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Download the Immigration law - in Bahasa Indonesia - unoffical translation of Chapter V in English
The processes of obtaining proper documentation to live and work in Indonesia can seem like an endless maze of bureaucracy. New laws and regulations, lack of posted regulations, irregular application of existing regulations, vested interests and other matters complicate what one would think would be a relatively smooth processing of paperwork for foreigners to live and work in Indonesia.
This review of the necessary documents should help to clarify some of the questions newcomers may have about the various documents required.
Passports for your family members are issued by a passport office from your own country. While your government may allow children to follow on their mother's passports, it is better to have separate passports for every family member, just in case separate travel is required.
In order to apply for an ITAS visa (semi-permanent stay permit) to Indonesia, your passport must be valid for:
If your passport is nearing expiration, we recommend you renew it to the maximum time allowable before you begin procedures to apply for an Indonesian work permit and visa. You do not want to have your sponsoring office go through all the paperwork of getting your visa and work permit, only to have to repeat the procedure after six months because your passport has expired.
What do you do if you get a new passport, but your visa or MERP is still valid and stamped in your old passport?
Your visa KITAP & MERP continue to be valid until their expiry date regardless of passport expiring or if you have a new passport issued because it had no more blank pages. Each issuing government may handle the full passport issue differently. The relevant consular officials may just staple in additional passport pages.
Company sponsorship is required as a FIRST STEP in order for a foreigner who wants to work in Indonesia to be issued a work permit/visa. This sponsorship is required BEFORE a semi-permanent visa and work permit can be processed.
As per a Memorandum (Surat Ederan) signed on January 25th, 2013 by the Director General of Immigration, Bambang Irawan, SE, effective from February 4th 2013, the map (folder) including all immigration application forms (Paspor RI, Izin Tinggal, Izin Masuk Kembali,etc.) MUST be given FREE of charge by the immigration officers in all Immigration offices across the Indonesian archipelago.
Download this letter and take it with you whenever you do immigration paperwork, to be sure you're not charged for forms and folders!
RPTKA stands for Rencana Penempatan Tenaga Kerja Asing, or Expatriate Placement Plan.
The Indonesian government has strict guidelines on what foreign expertise is required for the development of the country. These guidelines determine who can be issued work permits. See Employing Expatriates for other info.
National, multinational or joint venture firms must submit a manpower plan to Kemenakertrans (Article 42 Manpower Act number 13 year 2003, Download detailing their annual foreign labor requirements. Foreigners can only get a limited stay visa/permit and an ITAS card if they already have been issued a TA01 recommendation (from the Manpower Department if the company is a domestic company; or from BKPM/Investment Board Department if the employing company is a foreign investment company, a so-called PMA company). A TA-01 is based on an approved Expatriate Placement Plan (RPTKA).
Typical documents required to obtain a RPTKA for a job position for expats:
Once the RPTKA has been granted by the government, then the company that hires the expat needs to apply for a Work Permit - the IMTA. This is the only legal authorization given to a company to employ a foreigner. If expats working in Indonesia are not holding an IMTA, they are not working legally in Indonesia. After ensuring the necessary approvals are in place, a TA-01 is issued, and then a work permit, Izin Kerja Tenaga Asing (IKTA) is issued by the Manpower Ministry (Kementerian Tenaga Kerja or Kemenakertrans) after your arrival and the issuance of the ITAS card and have paid your annual DPKK.
If a company wants to employ foreigners, the company must submit the RPTKA (above) to the Manpower Department if the employing company is a domestic company or to the BKPM (Investment Coordinating Board if the company is a foreign investment company. In foreign investment/PMA companies, work permits for senior positions (such as Director held by foreigners are for three years and can be renewed just before expiration. (Note: Director's positions held by foreigners are only applicable for foreign investment/PMA companies). Other position slots in the RPTKA are only for one year and can be renewed annually, usually up to a fixed number of years.
Small Indonesian companies incorporated as a CV are not allowed to hire expats. So-called "medium-sized companies" are only allowed to hire two expats. In larger companies there is no limitation to the number of expats hired, as long as the ratio of 1 expat : 1 local expert as a counterpart is followed.
For more detailed information on the process, please see Employing Expatriates in Indonesia.
The following documents must be presented by the employing company in order to apply for the IMTA:
Companies employing foreigners are charged $100/month (US$ 1,200/year per expatriate employee to offset the costs of training Indonesian nationals. This tax is administered through the Manpower Ministry. Proof of payment of the Skill & Development Fund fee to the BNI '46 bank for one year in advance, amounting to US$1,200 (nonrefundable) is needed before a Work Permit can be approved.
For positions other than Directors, a foreigner's expertise must be proven, as government regulations limit the employment of foreigners in Indonesia to 'experts'; which can contribute to the national development. Due to the high unemployment rate of nationals, it must be proven that the expertise of a foreigner cannot actually be supplied by a national instead.
Manpower plans are only approved for one year. When a company's manpower plan is approved, a certain number of slots for positions held by foreigners are approved by Kemenakertrans. If a firm wants to add another foreigner to its staff, they must go back to Kemenakertrans and revise their manpower plan and wait several months for approval. It is not always easy for a firm in Indonesia to hire a foreigner and involves considerable expense and dealing with bureaucracy.
Deportation of foreigners for abusing their work permits is not uncommon. The usual offense is that the person is working in a position other than what is allowed by the work permit. If your work permit says you are the Production Director ... and your business card says you are the Managing Director - those are grounds for deportation due to abuse of work permit. Another problem is caused when the declared address of work on the IMTA differs from your actual work location. If it does not match, this could void the IMTA and put the employee at risk of a deportation. BEWARE and be cautious about what you put on your business card - make sure it agrees with your work permit!
One common misconception is that the IMTA belongs to the expatriate employee; actually they are issued to the company, NOT to the foreign worker. If a foreign worker loses his job, he is not entitled to work for any other company without processing a new IMTA, even if the previous IMTA still has validity. This very common misconception leads expats to think that they have a work permit - they don’t - the company has it!
A work permit issued for a foreigner does NOT entitle their spouse to work as well. A “dependent spouse” must obtain their own sponsor and work permit in order to work in Indonesia. This can be done, but depends on the demand for their expertise. Many working spouses find the transition difficult as they are used to working. There are, however, many opportunities for worthwhile and meaningful involvements in community and educational organizations and opportunities for everyone to hone new skills during their time in Indonesia.
If you want to keep your ITAP active, you must pay the DPKK.
After the RPTKA has been approved, the TA01 recommendation has to be applied for at the Manpower Ministry in order to get a temporary residence visa. The original approval letter on the TA01 recommendation will be needed to apply for the VITAS or VBS (Visa Tinggal Terbatas).
The RPTKA & TA01 recommendation are only necessary for foreigners working in Indonesia. Dependent family members; accompany spouse and children up to 17 years old will be under the sponsorship of the working spouse. Dependent family members are only entitled to stay with the working spouse/parent - this visa does NOT entitle them to work. If a spouse is also working in Indonesia he/she will have to apply for a separate Work Permit and independent Stay Permit from their sponsoring company.
Be advised that a live-in girlfriend/boyfriend or fiance is not entitled to a dependent spouse. You must be legally married to be afforded this visa.
For more information, see the Manpower Act of 2003.
Working in Indonesia without a Work Permit (IMTA)
The new immigration law which came into force in May 2011 provides for a MUCH more severe sanction than UU 9/1992 if a foreign citizen is caught working without proper visa and work permit. Don't risk five years in jail, get the proper documents before you start working in Indonesia! The wording of the new regulation:
Dipidana dengan pidana penjara paling lama 5 (lima) tahun dan pidana denda paling paling banyak Rp500.000.000,00 (lima ratus juta rupiah):
To read the Indonesian government's description of the various visas, see Consular and Visa Services on the Foreign Ministry website.
FULL LIST of Immigration fees - Peraturan Pemerintah nomor 45 tahun 2014 - official fees effective 6/2014.
If you keep all your papers in order and are up to date with all necessary document renewals and taxes/fees, and follow the proper procedures, then that it is what you will pay if you do the paperwork yourself (in person). Service companies may charge you in between 3 to 10 times the official fees to cover their services. Considering the hassle of dealing with a new bureaucracy in a foreign language, this fee may be worth it. Long-timers who speak fluent Bahasa Indonesia may be able to (and choose to) handle the bureaucracy themselves.
VITAS - This is the sticker visa put in a foreigner's passport in an Indonesian Embassy/Consular Office abroad which will give the person the right to an ITAS (which they apply for after arrival in Indonesia).
Once the TA01 recommendation has been approved, the VITAS must be applied for, for the working spouse and his dependent family, at the Indonesian Immigration office in the intended city of residence. Upon approval, the Indonesian Immigration office will send a telex approval to the Indonesian Embassy where the foreigner and his dependent family want to pick up the approval and to get the VITAS/VBS stamped into their passports.
This VBS visa stamp permits your entry into Indonesia. Within 7 days of your arrival in Indonesia, you and your dependent family members must go to the Immigration office to report your arrival "lapor diri" and complete the necessary paperwork. Failure to do this within 7 days will constitute a violation of your status, a legal hassle that can only be overcome through a visit to the courts and will incur large fines. So don't delay your initial trip to the Immigration office to report your arrival. At the immigration office, you will be called to take a full set of fingerprints and to sign various documents and provide at least four 2 x 3 cm color photographs.
Note - the V stands for Visa ...!
To summarize the VBS:
ITAS = Izin Tinggal Terbatas (Temporary Stay Permit). This is the immigration status/permit by itself. It is materialized by the stamp that the immigration offices stamps into your passport every year.
KITAS = Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas (Temporary Stay Permit Card). This is the yellow card that Imigrasi will give you after the ITAS has been granted.
ITAS can be issued for a variety of reasons:
ITAS Flow Prior to Arrival [ PDF 384 KB]
ITAS Flow After Arrival [ PDF 92KB]
When all the paperwork on your Vitas visa is done, you will be issued a Limited Stay Permit - Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas, better known as an ITAS card for the working expatriate and each dependent for a one year period. The ITAS is the residency permit card which is issued by a KanIM in Indonesia, based on the VBS/VITAS Visa.
Advice from one applicant on documents needed to apply for an ITAS without paying any bribes:
Just a heads up to be careful when laminating your ITAS /ITAP card. One expat's brand new ITAP got stuck in the laminating machine at the local photocopy shop and as a result she had to apply for a replacement, going through the whole application procedure again as when applying for an extension - producing all the documents and going to the provincial immigration office to get a letter of approval for the replacement. There was also a charge of Rp 1 million.
ITAP = Izin Tinggal Tetap (Permanent Stay Permit). This is the immigration status/permit by itself. It is evident by the stamp that the immigration office stamps into your passport.
KITAP = Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas (Permanent Stay Permit Card). This is the blue card that immigration will give you after the ITAP has been granted.
There is no "direct to KITAP" option, all KITAP applicants must be holders of KITAS visas first.
ITAP can also be issued to foreign investors, CEOs or to workers in fields that require a specific skill. However, others, who don't fall under these categories, can also obtain an ITAP as well, with persistence and knowing the regulations. Special provisions are also available for foreign nationals to get an ITAP if they are married to an Indonesian.
Official cost for an ITAP application - Rp 3,500,000 (non-electronic), Rp. 3,700,000 (electronic), Extension Rp 10,000,000 (non-electronic), Rp. 10,200,000 (electronic).
With the KITAP you will also be charged for a 2 year MERP, the official cost of which is Rp. 1,750,000.
Who can apply for an ITAP?
Indonesian Law is, in fact, quite clear. But as in many cases in Indonesia, this is more a problem of getting the right text of law with all of its amendments to clearly understand who can apply for to an ITAP. Once you get the right context, everything becomes very clear and the only remaining difficulty is to explain the law to the ones who are supposed to know it: the Immigration officials, who in many cases seemingly ignore the law. Once you get past the lower echelons, things are much smoother, because at the higher levels (i.e., KanWil or DitJen), they know the law regarding ITAP issuance.
Concerning ITAP, here are the two main articles of Law No. 6 of 2011 on Immigration that you need to keep in mind:
1. Pasal 54 / Article 54
2. Pasal 60 / Article 60
Basically, Article 60 means that an ITAS can be transformed to an ITAP and that this transformation of status can be given after a demand of the foreigner with the condition that he/she has already stayed a minimum of three full successive years in Indonesia since the date that his/her ITAS has been issued.
Pasal 59 / Article 59 - regarding extensions
This is the article of law which lists the category of ITAS holder that could be entitled to be issued an ITAP. They are:
However, belonging to one of the above categories may not be enough. If you read point (3), it says that the change of status (from ITAS to ITAP) must consider the benefits that this foreigner brings to the nation in terms of national development and must consider the human aspects. This is for the very least highly subjective, and apart for the one belonging to the category e.), f.), g.), h.) and i.) it may well remain a demand without automatic approbation.
If your change of status is accepted, you will receive an ITAP which allows you to remain in Indonesia for five years - which may be worth all the paperwork hassles.
*definition of “retired” is given in Keputusan Menteri nomor M.04-IZ.01.02 Tahun 1998 tentang Pemberian Visa dan Izin Keimigrasian Bagi Wisatawan Lanjut Usia Mancanegara.
If you think you may qualify or be interested in an ITAP status someday, you might want to save all the documents you receive from the immigration office/s throughout the years, as they will help you to prepare your application.
New rates for ITAP-related expenses have been passed with PP No. 45/2014 which came into effect on 3 July 2014. These are the costs for ITAP:
- Non electronic ITAP valid for 5 years (ITAP non elektronik dengan masa berlaku 5 tahun): Rp 3,500,000
According to the Immigration Law Pasal 59 ayat (2): Holders of ITAP with unlimited validity are obliged to report to the Immigration Office every 5 years and will not be charged. So normally you will have to make only 2 payments for ITAP, i.e. 3,000,000 (non electronic) or 3,200,000 (E-ITAP) and the cost of extension, i.e. 10,000,000 (non electronic) or 10,200,000 (E-ITAP).
Documents needed for ITAP renewal:
- Surat Permohonan
Semua persyaratan tersebut di kopi rangkap 3.
Service Visas are given to foreign citizens bearing service passports, on assignment to Indonesia for diplomatic purposes. They are working in Indonesia under official government entities such as UN bodies, aid organizations, etc. Visa Dinas are directly handled by the Indonesian government department who employees the expats and they apply direct to the Foreign Ministry (Menlu) to process the visa. Private agents are not allowed to handle this type of visa.
March 2016 Update
There are now 169 countries that have the visa-free facility based on Presidential Regulation Number 21 of 2016 signed on 2 March 2016. Previously the visa-free facility was given to 45 countries in June 2015 then in September 2015 the number of countries was increased to 90.
The Presidential Regulation Number 21 of 2016 states that visa-free visits are for 30 days and cannot be extended or converted to another kind of permit.
Visa-free visitors can enter and leave Indonesia through 124 Immigration posts on land, sea and air.
Foreigners with visa-free entry can carry out activities for tourism, family visits, social purposes, art and culture, government duties, to give talks and seminars, join international exhibitions, attend meetings in central or regional offices in Indonesia, and in transit to other countries.
If 30 days is not enough, note that Visa-Free period CANNOT be extended or converted into any other type of visa. If you want to stay longer than 30 days, you need a VISA ON ARRIVAL - VOA (only available upon your arrival). or a Visit Visa. BE AWARE of this extension limitation before you make your travel plans!
The purpose of the visa-free facility is intended to improve the economy in general and increase the number of overseas tourists.
With the 2016 regulation, the goverment intended to iron out a lot of the difficulties previously experienced when entry and exit were only through 9 ports, and where the purpose was only for tourism. They have also made it the same for all 169 countries including the original 15 countries that previously had more privileges than the later 75.
Passports must be valid for a minimum of six months from the date of arrival. Onward or return tickets must be shown on arrival. Additionally, APAC cardholders may be entitled to a free visa on arrival under the terms of their scheme.
CAUTION: carefully check the visa stamped in your passport to make sure that those who do pay the $35 receive the extendable VOA and not the free but non-extendable visa.
Please be sure to inform your arriving guests about the differences between the VOA and Visa-Free Entry, so that they don't inadvertently end up with the incorrect visa, impacting their ability to extend their VOA!
In case of overstaying a visa, a penalty of Rp 300,000 per day will be incurred.
There is no cost for the Visa-Free Entry.
List of countries awarded visa-free privileges to enter Indonesia for 30 days:
Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chili, China, Comoros, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao, Madagascar, Macedonia, Maldives, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenada, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, The Netherlands, The Philippines, The Vatican, Timor Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe. (see official country list)
The Visa on Arrival is for persons who are visiting Indonesia for a short period (30-60 days) as a tourist, for business, or to attend a conference or meeting. This visa is NOT for expatriates intending to work and live for an extended period of time. The VOA is a single entry visa; it terminates when you leave the country and you must get a new VOA on your next visit.
Remember that both the date of arrival and the date of departure will count as one day each in the 30 day stay limit. Overstaying your visa is a punishable offense and you WILL incur a fine for each day you overstay.
211 is the index for a visit visa (non-working purpose) that can be issued for various reasons including governmental, business, tourism and socio cultural, and allows you to stay for a maximum 60 days. Of these types, only the tourist VOA cannot be extended, the others can.
To emphasize, we will repeat - no employment of any kind, paid or unpaid, is allowed on a VOA or visit visa!
Once the visa is issued, you have 3 months (90 days) to use it to enter Indonesia. Once you arrive, it's good for 30/60 days (see what's stamped in your passport!). If you want to renew it, start the process at least 7-10 days before it expires.
On some Garuda Indonesia medium-long haul flights, there is an “Immigration Onboard” program through which an Indonesian immigration officer will process your Visa on Arrival before you leave the departure airport. At the time you arrive in Jakarta, you can skip the Visa on Arrival counter and head straight to Immigration counter. In these cases, the Visa on Arrival is payable in local currency at the departure airport (e.g. for flights departing from Sydney, you can pay with AUD instead of USD).
Article 16 of PerMen No. 27/2014 states that one can submit an extension request as early as 14 days but not later than the last day before the Visa expires. One can extend the VOA for an additional 30 days at any "Kantor Imigrasi" (immigration office) in Indonesia. If you do it yourself, it will cost you Rp 355,000.
To extend your Visa on Arrival requires several visits to the immigration office (3 visits over 5+ days) to process the extension. The extension application requires:
Note: Only ONE extension is allowed for a VOA. If you want to stay longer (than the 2nd 30-day period), you will have to leave the country and then re-enter on a new VOA.
1st Visit - About 7-10 days before the original VOA expires, go to the Visa Kunjungan counter at the nearest Kantor Imigrasi with your sponsor and pick up 2 forms and a folder (Forms and folder should be free). If you have all needed documents and photocopies (see above) and your sponsor with you, it will save a trip as you can fill out the forms, and sign and submit them at the same time. Be prepared to wait if you want to accomplish all of this in the first visit. You will then receive a receipt and be advised when to return to the office.
Note: Depending on the immigration office policy, if you have all of the required documents and photocopies and your sponsor with you, you may be digitally photographed and fingerprinted and pay the 355,000 Rupiah during the first visit. If so you will then receive a receipt that you will bring with you when you return to pick up your passport on a day directed by the office, usually in 2 to 3 days.
2nd Visit - If you completed all of the VOA Extension requirements during your first visit, return to the immigration office on the designated day and present the receipt and pick up your passport with your new visa.
If you were not digitally photographed and fingerprinted and had not paid the 355,000 Rupiah fee on the first visit, this will be accomplished on the second visit. When you go back to present your receipt from visit 1 and pay the Rp 355,000 Rupiah fee and the immigration office will then take your digital photo and fingerprints (in one extension process only). You will then receive a receipt for your payment detailing what it was for. If you want to wait, you can return to the visa kunjungan counter and give them the copy of the slip and wait for the passport. Note: The local immigration office may advise you to pick up your passport with the new visa the next day.
3rd Visit - If necessary, the next day you go back to pick up your passport and new visa.*
The need for a local sponsor, and the multiple trips to the immigration office, is a reason why many people choose to use agents, but it isn't necessary as one can take care of the process themselves.
Sample Sponsor/Extension Letter - is not needed if your sponsor accompanies you.
*Note, several community members actually were able to complete the process above in 2 visits because they came with all documents in hand and their sponsor during the first visit.
Citizens of other countries not on the visa on arrival or visa free lists will be required to apply for a visa overseas - in their home country - before entering Indonesia. Citizens of any country wishing to stay more than 30 days must also apply for an appropriate visa (cultural visit or business visit) at their nearest Indonesian Embassy or Consulate before traveling to Indonesia.
Tour agents are able to arrange express handling for groups at no additional charge by presenting the completed immigration cards, passports and applicable visa fee. Passengers who overstay their visa period for a short period of time can be processed immediately at the airport by paying Rp 200,000 for every day they overstayed their 30-day visa (as per PP 38/2009). Airlines that experience technical difficulties or delayed flights can apply for their passengers to be exempted from paying any overstay penalties.
To avoid the long wait at airports to apply for a visa on arrival, and if you want to stay for 60 days, you must apply for a visit visa at the Indonesian consular office in your home country. The consular office at Indonesian embassies (outside of Indonesia) can issue a 60-day visit visa.
Note: A tourist VOA on arrival cannot be transformed in a Visit visa, or a semi-permanent stay visa, or any other form of visa.
A tip: "Beware of the 30-day counting trap! The way the immigration officials count the 30-day period is: you arrive on the 1st day with, for instance, get a 30-day visa, and you must leave on the 30th day (not the 31st or the first of the next month, as you might think). This is actually their policy for how to count the days. After getting burned once and learning my lesson, I see their point and follow their definition of 30 days."
If you want to stay in Indonesia LONGER than 60 days, you must leave the country and re-enter on a new VOA/visit visa. People commonly fly to Singapore or Timor for this. There is no stipulation on the time you must stay outside Indonesia, in fact, you can return the same day if you want and be issued a new visa upon your arrival in Indonesia.
Persons coming to Indonesia for short term stays (longer than 60 days allowed on VOA), not as tourists and not for business, should apply for another category of visa - the Visa Kunjungan (Social/Cultural Visit Visa) at an Indonesian consular office overseas. A letter of invitation/sponsorship from a sponsor in Indonesia is required. This can be an Indonesian citizen or a foreigner with a Temporary (ITAS) or Permanent (ITAP) Resident permit. You should also have a photocopy of the sponsor's ID card (KTP or ITAS /ITAP) to present along with the letter. This visa status is used by persons coming to study, for research, training programs or to visit family members (for example, expat college age children who want to stay longer than a VOA visa would allow).
The letter of invitation/sponsorship must include:
You might have to include a bank statement to guarantee availability of funds for covering their expenses. They may also have to provide proof of return or onward ticket (onward ticket to any destination booked for a date no later than 6 months after your date of entry into Indonesia for the maximum stay of the sosbud. An onward ticket means any plane, boat or bus ticket for any destination outside Indonesia.
So, in list form, you need:
- a letter of sponsor which invites to stay in Indonesia (see above bulleted list for contents of letter).
Visa extensions are granted for 30 days each. You can extend your sosial budaya visa up to 4 times for a total maximum stay of 180 days. Go in person for the first extension, subsequent extensions can be done by an agent, if you choose. The two first extensions will be granted by the Kantor Imigrasi, while the two last will require a prior approval from the Kantor Wilayah before issuance by the Kantor Imigrasi. Each extension has a legal fee of Rp 250.000. They may ask you to buy the forms for anything between Rp 10,000 to 30,000. Though this last fee has no legal basis, it is customary.
Extensions are not guaranteed. You can only submit a “permohonan” (request). However, if you do follow the procedures carefully, you will minimize the chance of a refusal. If they decide to refuse it, ask your sponsor to request a Surat Keterangan Penolakan remitted to him, stating the reasons why the immigration department refused the extension. This is the law; they must list the reasons why they refused you the extension. If they do refuse, go with your sponsor to the Kantor Wilayah and ask to talk to the Kepala Divisi Keimigrasian. If you have initiated the procedure of the extension no later than 7 days before the expiration of your visa, if you have submitted all of the requested documents, if you don't do anything illegal (working), if you have submitted a copy of your onward ticket, and if you have proven that you or your sponsor have enough money to pay for your expenses, the Imigrasi usually won't risk your sponsor filling a complaint to the Kantor Wilayah (district office).
Regulations necessitate a 3-working day processing for these visas in Singapore, Bangkok, or your home country ... but from some reports, this process only takes ONE working day in Kuala Lumpur. Wherever you choose to process the application, be sure to allow the correct amount of time.
Some expats have reported to us that 'facilitating agencies' can in fact still process visas in one working day in Singapore, and that the staff in the Consular section at the Singapore embassy can refer you to these companies. Of course, the fees are significantly higher than the usual method.
Important Note: While some cultural and education activities are covered by this class of visa, paid employment for any Indonesian legal entity is not allowed to holders of this class of visa, Sosial Budaya. You can be in Indonesia on a variety of visas, but you cannot legally work on a Visit visa - even if your employer is processing your IMTA. You cannot work legally while waiting for the work permit unless the government issues a special permit to allow you to work on a non-work visa.
SAVE money ... on visa runs through Batam
NEW - this regulation came into effect on June 28, 2016.
Five-year visit visas are available for anyone except diplomats and people in government service. These Multiple Entry Visit Visas are valid for 5 years from the date of issue, according to a new Government Regulation. This Government Regulation was signed on 27 June 2016 by President Jokowi as PP Number 26 Year 2016 Concerning Alteration to PP Number 31/2013 Concerning Regulation for the Implementation of Law Number 6/2011 Concerning Immigration.
Stay permits for holders of multiple entry visit visas cannot be extended with the exception of ex-Indonesian citizens and their families.
Ex-Indonesian citizens (who are now citizens of other countries) and their family members, can not only get a multiple-entry visas which is valid for five years, but with this visa they can extend their stay permits twice, each time for 60 days, resulting in a total stay of 6 months in Indonesia (if they choose to do the allowed 2 extensions). Family members are designated as legal spouse and children of ex-Indeosnain citizens who are under the age of 18 and not yet married.
People who are not ex-Indonesian citizens who hold a multiple entry visit visas cannot extend their stay permit at all. People who are not ex-Indonesian citizens who hold a single entry visit visa can extend their stay permit 4 times for 30 days each time making a total of 6 months.
All persons coming to Indonesia for business purposes (as opposed to just a short term tourist or study trip) for a period to exceed 60-days are required to obtain a business visa.
A business visa does not allow a foreigner to work or be gainfully employed in Indonesia, but only to conduct business negotiations, short term work assignments or training assignments. If you plan to work in Indonesia for a period of time, you must have an ITAS and a proper IMTA.
A single entry business visa can be extended two times after a one-month stay (one month for each extension). If you have a multiple entry business visa (MBV), after a 60-day stay the visa can be extended four times (one month for each extension). You can enter Indonesia as many times as you want in a one year period on the multiple entry business visa, as long as you don't stay more than 60 days on each visit.
If you enter on a multiple-entry business visa, you are not required to get an exit permit each time you leave.
Please be aware, however, that there may be Indonesian income tax obligations if you are in Indonesia on a business visa for more than 6 months in one year.
If you plan to temporarily work in Indonesia for a few months, you must apply for a temporary working visa index 457. Your sponsoring/employing company can apply for it at the Indonesian Immigration office in Jakarta. Upon entry into Indonesia with a temporary working visa index 457, you will get a 60-day visa stamped in your passport at the Indonesian Immigration airport. Within a few days after your arrival, you will have to apply for a temporary working permit at the Manpower Department, but you must first pay the DPKK fee or Skill and Development Fund fee of USD200 to cover your 60 day working period (USD100/month).
Online application for 212 business multi entry visa - The procedure now requires both the applicant and the sponsor (separately, with different logins and passwords) to fill out online applications and submit documentation. The applicant can't just submit a sponsor letter his/herself as in the past. In addition you have to go in person to Jakarta to get a hard copy of a permission letter that is required to retrieve your visa from your chosen embassy abroad. Without that letter you can't get your visa. It won't be emailed to you.
One person's experience: Its taken me over 9 months to finally get my visa renewed because my sponsoring company mis-entered information and in my attempts to correct my application I had multiple applications on file. They froze me out for suspicious activity but I was never able to speak to anyone to explain my situation. No one answers their phone help line and no one would speak to me in person at the immigration office. Finally the university international office intervened and after a couple of bribes, new letters, and several visits in person on their part resulted in unfreezing my application. Most people won't have access to this special intervention, however, so detailed information about the process is important for new expats and those renewing and unaware of the online system. The consequences of making a mistake in the online system can mess you up without recourse for fixing it.
Overstaying any type of visa is a serious offense if you have overstayed more than 60 days. If your overstay is less than 60 days, you will be fined Rp 200,000/day for every day you overstayed your visa and then deported once you have paid the fine. The maximum fine for overstaying a visa is Rp 25 million and 5 years in jail. If you inadvertently overstay, go IMMEDIATELY to the immigration officer at the airport once you realize it and explain the circumstances. Delaying the report will only make the situation worse.
There are only a few legitimate reasons for overstaying your visa - the main one being that you were ill and in the hospital or unable to travel. Once you realize you will not be able to leave before your visa expires, ask a friend to officially report your illness in writing to the local immigration office so that you officially acknowledge that you have overstayed your legal stay limit. This will lessen the monetary penalties. Don't wait until the immigration catches you!
For lots more advice on this subject see Overstaying Your Visa
Repeated Short-term Visas Necessitate Leaving the Country to get a New Visa
Choosing short term visas for a temporary measure while an ITAS is being sought is quite common. The Indonesian government does not approve of people working on these visas, yet they continue to grant them to people who repeatedly come back to Indonesia after a short trip outside the country. Another option to consider is a multiple-entry business visa. This requires zero trips to local Immigration office for an entire year, but you do need to go to Singapore every two months and then re-enter Indonesia.
Feedback from some visitors to this site that have been in this situation:
“According to Indonesian consular officials, it's perfectly legal to come to Indonesia on a 60-day VOA, leave before the end of the sixty days, flying out of Indonesia, then returning on a new 60-day VOA. There is no need to pay bribes or any other fees upon arrival in Indonesia.”
“Some immigration officers may suspect that you are working in Indonesia without a permit. They just wonder how you finance your living costs (extended holidays after having returned for the x-th time to Indonesia. That's why they might ask you some questions. Some officers might go further and try to put you in an embarrassing situation in order to extract bribes from you, or simply asking for some money. It's a psychological game. There is no general answer on how to deal with each kind of such situations. The best results come from staying polite and taking in easy.”
A calling visa is a requirement for some nationalities prior to entering Indonesia using another visa, i.e., VOA or Tourist visa.
Representative offices of the Republic of Indonesia may issue a visa with their own power (without the approval of the Director General of Immigration) for citizens of Calling Visa countries who have a permanent residency card in a country outside their home country, for participating in:
these visas can be issued if:
Recipients can be
See also: Peraturan Menteri Hukum dan Hak Asasi Manusia Republik Indonesia Nomor M.HH-01.GR.01.06 Tahun 2013 tentang Tata Cara Penetapan Negara Calling visa dan Pemberian Visa bagi Warga Negara dari Negara Calling
Other Important Documents
Note: Under the recent immigration law changes, there will no longer be single entry permits, only multiple exit/reentry permits (MERP).
Whenever a foreigner holding an ITAS or ITAP wants to leave Indonesia for a short period, they are required to apply for an exit/re-entry permit from the immigration office. The permit is stamped into your passport.
A multiple exit/re-entry permit allows you to leave and reenter Indonesia as many times as needed during the validity of the permit. For ITAS holders, the permit can be issued for 6 months or 1 year. For ITAP holders the permit can only be issued for 2 years (not less).
In other words, if you have an ITAS, you can only get a Multiple Exit Reentry Permit for the same length of time as the validity of the ITAS. You can spend as much time as you want abroad as long as you return to Indonesia before the MERP and ITAS expire.
It is advisable to always have a valid multiple re-entry permit stamped in your passport just in case of the need for an emergency departure, such as illness in a family member back home or a medical emergency for a member of your family in Jakarta or the need to escape an situation of civil unrest.
The fees concerning exit/re-entry permit, as indicated in Peraturan Pemerintah nomor 45 tahun 2014 as follows:
It normally takes 2-3 working days to process your Exit/Re-entry Permit. To apply you'll need:
Forms and folder should be free.
MERP expiring while you're out of the country?
Be aware that If the permit is going to expire while you are out of the country, you may
lose your ITAS /ITAP if you don't take action. You would then have to go to an Indonesian embassy to apply for a new visa all over again
(not another permit).
If at all possible, it would still be advisable to handle the renewal/extension in Indonesia before you leave the country asa it should be much easier to accomplish.
Should contain this information: name, place of birth, date of birth, profession, income, nationality, KTP, address of your sponsor, your name, nationality, passport number, relationship with the sponsor, date, signature of the sponsor, and meterai (Rp 6,000 duty stamp).
When you are reading to leave Indonesia for good you will need to turn in your ITAS and obtain an 'exit only' permit from the immigration office. After getting the EPO stamped on your passport, a copy of the stamp is needed to apply for cancellation on your SKPPS (if you have it) and your Work Permit. You must turn in the original documents to each department who issued the permits. The EPO is only valid for 7 days, before leaving Indonesia.
For foreigners who give birth in Indonesia, it will be necessary to get a local birth certificate before a foreign passport can be issued for your baby. Then, you will need to apply for a limited stay permit (ITAS visa for your baby, if both of the parents are foreigners, which will follow the visa of the working spouse.
You will have to first get a Surat Keterangan Kelahiran from the hospital where the mother gave birth. With this document you go to Catatan Sipil (Civil Registry office to obtain the formal birth Certificate (Akte Kelahiran). Though you should have 60 days to report the birth to the Catatan Sipil office (Pasal 27 undang undang 23 tahun 2006 tentang Administrasi Kependudukan), you have ONLY 15 days to do so to the immigration office (Kantor Imigrasi).
If the mother or the father is Indonesian, and the baby is born after August 1st 2006, the baby is automatically an Indonesian citizen. However, you will still have to report the birth to the Kantor Imigrasi, even though the baby is Indonesian (as per law 12/2006 about Citizenship For more information.
Effective 1 January 2011, Indonesian residents, including expatriates, will no longer be required to pay fiscal tax each time they depart the country nor produce their tax ID card to receive an exemption. Fiscal Tax Changes Effective January 2011 - Read the Government Letter explaining this decision
The amount of the airport tax depends on the airport you are flying from and whether your flight is domestic or international. You pay this tax at the airport prior to departure costs are as follows:
Some rates above may not be current!
In the past, expatriates holding an ITAS card had to register with the National Police within 30 days of issuance of their Stay Permit.
However, effective January 1, 2014, foreigners no longer have to obtain these police documents. The official announcement from Mabes Polri/the Central Police Dept. SPRIN/2471/XII/2013 tgl. 23 Desember Tentang Penghentian Surat Keterangan Lapor Diri (SKLD). This applies in all regions of the country.
Here is a copy of the SKLD Announcement (in Bahasa Indonesia) - print it out and take it with you to show to any government official that asks you to show them your SKLD!
However, it is still mandatory that the Surat Tanda Melapor (STM) should be obtained from the resort police department in the area where the foreign expatriate and their family members are living in Indonesia. It takes 1 to 2 working days to process the application of an STM.
SKCK - Police Letter/Certificate of Good Conduct from Police
If you are applying for a visa in another country after your stay in Indonesia, they may ask you to include a Police Document from Indonesia which establishes an expatriate's lack of criminal record during their stay.
You can obtain this "Certificate of Good Conduct" from the Indonesian Police Department - Indonesian Police Certificates (SKCK). To find out more about how to obtain that, visit the Certificate of Good Conduct: Indonesian Police Certificate - Surat Keterangan Catatan Kepolisian (SKCK) page.
All ITAS and ITAP holders are required to register at the Dinas Pendudukan in the Civil Registry office in order to get a KTP Orang Asing (Foreigner's ID card). Process is quick, easy and free - but very important.
What is required for the registration?
You can opt out of getting an old version of the KTP and get your photo and fingerprints taken for the electronic KTP (kartu tanda penduduk) instead.
Report your Resident Status to your local RT
Although there is no document required, once you have established yourself in your place of residence you must report your presence to the local Neighborhood Head, the Rukun Tetangga; RT (pronounced err-tay). You will undoubtedly have contact with him in the future regarding various community matters, such as garbage collection and security, so it is important that he knows you have moved into the community.
The Indonesian government periodically announces a new regulation wherein all expatriates resident in Indonesia must register with the Immigration Department for an Expatriate Registration number. This is billed as a routine registration of all foreigners living in Indonesia. The last time this registration were held was in 2001 and 1986, though an immigration official told us that there is a regulation that says it must be done every five years. When asked why we need to register when we already have a visa ... the immigration official said that “sometimes foreigners go home and don't tell us ... so this is the only way we can know how many foreigners really live in Indonesia.” He stipulated that the information went to the central immigration office (kantor pusat).
If the registration is required again, take your original passport, ITAS /ITAP, and two 3 X 4 cm photos to the immigration office that issued your visa ... and fill out their form in duplicate. No need to bring photocopies of anything - just the originals. The whole procedure takes about 15 minutes and is free. For more information
You may get a letter from your local kecamatan (district office) or RT (neighborhood chief) asking you to register ... this is for the same thing as the immigration's expat registration.
Officially, an SKTT is no longer required for an expatriate worker and his family members in Jakarta. However for expats and their families who live in other provinces, the SKTT/ Domicile Permits are still mandatory, for foreigners recently arriving in Indonesia. If you need this document in the town you are living in, the Human Resources department in the working spouse's office should apply and obtain it for you.
While we know that the SKTT is not logner required for expats living in Jakarta, we also know that if you own a car in Indonesia, the SKTT or Domicile Letter will be required to renew documents and in the past you've needed it to get a drivers license and renew your car's ownership documents. Confused, that's what changing regulations causes. When in doubt, check with your company's human resources department to be sure that they've obtained all the required documents for you!
Foreign Individuals who have obtained a work permit and an ITAS are considered residents, just as citizens are. As such, they must register with the local municipality's population office (Kantor Catatan Sipil - or Civil Registry to obtain a Certificate of Registration for Temporary Resident (SKPPS).
SKTT - Surat Keterangan Tempat Tinggal A Certificate of Place of Residence must be obtained from the Sub-district Office (Kantor Kelurahan in your area.
SKPRK - Surat Keterangan Penelitian Registrasi Kependudukan
SKPPS - Surat Keterangan Pendaftaran Penduduk Sementara (Certificate of Registration for Temporary Resident) - information on SKPPS application process
Beginning in 1998, foreigners holding an ITAP visa (Permanent resident are able to obtain a Kartu Keluarga WNA (family card for foreigners), model number OS-01B. This Kartu Keluarga enables you to apply for a KTP Warga Negara Asing (Foreigners ID card). With this KTP WNA, you can apply for a 5-year driver’s license.
See more information about the importance of Kartu Keluarga for families of mixed Indonesian-foreign marriages.
Drivers License and Vehicle RegistrationPlease refer to Making a Driver's License for information on these documents.
There are a plethora of agents which can assist you in obtaining your documentation. They range from scam artists to small time operators who have a cousin who works for immigration to legitimate businesses. Be extremely wary of the claims of an agent who doesn't come highly recommended from friends or colleagues. Look at the classified listings in the Jakarta Post for names of agents. Tell them you are shopping around to compare prices and that should bring their prices way down.
The danger is not only that the agent will charge you an excessive amount for his assistance, but that he will complete the documentation incorrectly. This could, needless to say, cause you numerous difficulties in the future. The best bet is to use an agent that has given good service at reasonable rates to your friends and colleagues. Remember, something that sounds too good to be true is usually just that.
A new class of professional Document Services has arisen in recent years which gives an entirely different class of service that the average calo; or broker. Again, let the experience of others be your guide to a wise choice.
For information on visas and documentation required for them, call the South Jakarta Immigration office at 021-522-4658 ext 2203 or 2200. Hours: 8:00am to 4:00pm. Closed for lunch hour 12:00-1:00.
For information on ... Indonesian Individual Incomes Taxes
In order to avoid the risk of loss or theft of the original copy of your Passport, ITAP or ITAS card, or other important documents, and the resulting hassles to replace them, many expatriates keep the original at their home/office in a secure place and carry only a photocopy of the most important identity documents.
Be aware that you may be asked to produce documents by police/other oficials. This is the law that governs this is Article 71 of the Immigration Law:
Setiap Orang Asing yang berada di Wilayah Indonesia wajib: a. memberikan segala keterangan yang diperlukan mengenai identitas diri dan/atau keluarganya serta melaporkan setiap perubahan status sipil, kewarganegaraan, pekerjaan, Penjamin, atau perubahan alamatnya kepada Kantor Imigrasi setempat; atau b. memperlihatkan dan menyerahkan Dokumen Perjalanan atau Izin Tinggal yang dimilikinya apabila diminta oleh Pejabat Imigrasi yang bertugas dalam rangka pengawasan Keimigrasian.
We advise that you keep copies of all your relevant immigration documents at both your office and home, just in case you are caught in an occasional 'sweeping' check of expat documents. These are relatively routine operations that are conducted periodically and are not necessarily an effort to harass or otherwise inconvenience the foreign community. They are usually checking for people who are here illegally. If you are here legally and your papers are complete and up-to-date, you have nothing to fear.
Do be careful, however, about bogus officials wanting to check your documents. You should always ask for a 'surat tugas' which is the letter from their office detailing what they are allowed to do in the field. If they don't have a surat tugas ... it would be wise to not show them anything! Ask them to return once they have the surat tugas. Or, refer them to the working spouse's office for any further needed information on documentation.
And by no means pay any bribes to these officials. It would only ensure their repeated return to your place of residence, or encourage them to prey on other unsuspecting foreigners. Again, if you are here legally and have the documents to prove it, there is nothing to fear. If you are approached or threatened by suspicious persons, try to get their names, affiliations and contact numbers.
VITAS - Temporary Stay Permit Visa (Visa Izin Tinggal Terbatas)
Our thanks to Marilyn Ardipradja, and other community members for all their help with updates on this page!
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