To work legally in Indonesia, you must have a work permit in Indonesia (IMTA). Based on IMTA, the Indonesian Immigration will issue your limited stay permit (VITAS) and the limited stay permit card (KITAS).
This article demonstrates how to obtain a work permit (IMTA). As well as what should you expect during the process of getting one, and other necessary details.
The information I am going to share is based on two legal instruments: the Work Permit Regulation (No. 16/2015) and also its October 2015 update (No. 35/2015). The article also includes the recent Presidential Regulation (No. 20/2018) for The Use of Foreign Worker.
The details that change with new regulations remain visible in this article. At the same time, many agents are unaware of these changes. Thus, they may provide you with incorrect information.
Should you need further help on securing your work permit in Indonesia, contact us.
General Requirements of Obtaining a Work Permit in Indonesia
The work permit regulation states what you as a candidate need to get a work permit (IMTA) in Indonesia. In essence, the general requirements are:
- An education related to the position you are going to take up in Indonesia
- A certificate of competence, or 5 years working experience related to the position
- Proof of health/life insurance for your whole stay in Indonesia
Work Permit Age Requirements
The general requirements do not specify any age limitation. Taking this into account, you are basically eligible for a work permit (IMTA) at any age given that you already have at least 5 years of work experience.
They are different for artists (impresarios), as well as for foreign workers assuming an urgent or temporary position. All in all, more specific rules apply depending on your industry.
Working in the Oil and Gas Industry, for example, you must be of 30-55 years of age. As regulated by the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources law (No. 31/2013).
Although, the age restriction does not apply for the highest-level position in your company. Such as a director or chief of the representative office. As well as for the position of a commissioner. It also does not apply if you have “a very specific expertise, crucial to your company/institution”.
Positions a Foreign National in Indonesia Can Hold
A foreign national can hold a work permit in all positions that are not restricted. With this in mind, a foreign national cannot hold a position in the following sectors:
- Human Resources department
- Legal department
- Health, safety, and environment affairs
- Supply chain management
- Quality control and inspection
(Article 4, ESDM Regulation No. 31/2013)
How Long is My Work Permit Valid for?
The validity of your work permit depends on the position you will have in the company in Indonesia. Overall, if you are in a non-managerial position you will get a 6-month IMTA.
The following applicants are eligible for a 12-month work permit in Indonesia:
- Foreign staff at the managerial level
- Chief of Representative Office
The Process of Getting a Work Permit in Indonesia
Before getting your work permit in Indonesia (IMTA) you need to follow through these steps:
|1. Foreign Manpower Employment Plan approval (RPTKA)||A document approving your company’s proposal to use foreign manpower. Issued by the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower.
[Update: Presidential Regulation No. 20/2018] RPTKA is not required for companies applying for the working permit approval. As well as for shareholders who are also the Director and Commissioner of the Company.
|2. Pre-IMTA/Pre-working permit||This process replaces the TA-01 procedure for working visa. During the process, you learn about how long you can stay in Indonesia for your work.|
|3. Payment of the monthly development funds to the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower (DKP-TKA)||The amount your company should pay comes from your length of stay. You receive notification about it during the previous procedure. The charge for the DKP-TKA is at $US 100/month and paying in advance is a must. E.g. $US 600 for a 6-month working period and $US 1,200 for a 12-month working period.|
|4. Working permit (IMTA)||You can now legally work in Indonesia.|
|5. Limited stay permit (VITAS)||Your IMTA will be the basis of the Indonesian Immigration to issue you the Limited stay permit/ VITAS. The validity of your VITAS will adjust to the maximum duration of stay granted for your position.
Calculation starts from the day you enter Indonesia. VITAS approval takes place at the immigration in Indonesia. Also, note that the issuance of VITAS itself takes place abroad. You must visit an Indonesian embassy of your choice.
|6. Limited stay permit (ITAS)||As soon as you enter Indonesia with a VITAS, you must convert it into KITAS, valid for as long as your VITAS is. During this process you will also have to go to the Immigration office to record your biometric data.|
|7. MERP / Multiple entry and Re-entry Permit||With this document, you can exit and re-enter Indonesia with the same limited stay permit. It is valid as long as your KITAS is.
[Update: Presidential Regulation No. 20/2018]
You can do the application of VITAS and ITAS in the same time at the Indonesian embassy abroad. Thus, when the VITAS approval is being converted, foreign worker will also get the ITAS and MERP in the passport.
Although, note that this is a new regulation and may not have been put into practice yet in all areas.
|8. Civil registration||Family card, temporary residential card, various documents required for living in Indonesia.|
Using Emerhub’s service, the entire process takes around 6 weeks. Note that the Indonesia work permit processing time may vary in different areas.
Extending Your IMTA, KITAS And Civil Registration Documents
Extending a work permit in Indonesia takes almost as long time as to applying for a new one. While you don’t need to exit Indonesia for a 12-month KITAS extension, documentation will still take time. Thus, plan in advance.
You cannot extend a 6-month IMTA and KITAS. If you are a holder of these documents, you will need to do a renewal process before they expire. And in advance of the renewal, you will need to exit Indonesia as a part of an Exit Permit Only procedure.
Due to the fast-changing nature of Indonesian government regulations, prepare for your extension. Plan at least 2 months before the expiration date of your documents. Including IMTA, KITAS and Civil Registration.
Difference Between a Business Visa and a Work Permit in Indonesia
A business visa is used for business trips, such as:
- Short courses
A work permit is for working full-time and allows you to receive a salary.
You also need a work permit (IMTA) if you are a Director/Commissioner in a company registered in Indonesia and you are planning to stay in the country. Even if you do not receive a salary.
This is often confusing for foreign investors but the law is very strict about living in Indonesia as a director or commissioner and not having a work permit: up to 500 million IDR (~ $US 35,941) fine and 5 years of imprisonment. Note that if you hold positions in several companies you also need a work permit for each of those.
Latest Changes to the work Permit Regulations
1. Local-to-foreigner Hiring Ratio
You only need to appoint 1 Indonesian co-worker for every foreign worker. The co-worker position must also be relevant to the foreigner’s title.
Furthermore, your company does not have to appoint an Indonesian co-worker as a partner if your position is either a:
- Founder of a foundation (Anggota pembina yayasan)
- Member of a management of a foundation (Anggota pengurus yayasan)
- Supervisor of a foundation (Anggota pengawas yayasan)
Also, the same applies if you are a foreign artist or a foreign worker. Assuming an urgent or temporary position in your company.
2. Non-resident Commissioners And Directors Don’t Need a Work Permit
According to an old regulation, foreign Commissioners and Directors needed an IMTA. This was whether they stayed or resided in Indonesia or not.
As a result of the lift of the regulation, the clause is removed. Thus, foreigners on these positions can conduct business in Indonesia without an IMTA as long as they are not Indonesian residents.
3. Mandatory Interview at The Ministry of Manpower When Hiring Foreign Experts in Indonesia
Companies hiring foreign experts must pass an interview for RPTKA issuance. It is conducted by the Ministry of Manpower.
Although, being a director or commissioner, you are exempt from this interview/expose process.
You No Longer Need A Temporary Work Permit to Attend Meetings And Give Trainings in Indonesia
As per the old Work Permit Regulation (No. 16/2015), a foreigner also needed the temporary work permit for:
- Attending meetings
- Giving speeches
- One-time job assignments
A point often overlooked is that you may now conduct these activities in Indonesia under a business visa.
What Happens If I Fail to Secure My Work Permit in Indonesia?
Given that you have your documents already, assure the extension of a temporary stay and work permit on time and always well in advance. For example, the punishment of misusing your residence permit is up to 5 years in prison (Article 122, Immigration Law).
Fill in the form below to get your work permit process started.