Essential Employment Paperwork in Indonesia



Obtaining a visa for Indonesia can be tricky because of the bureaucracy that makes the process notoriously complicated. Expats who are planning on working in this beautiful Asian archipelago should apply for the correct type of visa that corresponds to their purpose of visit to avoid legal consequences.

Keep in mind that it is quite difficult for foreign nationals to stay in Indonesia for work purposes due to the requirements and strict immigration so it is best to contact the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for up to date application procedures. Indonesia has several types of visas but expats who wish to engage in gainful employment are required to secure both a work permit and a limited stay visa. The first step for aspiring expats is to secure a prospective employer in Indonesia who will take care of the work permit application on their behalf. The whole process of securing the essential employment paperwork for Indonesia is stated below: 

Work Permit 

In Indonesia, it is always best to have a firm job offer before flying in since their future Indian employer will also serve as their visa sponsor. Take note that an employer needs first to obtain a special work permit called the Ijin Mempekerjakan Tenaga Kerja Asing (IMTA) from the Ministry of Manpower. The permit will only be granted if the foreign national has skills that are not available from the pool of local applicants because the Indonesian government is strictly prioritising the employment of its citizens. 

Limited-Stay Visa 

Once the Ministry of Manpower has issued the special work permit, the employer will have to request for a Visa Izin Tinggal Terbatas (VITAS) or also known as the limited stay visa on behalf of the employee. The Ministry will send a letter of recommendation to the General Directorate of Immigration in Jakarta whose job is to approve the applications and notify the Indonesian Embassy/Consulate in the expatriate’s home country where the Limited-Stay Visa will be issued. The VITAS is usually valid for one year and is available for renewal. 

Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas (KITAS) or Temporary Residency Permit 

Expats who will arrive in Indonesia under the VITAS or limited stay visa are required to report to the office of the regional immigration within seven days of their arrival to apply for a KITAS. It normally takes about two weeks before the KITAS card is released and is issued with a minimum validity of one year. Expats can renew this permit every 12 months for up to five years. Some of the required documents for the KITAS application are: 

  • Valid Passport
  • Embarkation Card
  • Proof of Limited-stay visa
  • Indonesian sponsor’s National ID card or Employer’s full details
  • Four Passport-sized photos 

After five years of possessing a KITAS, the holder has an option to apply for a Kartu Izin Tinggal Tetap (KITA) or Permanent Residency Permit which is valid for five years and can be extended for four more five-year periods. 

Aside from the KITAS, the Blue Book is another essential document for foreign nationals that can be obtained at the Immigration's Office for the Supervision of Foreigners. It is where all official activities of the expat are documented such as visa extensions, stamps for new visas and multiple exit or re-entry permits.