If you are planning to work in Indonesia or stay in Indonesia for longer than a few months, you need a limited stay permit (KITAS).
This article will guide you through the different options for getting a KITAS in Indonesia as well as explain the process for obtaining a working KITAS. As a bonus, you will find answers to the 16 most common questions expats ask about KITAS in Indonesia.
Table of contents
Types of KITAS in Indonesia
There are four most common types of KITAS in Indonesia:
#1 KITAS sponsored by Indonesian entities (work permit)
For a KITAS sponsored by an Indonesian entity, or a working KITAS in other words, you must first make sure that you have a sponsoring entity that is registered in Indonesia.
This entity can be a:
- Foreign-owned limited liability company (PT PMA) or Indonesian limited liability company (PT)
- Representative office
Secondly, you need to confirm your position at the sponsoring company as the limited stay permit is issued based on the approval of your work permit which requires the details of your job title and location.
The length of your KITAS depends on your job title. For example, directors and commissioners are guaranteed to get an extendable 1-year KITAS. Advisors and managers can also get a 12-month KITAS; however, it is subject to the immigration officials’ decision, and often, they are granted a non-extendable 6-month KITAS.
Sponsoring entity should propose a job title by the regulations issued by the Ministry of Manpower and this depends on the business classification of the entity. As a general rule, the positions that a foreigner can apply for are limited to a director, commissioner, manager, or advisory roles.
#2 KITAS sponsored by Indonesian spouse
Being married to an Indonesian citizen enables you to apply for a KITAS sponsored by your Indonesian spouse.
You can apply for a spouse-sponsored KITAS immediately after getting married. However, for a spouse-sponsored KITAP (permanent stay permit) which is valid for five years, you need to be married for at least two years.
Note that spouse KITAS allows you to live, but not to work in Indonesia. If you have a KITAP sponsored by your spouse, you can work in Indonesia as an independent consultant.
If you start working for a company (i.e., will be employed or start your own business), you have to obtain a working KITAS sponsored by the company and give up your spouse KITAS.
In practice, however, some local authorities make an exception and allow to have a spouse KITAS and a working KITAS sponsored by a company at the same time.
See our previous blog post for more detailed information about spouse-sponsored KITAS.
#3 Retirement KITAS
If you are at least 55 and don’t plan to work in Indonesia, you can apply for a retirement visa which enables you to live in Indonesia, lease property, and enter the country as many times as you like.
Indonesian retirement visa is valid for one year, and it is extendable four times on the same conditions as when initially applying. After that, it is possible to proceed with retirement KITAP (permanent stay permit) which is valid for five years.
Key requirements for applying for a retirement visa in Indonesia are:
- Age 55 or older
- Health insurance that covers Indonesia, validity at least one year (Emerhub can assist you with the insurance)
- Lease agreement in Indonesia, valid for at least one year (Emerhub can help you find a house)
- Must employ a maid or a domestic helper in Indonesia
- A monthly pension of at least US$ 1,500 or a copy of a deposit account showing US$ 18,000 in the statement
If your spouse is not 55 yet, but you both want to retire in Indonesia, the spouse can obtain a dependent KITAS which you can sponsor once you have your retirement visa.
If the retirement KITAS suits your needs, see the step-by-step guide to retirement visa in Indonesia.
#4 Dependent KITAS
If you are a KITAS holder and you are planning to relocate to Indonesia with a spouse and children under the age of 17, they can apply for a dependent KITAS which you can sponsor.
The duration of a dependent KITAS is the same as your KITAS. However, note that a dependent KITAS does not allow to work in Indonesia.
Want to live in Indonesia, but don’t have a job, company, or a local spouse? Read our previous article to learn how getting a KITAS via an employer of record allows you to stay in Indonesia legally and without the need for doing costly visa runs.
Working KITAS application process in Indonesia
Previously, foreigners who wanted to work in Indonesia had to obtain a separate work permit (IMTA). In July 2018, however, Indonesia released a new work permit regulation which replaced IMTA with a notification from the Ministry of Manpower, allowing a much faster work permit processing.
Other significant changes are that directors and commissioners who are also shareholders in the company no longer have to proceed to RPTKA and non-resident directors and commissioners don’t need a work permit in Indonesia.
16 most frequently asked questions about KITAS in Indonesia
#1 What can be the position of the foreigner in a KITAS, and does it affect its validity?
Directors and Commissioners are guaranteed to get a 12-month extendable KITAS, but for a Manager/Advisor position, the validity is a discretionary decision of the immigration.
Other temporary jobs can get a non-extendable working KITAS for 1-6 months. Possible positions also depend on the company’s business classification, i.e., a foreigner can be a diving instructor only if the company has a diving license, etc.
#2 The sponsoring company hiring me is located in Jakarta, but I want to reside in Bali with my family, can I do that?
You can only get a KITAS in the city where your office is located as it is related to your work permit. However, living in another city is possible only if the sponsoring company has valid branch documents in that city.
#3 I have a work and stay permit from one company Indonesia. Can I also work for another company?
No, you need a separate work permit for each company you work for in Indonesia, and there are limitations for combining different positions in different companies.
#4 My work permit states that I am a Marketing Manager at a cafe – can I also do some chef work?
You cannot do any other work or work in any other locations in Indonesia unless stated in your work permit.
#5 I am a shareholder in a company, but I do not wish to pay for the DKP-TKA of US$ 1,200, is there any way around this?
You can avoid this by not being a Director or a Commissioner and maintain your status only as a shareholder. Instead of a work permit, shareholders can obtain an investor visa which does not require them to pay US$ 1,200.
If the company was established after July 2018 in the OSS system and you are a shareholder and a director or a commissioner in the company, you can apply for an investor KITAS without the need to pay the DPK-TKA payment. However, this does not apply to companies registered before the implementation of the OSS system.
Contact us at [email protected] for more information.
#6 I got a 6-month work and stay permit, but the company would still employ me for another six months. How to proceed then?
You need to cancel your KITAS and re-apply for a new KITAS.
#7 What should I do once my work and stay permit in Indonesia expires, and the company will not extend my work?
You need to proceed to Exit Permit Only procedure which requires you and the sponsoring company to return your work permit and KITAS to the issuance authority.
EPO takes one working day, and you must leave Indonesia within seven days from receiving the EPO stamp.
Emerhub can assist you with the EPO process. Read our previous article to find more information about why you need to apply for EPO in Indonesia.
#8 My KITAS will expire in 2 months, but I had to go back to my home country due to an urgent situation and won’t be able to proceed to Exit Permit Only. What should I do?
This is not a problem at all. If you already left Indonesia, we can apply for an alternative to EPO called ERP. However, we need the original of your IMTA and KITAS, your flight ticket and the exit stamp. You will get a notification document later on stating that you have already canceled the KITAS.
#9 What should be the minimum validity of my passport when applying for a KITAS?
Your passport needs to be valid for at least 18 months, and it should have at least a few empty pages.
If you get a new passport during the KITAS application process, the KITAS process must be redone. We suggest making sure that the passport is valid for a minimum of 21 months for the application process.
#10 How long does the KITAS process take?
Depends on the type of KITAS and how fast the authorities process:
- Spouse-sponsored KITAS – around one month
- Retirement KITAS – 10 business days from the submission of the application
- Working KITAS – 1.5-2.5 months
#11 Do I need to be in Indonesia during the whole KITAS process?
No, only to convert the VITAS into a KITAS. This is now done at the border upon your arrival in Indonesia.
#12 Can my spouse and children come to Indonesia at the same time when I apply for my KITAS?
Yes, they can come in at the same time when you enter Indonesia using a limited stay visa and a dependent KITAS.
#13 Can bring my pets and import my personal belongings to Indonesia?
Yes, you can use our importer of record service for importing your personal belongings to Indonesia.
You can also bring your pets, but they need to meet some requirements. For example, vaccination against rabies and a health certificate are necessary. You also need a local importer since an import license is requisite for bringing pets to Indonesia.
However, note that some parts of Indonesia, for example, Bali do not allow to import pets.
#14 Is it true that the ratio of foreign and Indonesian employees needs to be 1:10 if a company wants to issue work and stay permit for an expat?
No, according to current regulations, the ratio is 1:1 and applies only to foreign titles other than Director and Commissioner.
#15 How many work and stay permits can a Representative Office issue for foreign workers?
Only 2. A 12-month KITAS for the Chief of the Representative Office (the CRO) and a 6-month KITAS for the Assistant of the CRO.
#16 What if my visa has expired, but I haven’t left Indonesia?
Overstaying your visa can have serious consequences. It may result in a daily fine or even in deportation and blacklisting.
However, Emerhub can handle your immigration situation caused by a long overstay. Find more information in our previous article on overstaying a visa in Indonesia or see what to do when you are having visa problems in Indonesia.
Have more questions about limited stay permits in Indonesia or want to get started with your KITAS application process? Book a free consultation by filling in the form below.
Photo credit: Centre image of Triin Tigane by Sabrina Schmid