As is usually the case for starting a business in Indonesia, it is important to know that you will be required to obtain a limited stay permit—KITAS, if you wish to work and stay in Indonesian territory for a longer period as foreigners. KITAS can be renewed when necessary. The new immigration passed in May 2011 has a more severe punishment than UU 9/1992 for visa and permit violation.
What will you learn? This article elaborates the different options of KITAS and also helps clarify some of the questions you may have about the process, for foreigners doing business in Indonesia.
The eligibility of a foreigner or expatriate to be granted a KITAS is based on article 23 Minister of Law and Human Rights Regulation number 27 of 2014 on Technical Procedures for Granting, Extension, Refusal, Cancellation and Termination of to a Visit Stay Permit, Limited Stay Permit, and Permanent Stay Permit and Exclusion of Liability of Holding a Stay Permit.
What is KITAS and Why Is It Important?
KITAS stands for Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas. It is a limited stay permit or a temporary residency permit that is valid for six months to one year. As being the most common type of a permit for foreign residents, it requires an Indonesian sponsorship and allows holders to live in Indonesia up to five years, with subsequent renewal every twelve months.
Indonesian government offers a 30-day free tourist visa in addition to visa on arrival for most countries in the world. However, if you would like to stay longer than that in Indonesia for various of purposes, for instance, starting a business in Indonesia, KITAS is the one you need to go for. Failure to do so by overstaying the period of the visit visa, foreigners will be imposed with a maximum of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of 500,000,000 IDR (~37,000 USD).
Different Types of KITAS
It is important to note that a lot of information might be outdated from other sources with the 2011 new Immigration Law passed in Indonesia.
Here is the most updated information on the three most common types of KITAS compiled by Cekindo:
KITAS Work Visa
KITAS Indonesia work visa is sponsored by an Indonesian company or an organization registered in Indonesia, including Indonesian-owned company, foreign-owned company, representative office and public or private institution.
Before acquiring a KITAS work visa, you will be required to obtain your working permit/IMTA (Ijin Mempekerjakan Tenaga Kerja Asing) by confirming your job position and location at the sponsoring company in Indonesia. Your job position decides the length of your allowed KITAS duration. To reiterate, sponsorship is required before any work visa or work permit can be processed. A sponsoring company should propose an applicant’s job title carefully based on regulations laid out by the Ministry of Manpower.
Sponsors for KITAS work visa are legally responsible for the visa applicants, i.e., to pay charges and fines if the respective applicants do not have the ability to do so. Therefore, it is of critical importance for sponsors to be aware of these responsibilities.
KITAS Marriage Visa
A foreigner who is legally married to an Indonesian citizen can be sponsored by his or her spouse to qualify for KITAS family visa. You need to be aware this is not an Indonesia working visa, and you will only be allowed to stay in Indonesia but not to work there.
An official marriage certificate endorsed by the Indonesian government is mandatory for the application. If you happen to get married abroad, an Indonesian-legalized CNI (Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage) in Indonesian is required otherwise.
You can then go ahead with a permanent residence visa (KITAP) in Indonesia after being married to your Indonesian spouse for two years. KITAP has 5 years validity with MERP (multiple exit and re-entry permit).
KITAS Retirement Visa
This visa is irrelevant to a business owner or entrepreneur. However, if you are 55 years of age or older, and wish to spend your retirement in Indonesia, you may enter Indonesia first on a tourist visa and then apply for KITAS retirement visa after a month.
With this visa, you can live in Indonesia for consecutive years and enter or exit the country as many times as you would like. You can also get a local bank account and hire a driver or maid. However, you should have no plan of working at all in Indonesia.
Retirement visa become a favourite option for expats living in Bali. Read more about its requirements.
Process and Requirements of Acquiring KITAS
The process of a visa application in Indonesia might be stressful. We all know that. The process may take up to 10 weeks, and it is strongly advised to complete your early consultation with Cekindo to avoid unnecessary disappointment. Furthermore, a KITAS renewal is preferably done 2 months before the expiry date.
Now, let’s discuss how to go about getting the visa/permit.
Process for KITAS Work Visa
Pre-IMTA/Pre-working Permit Approval
- Employer or organization proposes to use foreign manpower to Local Manpower Department.
- Expose session or interview from the Ministry.
- Proposal approved by the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower.
- Process for Pre-IMTA. You will be informed of your stay period in Indonesia.
IMTA/Working Permit Approval
- Prior to IMTA approval, DKP-TKA(Development Funds in Exchange of hiring a foreign worker) advanced payment of 100 USD per month needs to be made.
- IMTA approval. You are now legal to work in Indonesia.
- Apply for Telex visa as VITAS (Visa Tinggal Terbatas) Temporary Stay Visa pre approval.
- VITAS approval issued by the Indonesian Immigration Office in Jakarta and telexed to Indonesian embassy abroad.
- VITAS approval process takes 5 working days.
- VITAS issued by Indonesian abroad.
- Collect VITAS in person before coming to Indonesia.
Convert VITAS into KITAS Work Visa with MERP
Once you have arrived in Indonesia, have 30 days to convert a VITAS into a KITAS work visa. You are not allowed to leave the country in the midst of the process else your VITAS will become invalid. VITAS is a single entry visa.
- Prepare an application form together with required documents.
- Go through biometric data processing at immigration in person.
- Engage Cekindo with the paperwork and the rest of the process.
- Process takes 8 working days.
- Once approved, KITAS is now available as an online record together with MERP.
With KITAS, you can exit and re-enter Indonesia multiple times along with MERP. MERP has the same validity period as your KITAS. At least not until you find employment in Indonesia with sponsorship.
Civil Registration and Reporting
This step is mandatory and must be proceeded within 14 days after KITAS issuance.
- Prepare documents required for living in Indonesia.
- Present at civil administration department.
- You will get necessary civil certificates.
Process for KITAS Marriage Visa
- Prepare documents: valid passport and a copy of passport, marriage certificate, copy of ID and family card of your Indonesian spouse with “married” status, copy of Indonesian spouse’s latest bank statement, and sponsor letter.
- Repeat steps in “VITAS Approval” of “Process of KITAS Work Visa”
Convert VITAS into KITAS
The same process is applied as shown in “Convert VITAS into KITAS” of “Process of KITAS Work Visa”. After entering Indonesia, you are allowed only seven days to convert a VITAS into a KITAS.
Please bear in mind that, however, you are still not allowed to convert your KITAS marriage visa into a work permit (MERP). At least not until you find employment in Indonesia with sponsorship.
Civil Registration and Reporting
- Prepare required documents
- Present at civil administration department
- You will get SKSKPS (Certificate of Family Formation of Temporary Residents) and STM (Police Report Certificate).
You can consider converting your KITAS to KITAP after two years marriage with your Indonesian spouse.
Procedures for obtaining the residence status in Indonesia could be quite complicated and time-consuming with the tendency of regulations changing from time to time. It is common to avoid the headaches and hire an agent yourself or by your employer to help with the process more efficiently, especially the paperwork.
Cekindo’s Indonesia Work Permit (IMTA) and Indonesia Working Visa (KITAS) processes give you the professional advice to maximize the chances of a successful application.
The benefits that come with successful KITAS include a legal tax number that allows you to travel in and out of the country as often as you wish. Besides, you are allowed to be a director of a company or an investor. Contact us now if you are ready to start your life in Indonesia or to think of discussing other options.
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