Doing Business

How To Get Work Permit in Indonesia?

Nora Setiawan

June 5, 2020

If you ever wish to work in Indonesia? Or you want to hire foreign employees? If so, then you may need to acquire work permit in Indonesia. However, it is important for you to know that sometimes online information in regards to visa application in Indonesia might only be accurate at the time of writing. The Immigration Law in Indonesia is prompt to change, so it’s better for you to make sure the regulations are always up-to-date from time to time.

In this article, you will find the information about how to apply for a work permit in Indonesia. It’s based on the following work permit regulation: the Work Permit Regulation (No. 16/2015) and it’s October 2015 update (No. 35/2015), as well as the latest Presidential Regulation (No. 20/2018) for The Use of Foreign Worker.


General Specifications for Work Permit in Indonesia

Before getting into deep of the article, it’s better to clarify some of the common terminology thrown around by the expatriate community in Indonesia.

There are three types of employment visas available for foreign employees to live and work in Indonesia.

  • KITAS (Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas) – most foreign nationals in Indonesia refer to their stay permit as KITAS. This is a legacy term as foreigners no longer receive an actual card with their work permit.
  • Work Permit or Izin Mempekerjakan Tenaga Asing (IMTA) – until 2018, the company had to first apply for a work permit and then for the stay permit (VITAS or E-ITAS). This process is now combined. 
  • Re-entry permit (MERP) – until 2018, you had to separately apply for the entry permit to be allowed to exit and re-enter the country. So, this is no longer required.

To get a work permit, a foreign national first has to be employed by a company registered in Indonesia. However, not all companies are allowed to hire foreign employees.

Requirements For The Company To Give Work Permits For Foreign Workers

A company is eligible for hiring foreign employees in Indonesia as long as they meet the following requirements:

  • Sufficient capital

The company is a PT PMA (which must have a minimum capital of at least 2.5 billion Indonesian Rupiah) or a 100% locally owned company with a capital of at least one billion Indonesian Rupiah.

  • Allocated Indonesian co-worker

Each foreign worker has to have an Indonesian national designated as the co-worker.

  • Permitted job title

Foreign nationals are not allowed to hold some positions in Indonesia.

In addition, the company must submit the Manpower Report (WLTK or Wajib Lapor Ketenagakerjaan).

Minimum Requirement For Foreigners To Be Eligible For The Work Permit

As you want to hire or want to be hired in Indonesia, there are some general requirements that you need to pay attention to. They are,

  • Bachelor degree or higher
  • If the position requires specialized education, a relevant degree (for example, in education or engineering)
  • A recommendation letter from the previous employer, having at least 5 years of work experience
  • Proof of health or life insurance for your whole stay in Indonesia
  • Proof that the employee has health and life insurance

Positions a Foreign National in Indonesia Can Hold

Foreign nationals can hold a work permit and carry any titles that are not restricted. However, a foreigner cannot hold positions related to Human Resources, legal, and medical industries.

Furthermore, the general requirements do not specify any age limitation.

How Long Is a Work Permit Valid for?

It is valid from 6-12 months, depending on the job position applied, and a 12-month work permit is extendable.

Local Co-Worker Requirement

Every foreign employee has to have at least one local co-worker that holds a title relevant to the foreigner’s position. The company does not need to appoint Indonesian co-worker for the following positions:

  • Director
  • Commissioner
  • Founder of a foundation (Anggota Pembina Yayasan)
  • Member of a management of a foundation (Anggota Pengurus Yayasan)
  • Supervisor of a foundation (Anggota Pengawas Yayasan)

Even though these positions do not require a local co-worker, they do need to be guaranteed by an Indonesian citizen who is responsible for any misconduct caused by the foreigner.

The Process of Getting a Work Permit in Indonesia

The process of getting a work permit in Indonesia

The whole process of getting a work permit in Indonesia generally takes 1 month. Let’s see the general process below!

  1. Foreign Manpower Placement Plan (RPTKA)

An application in which to state the list of a foreign worker and the position you will be hiring.

  1. Payment of The Employee Development Fund (DPK-TPA)

DPK-TPA is essentially a pre-paid tax to the government for hiring foreign employees. The fee is $100 per month, and needs to be paid upfront for the entire duration of the work permit. You can pay either $600 for a 6-month work permit or $1200 for a one-year work permit.

  1. Stay Permit Notification Approval or Telex

The approval is sent to the Embassy that the foreign worker has chosen. They must exchange it to an actual stay visa at the Embassy prior to entering Indonesia.

  1. E-ITAS or Limited Stay Permit

Limited Stay Permit (often called by foreign nationals as KITAS) will be issued as soon as the foreign worker has arrived in Indonesia, and has its biometric data record at the border or at the local Immigration Office.

  1. Civil Registration

Registering the domicile of the foreign worker to the local administrative office.

If the employees wish to extend their work permits, they do not need to fly out of Indonesia during the process. However, it is highly advisable to start preparing for the extension process 3 months before the expiration date of your work permit.

Like many other Asian countries, Indonesia is an attractive destination for foreign professionals seeking new opportunities. Getting a work permit in the country might be a little tricky and need some time to process, especially when you meet unforeseen issues, it can be so complicated. However, we can help you with our best team. Don’t hesitate to contact us, and Viettonkin Consulting will always be assisting you!

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