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Working in Surabaya

Find out how to get a job and work in Surabaya

Surabaya can offer a wide range of working opportunities for expats, from the leading retail sector, to business and investments. Its favorable geographical position guarantees an international work environment, with many chances for expats planning on working in Surabaya.

Need to move abroad? Organizing an international relocation is not something you should do on your own. As expats, we understand what you need, and offer the the essential services to help you move and live abroad easily. Contact us today to jump start your move, and begin the preparations with our free relocation checklist.

Employment in Surabaya

Many people working in Surabaya are employed in the retail sector, with Surabaya being a popular shopping destination with a wide range of malls available. However, expats will find there is an array of opportunities available, especially in business. The rise in foreign investment in Surabaya in recent years has opened up many doors for expats considering moving to Surabaya.

Local Economy

The local economy in Surabaya is heavily dependent on retail, but as one of the busiest ports in the south-east Asia region, there are also a lot of exporting businesses in the city.

With its strong geographical advantages, Surabaya is primed as a city with a big economic potential, and expats can make the most of its growth by moving there early. 

Many high rise skyscrapers are currently being built in Surabaya, featuring apartments, condominiums, and hotels, in a bid to attract more expats to the area. Foreign investment is likely to see more major construction projects spring up around the city and that is likely to lead to even more opportunities opening up for expats moving to Surabaya. 

Job Hunting in Surabaya

The services and retail sectors are two of the most dominant industries in Surabaya, but expats can try their luck with jobs in business, exports, and construction if they are willing to carry out some research. A first source for jobs in Surabaya can be the internet, with job sites such as JobsDB.com and Indeed.com including listings for the city. Alternatively, those looking to teach English in Surabaya best refer to TEFL-specialized websites such as Asia Teaching Jobs and Tefl.com, or get in touch with local language schools directly.

Work Permits for Surabaya

Employers are responsible for work permit applications and government approval must be obtained before proceeding to apply for a work permit on the behalf of a foreign worker.

A Manpower Utilization Plan for a Foreign Worker — or Rencana Penempatan Tenaga Kerja Asing — must also be obtained for a work permit to be granted.

Once this has been approved, a VITAS Visa can be applied for by the employer, which leads to a Letter of Recommendation to the Department of Immigration being issued. 

The entire process can take up to 30 days and expats moving to Surabaya should go to the regional immigration office within days of arriving in Indonesia to get their temporary residence card (KITAS). Work permits for senior positions held by foreigners can be valid for up to three years and they are also renewable. For all other positions, work permits are valid for one year only, again with the option to renew.

Foreign workers employed in Indonesia also need to pay income tax and therefore they need to register with the Indonesian Tax Office.

Do you want to relocate? If you have never moved abroad, the process will be overwhelming, and if you have, you know the burden that lies ahead. Whatever stage you are at, InterNations GO! can help you with a complete set of relocation services, such as home finding, school search, visa solutions, and even pet relocation. Our expert expat team is ready to get your relocation going, so why not jump-start your move abroad and contact us today? Best to start early!

Updated on: September 23, 2021
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Join Our Exciting Events in Surabaya

Once we've helped you move to Surabaya, we can make you feel at home by introducing you to other expats who have already settled and are part of our Surabaya Community. Attend our monthly events and activities in Surabaya and get to know like-minded expats in real life.

InterNations Summer Hot Pool Casual Party

Start date Nov 25, 2019, 6:30 PM

Attendees 14

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Xmas Celebration with Tan's Art Workshop & Gift Exchange!

Start date Dec 7, 2019, 2:30 PM

Attendees 14

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InterNations Surabaya - Mental Health & Wellbeing

Start date Aug 6, 2020, 7:00 PM

Attendees 20

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InterNations Surabaya 14th SANE-iversary

Start date Sep 19, 2021, 10:00 AM

Attendees 169

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