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Obtaining a work permit in Indonesia.

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Obtaining a work permit in Indonesia

This is a guide on the steps of applying for work permits in Indonesia.

There are several permits a foreigner must obtain before being able to work in the country legally, and a few steps must be completed before obtaining work permits in Indonesia.

Listed below are the steps you must follow in order to work in Indonesia.

Steps for applying for a work permit in Indonesia

1. Get government approval and submit an expatriate placement plan (Rencana Penempatan Tenaga Kerja Asing – RPTKA)

Before applying for the stay permit, the company employing a foreigner must have the government’s approval. The request for approval can be made in the form of a letter of announcement or an employment contract agreement letter from the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM). The employer also has to submit an Expatriate Placement Plan (RPTKA) to the Ministry of Manpower which will be used to issue the stay permit (ITAS) for the foreign employee.

The documents needed for an RPTKA are:

  • RPTKA application form
  • Full pages of the passport (including cover and empty pages) (scanned in colour)
  • CV signed by the company and affixed with stamp duty and chopped with company stamp (scanned in colour)
  • Education Certificate signed by the Company and affixed with stamp duty and chopped with company stamp (scanned in colour)
  • Certificate of work experience of at least five years in the relevant position
  • Signed Employment Agreement and affixed with stamp duty and chopped with company stamp (scanned in colour)
  • Insurance certificate (if the foreigner will work in Indonesia for the first time) or BPJS Kesehatan Card (if the foreigner has previously worked in Indonesia) (scanned in colour)
  • Work reference from the latest employer (scanned in colour)
  • Letter with the reasons for hiring a foreigner and his/her role in the company
  • Deed of Establishment with its amendment and MOLHR approval
  • Company documents such as tax number (NPWP)
  • Company Business Identification Number (NIB)
  • Company Business License
  • Bank statement of the last three months
  • Recommendation from another institution for certain types of companies, such as oil and gas
  • Copy of the Wajib Lapor – an annual report of the labour department stating the number of foreigners and local workers employed in the company
  • Signed company organisation structure and affixed with Stamp Duty IDR 6000 and also chopped with company stamp
  • Copy of the Indonesian ID card of the representative of the Company who will sign RPTKA application
  • Employment Agreement between the local company and the foreigner (with mandatory format pursuant to the Ministry of Manpower Regulation No. 10 of 2018 concerning the procedure for the usage of foreign manpower
  • Softcopy of photograph with red background and decent pixels

According to the new Presidential Regulation passed on 29 March 2018, companies who employ foreigners in the following positions do not need to apply for the RPTKA:

  • Diplomats and consular officers who are representatives of foreign countries
  • Shareholders who are members of the board of directors or a member of the board of commissioners
  • Foreigners who are employed for specific types of work required by the government

The RPTKA is valid for a maximum of five years and can be extended for another five years at the maximum.

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2. Reporting to the Ministry of Manpower and obtaining a work permit (IMTA)

Upon RPTKA approval, the company must submit the IMTA application together with the foreigner’s information such as passport number, passport validity, position, period of work, gender, nationality, place and date of birth, education certificate and work certification to the Ministry of Manpower.

The required documents to obtain an IMTA include:

  • RPTKA approval
  • Copy of foreigner’s passport
  • Copy of application to obtain the IMTA
  • Receipt of the DKP-TKA payment of USD 1,200 per year

Companies must pay compensation for hiring foreign workers through banks appointed by the ministry. Government agencies, representatives of foreign countries and international agencies do not have to pay compensation.

3. Apply for temporary stay visa (VITAS) and limited stay permit (ITAS)

Once the previous steps are approved, the employer has to apply for the VITAS with the BKPM. According to the new regulations, the foreigner may apply for the ITAS through an application for both VITAS and ITAS at the Indonesian embassy or consulate. The VITAS and issuance of approval letter for ITAS will be made within two working days. The immigration will issue the ITAS on arrival in Indonesia on the production of the ITAS approval letter, and the issuance of VITAS takes approximately 3 to 10 working days. The application for the ITAS must be made separately within seven days of arrival in Indonesia.

Documents to obtain an ITAS include:

  • From the employer
    • Copy of RPTKA
    • Copy of the KTP of the sponsor (domicile in Bali)
    • Copy of the KTP of a local employee working or the same company
    • An NPWP
    • SIUP (business license)
    • SPPMA from BKPM
    • Company’s registration letter
    • Wajib Labor
    • Company’s domicile letter
    • Letter for place of business approval and permits
    • Legalisation of deed establishment by the Department of Justice
    • Blank letterhead of company
    • Company stamp
  • From the foreigner
    • Original passport with a validity of at least 18 months and have sufficient empty pages of at least four pages
    • Copy of Telex Visa approval
    • Coloured scan of front page of passport
    • Formal colour photograph sized 4×6 (two pictures) with decent pixels

The ITAS allows foreigners to legally work and receive a salary in Indonesia, open a bank account and receive permanent residence after three years.

4. Applying for a KITAS card

Once you have an ITAS, you can convert it to a KITAS, which is a limited stay permit allowing foreigners to stay and work in Indonesia legally.

The documents needed to apply for a work KITAS include:

  • Original passport
  • Original RPTKA
  • Copy of IMTA Notification
  • Original Statement Letter mentioning domicile of foreigner
  • Original Sponsor Letter

This KITAS card will enable foreigners to stay in Indonesia for up to two years and can be extended up to two years with a maximum stay of six years.

To extend the work KITAS, you will need the following documents:

  • Completed KITAS renewal application form
  • Letter from sponsor or guarantor
  • Valid passport
  • RPTKA from the Ministry of Manpower
  • Any other documents required by the immigration officers

If you have renewed your KITAS consistently for 2-4 years, you will be eligible for a KITAP which is a permanent residence permit.

Types of KITAS

There are several types of KITAS in Indonesia. Some of the most common ones are:

  • Work KITAS
  • Family KITAS
  • Retirement KITAS
  • Student KITAS

If you are planning to work in Indonesia, you must secure the work KITAS, but this is NOT a work visa. Even though you have a KITAS, you may not be able to work in Indonesia. You will only be allowed to work in Indonesia with a KITAS if you have secured a work permit (ITMA).

Penalties for not having a legal permit

To work in Indonesia, you must first secure a work permit which is the ITMA before you can obtain other types of visas such as the ITAS or KITAS. If you fail to achieve the ITMA, you are breaking the Indonesian Immigration Law and is likely to face a fine of IDR 500 million.


Applying for work permits in Indonesia may be confusing, and foreigners might unintentionally apply for the wrong permit. We suggest engaging with Acclime’s services to make your permit application hassle-free.

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Acclime helps established multinational companies and startups start and operate their business in Indonesia and beyond. By seamlessly navigating our clients through the complexities of the local regulatory systems, we maximise opportunities while ensuring compliance and good governance.

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