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There are a variety of visas foreign visitors can apply for depending on their purpose of visit.

Business Visas

This is a single-entry visa valid for 60 days upon arrival and can be extended up to four times. This type of visa is intended for businesspeople who are engaging in meetings in the country, attending conferences, or undertaking market research.

This visa must be sponsored by a legal entity in Indonesia and the holders are not allowed to gain employment while in the country. 

The application requirements for the business visa is as follows: 

  • A passport valid for at least six months;
  • A letter of invitation from the Indonesian-based sponsor mentioning the purpose of the applicant’s visit, and length of stay. The Indonesian sponsor will also need to do an online application to the immigration office in Jakarta on behalf of the applicant;
  • The process usually takes five working days by which the immigration office will issue a visa approval letter. This will then be sent to the applicant’s nearest Indonesian Embassy, who will issue the
  • A business cover letter from the applicant’s own company;
  • One passport-sized photograph (white background);
  • A copy of the applicant’s round trip, electronic airline ticket;
  • Pay the US$50 fee; and
  • A bank statement proving the applicant has at least US$1,500. 

Multiple entry business visas

Multiple entry business visas allow foreign visitors to make repeated trips into Indonesia for one year. The visa, however, has a 60-day limit upon arrival, meaning that visitors will have to leave the country before it expires before entering Indonesia again.

The requirements for obtaining this visa type is the same as that of the business visa. The fee is US$100. 

Working visas

Under Ministry of Manpower issued Regulation No. 8 of 2021(MOM Reg 8/2021), it is the duty of the sponsor company seek approval from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for approval of a Foreign Worker Utilization Plan (Rencana Penggunaan Tenaga Kerja Asing (RPTKA)).

[tips title="Important Tip"]The applicant’s sponsor must then pay US$100 in advance as part of the Development Fund for Expatriate Workers Law (DKPTKA) to the MOM. This amount is to be paid monthly to the MOM. [/tips]

 If the RPTKA is approved, the foreign worker can legally work in Indonesia. After this, the immigration office can issue a limited stay visa (VITAS). Upon arriving in Indonesia, the applicant must convert their VITAS into a limited stay permit (KITAS). 

Foreign employees in Indonesia are not allowed to obtain work in the following sectors: 

  • Human resource management;
  • Industrial relation manager;
  • Personnel development manager;
  • Employee career development supervisor;
  • Job advisor;
  • Employee mediator;
  • Personnel recruitment supervisor;
  • Job interviewer;
  • Job training administrator;
  • Job analyst; and
  • Occupational safety specialist.

To ease the hiring of foreign workers in Indonesia, the government issued Regulation 34 of 2021 (GR34/2021) and MOM Reg 8/2021.

Under these regulations, local companies looking to employ a foreign worker must prepare a Foreign Worker Utilization Plan (Rencana Penggunaan Tenaga Kerja Asing (RPTKA)) — a document that details the specific work, position, and length of employment the foreign employee will undertake in Indonesia. The RPTKA now also serves as the basis for the MOM to grant visas and stay permits.

Types of RPTKA

There are four types of RPTKA categorized under MOM 8/2021.

RPTKA Categories

RPTKA type

Validity

Temporary work (production quality control, filming work, installation of machines etc)

Valid for up to six months and cannot be extended

Employment for more than six months

Valid for up to two years with possibility for extension

Employment that does not require payment to the Foreign Worker Utilization Compensation Fund

Valid for up to two years with possibility for extension

Employment in special economic zones (SEZ)

Valid for five years with possibility for extension; or

The SEZ RPTKA for directors or commissioners can be granted for a period as needed by the employer

What is the process of hiring foreign workers in Indonesia?

It is the responsibility of the local company to apply for the RPTKA, which can be done through the online portal, under the Ministry of Manpower.  If the application is for less than 50 foreign workers – then the application is addressed to the Director-General of Manpower Placement Guidance and Expansion of Work Opportunity (Direktur Jenderal Pembinaan Penempatan Tenaga Kerja dan Perluasan Kesempatan Kerja).

Who can apply?

According to MOM 8/2021, employers that can employ foreign workers include:

  • Government institutions, international bodies, and foreign state representatives;
  • Foreign trade representatives, foreign news agencies conducting activities in Indonesia, and foreign representative offices;
  • Foreign private companies conducting business in Indonesia;
  • Legal entities such as private limited companies established in Indonesia;
  • Social, religious, or cultural institutions;
  • Entertainment management entities; and
  • Other business entities are allowed to employ foreign workers.

RPTKA assessment

Once submitted, the MOM will conduct a feasibility study to see if the employer and prospective employee meet all the requirements. Employers are required to submit the following information:

  • Identity of the employer;
  • Reasons for utilizing a foreign worker;
  • The position of the foreign worker within the company’s organization structure;
  • Number of foreign workers being employed;
  • Contract length of the foreign employee;
  • Working location of the foreign employee;
  • Proof of mandatory employment reporting by the employer; and
  • Statement letter affirming the following:
    • The designation of the Indonesian employee(s) assigned as a co-worker to the foreign employee;
    • The Indonesian employee(s) will receive training or education from the foreign employee in accordance with the position and qualifications of the foreign employee; and
    • Ensure the foreign worker returns to their home country once their work contract expires.
  • Future plans to absorb Indonesian workers.

The results of this assessment will be issued in no more than two working days.

Personal information submission

The employer can submit the personal information and documents of the foreign worker after the RPTKA assessment or during the submission of the RPTKA documents. The personal information will be verified by the MOM within two working days.

RPTKA approval and payment

If the documents and information declared to the MOM are correct and complete, the MOM will issue a payment notification letter for the amount of US$100 to the Foreign Workers Compensation Fund (Dana Kompensasi Penggunaan Tenaga Kerja Asing or DKP-TKA). This amount is to be paid to the MOM every month.

Once the employer has made the payment, the MOM will issue the RPTKA approval, and the data will be sent to the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, who will process the visa and stay permits.

Annual reporting obligations

Employers must submit an annual report to the MOM that covers the scope of the foreign worker’s employment, the education or training facilitated to Indonesian co-workers, and the types of technology transfer implemented.

RPTKA exemptions

There are RPTKA exemptions for foreign workers that are the members of the board of directors, members of the board of commissioners, diplomatic or consular staff, or are hired by the local employer in connection to emergency activities, vocational activities, or in connection to production activities of an Indonesian-based tech startup.

Specifically, for tech-based startups and vocational training activities, the RPTKA exemption lasts for no more than three months, after which the company must apply for RPTKA approval. This application must be submitted at least two weeks before the expiration of the period of employment of the foreign worker, as stated in the foreign worker employment statement letter, which is issued in place of an RPTKA approval.

Permanent stay visas

The permanent stay visa (KITAP) allows expatriates to permanently stay in Indonesia. To qualify for this visa, expatriate workers would need to have held a KITAS for four consecutive years, work in the same company, and having the same position. As with other visas, applicants will need a local sponsor. In addition to their employer, this could also be their spouse (who must be Indonesian).

Visa on arrival

Foreign tourists can obtain visas on arrival at any of the country’s main international airports. Those that are eligible must belong to one of the 73 nationalities listed in the Directorate General of Immigration’s website. The visa is valid for 30 days and can be extended by an additional 30 days. Holders of this visa are not permitted to work in Indonesia.

Permitted Positions in Indonesia for Expatriates

Ministry of labor regulation No. 228 of 2019 (Reg 228, 2019

On August 27, 2019, Indonesia’s Ministry of Labor issued Regulation No. 228 of 2019 (Reg 228, 2019) to define the types of job positions foreign employees can hold in the country. The new regulation widens the number of positions open to expatriate workers, consolidates the list of positions into one, and simplifies the approval process for foreigners and their employers. 

Reg 228, 2019 lists more than 2,000 job titles across 18 sectors that can now be filled by expatriates. The job titles are taken directly from the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO), issued by the International Labor Organization (ILO). The job positions and the requirements in Reg 228, 2019 will be re-evaluated by the government in two years. 

This regulation was issued as an implementing regulation for Ministry of Labor Regulation No. 10 of 2018 (Reg 10, 2018), intended to attract highly skilled foreign employees into Indonesia. Regulation 10 was also designed to provide greater convenience for local employers – previous regulations regarding foreign workers were scattered across individual sectors.

Sectors and Positions Open to Foreign Employees

Sector

Number of positions available

Construction

181

Real estate

6

Education

780

Manufacturing/processing industry

70

Water and waste management, recycling, remediation

19

Art and entertainment

57

Transportation and warehousing

51

Hospitality and F&B

12

Agriculture, forestry and fisheries

10

Leasing, manpower, travel agencies, and other support services

3

Financial services and insurance

32

Health and social activities

4

Information and telecommunications

244

Mining and Excavation

592

Wholesale and retail trade, repair and maintenance of cars and motorcycles

46

Procurement of electricity, gas, geothermal, and cool air

40

Miscellaneous services

8

Professional, scientific, and technical activities

20

The full list of positions that can be filled by foreign employees can be found on page eight of Regulation 228, 2019. The sectors with the highest number of positions open to expatriates are construction, information technology, mining, and education. 

What does the reform mean for expatriates and employers?

The Ministry of Labor can now directly approve work permits for foreigners who hold titles or positions that are not listed in Regulation 228, 2019. Previously, applicants needed a recommendation from a relevant technical ministry before being approved by the Ministry of Labor, if their job title was not specifically mentioned as open to foreign employees. 

Regulation 228, 2019 also reiterates that expatriates are still able to hold positions as directors and commissioners (for non-HR roles) in Indonesian companies. 

Other aspects of Regulation 10, 2018 kept in Regulation 228, 2019 include the requirement of foreigners to have at least five years of work experience, more than eight for directors and commissioners, and the obligation to help transfer their expertise to their Indonesian colleagues or employees. 

The government hopes that this latest regulation will attract highly skilled and experienced foreign workers that can fill the skills gap in the Indonesian workforce. 

Many large-scale projects – particularly in sectors involving construction, banking, engineering, and energy – are struggling to find the workers they need to succeed because of a skills gap. 

The country’s strict labor laws, which make termination of employees extremely difficult, is another challenge for employers, particularly for foreign-invested employers, who do not have a full understanding of the HR industry in the country.

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