open a bank account. It also gives them the right to stay without having to leave the country on a regular basis and enables them to obtain permanent residency status after three years.

The overall cost to the employer of obtaining an ITAS is roughly between US$1000 and US$1,200.

It is important to note that under the new regulations, foreign workers will be permitted to work for two different employers concurrently, in the same role and within the same business sector.

Step 4: Apply for a KITAS Card and Blue Foreigner’s Registration Book

After the ITAS has been obtained, foreign workers can apply for a KITAS Card and Blue Foreigners Registration Book, which is used to record their immigration status. Both the KITAS Card and Registration Book grant permits for a stay up to two years and may be extended for up to two years each time, up to a maximum total of six years. 

By Vasundhara Rastogi, editor.

This article was first published on ASEAN Briefing

Since its establishment in 1992, Dezan Shira & Associates has been guiding foreign clients through Asia’s complex regulatory environment and assisting them with all aspects of legal, accounting, tax, internal control, HR, payroll and audit matters. As a full-service consultancy with operational offices across China, Hong Kong, India and ASEAN, we are your reliable partner for business expansion in this region and beyond. For inquiries, please email us at info@dezshira.com. Further information about our firm can be found at: www.dezshira.com.

OTHER ARTICLES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU

ASEAN labour mobility: Current commitments and future limitations

Guide to employment permits for foreign workers in Myanmar

Expats petition Bahrain to change visa minimum salary requirements