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Visa Requirements for Indonesia

Are you considering moving to Indonesia? If you would like this beautiful archipelago to become your new home, there are a few things to keep in mind. Relocating to Indonesia requires most people to be open-minded and ready for adventure. Read on to find out more about Indonesia in our expat guide, from housing to healthcare.
The colors of the Indonesian flag symbolize courage (red) and purity (white).

Expats wishing to relocate to Indonesia should be aware that they might need a visa to enter Indonesia, depending on the purpose and length of their stay. In the following paragraphs, you will find information on applying for a work visa for Indonesia, as well as how to obtain a residence and work permit. For information on the types of visas necessary to enter Indonesia for other purposes, including tourism, please consult our Living in Indonesia article.

The Challenge of Obtaining a Work Visa for Indonesia

Navigating through Indonesian bureaucracy can be a confusing process. First of all, it is important to know that you cannot apply for a work visa on your own. It is up to your future employer to obtain one for you.

Before a company can hire foreigners, they need to obtain a special work permit called an IMTA. This work permit can only be obtained if the company can prove that foreign nationals are needed to fill certain positions, as the Indonesian government has a policy of prioritizing local applicants.

The company can then submit an application for a limited stay visa (VITAS) on your behalf. First, your future employer will need to gain approval for your application from the Ministry of Manpower. They will then send a letter of recommendation to the General Directorate of Immigration in Jakarta. At this point, a decision will be made concerning your application, and if it is approved, a limited stay visa will be issued by your nearest Indonesian representation overseas.

Understanding How Residence and Work Permits Work

Once you have arrived in Indonesia, you have seven days in which to report to the regional immigration office with your passport and embarkation card in order to get yourself fingerprinted and exchange your visa for a limited stay permit card (KITAS). It usually takes about two weeks for this card to be issued. The original KITAS permit is valid for one year and can be renewed annually for up to five years. After five years you can apply for a permanent stay permit card (KITAP).

Along with your KITAS card, you will also be issued a Foreigner’s Control and Supervision book (POA). This book tracks any changes in your immigration status, such as change of address, job, marital status, etc. Any dependents that move with you to Indonesia will also be issued a KITAS card and a POA book. Additionally, within 30 days of receiving your KITAS permit, you must register at the local police headquarters.

After you have received your KITAS card, you can obtain your expatriate work permit (IKTA). Before this can be issued, the Skill and Development Fund (DPKK) fee must be paid. This is an annual fee of 1200 USD that companies employing expatriates must pay, which is used for the training of Indonesian citizens. A receipt of payment of the DPKK and your company’s IMTA must be submitted with your IKTA application.


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