KITAS Work permit Indonesia - moving to Semarang

Moving to Semarang? Have Your KITAS and Work Permit Ready [Update 2022]

  • InCorp Editorial Team
  • 4 September 2018
  • 8 minute reading time
Are you ready to move to Semarang and jumpstart your business? But before you do that, is your KITAS and work permit ready as well?

Keep in mind that a company you work for needs to sponsor you and apply for a KITAS/ITAS (Kartu Izin Tinggal Sementara) for you before you come to Indonesia.

Do Not Trust The Internet

It is highly probable that a lot of online information regarding KITAS/ITAS and work permits in Indonesia is outdated. Due to frequent changes in the regulations, information might be accurate only at the time of writing articles.

So, do keep yourself updated and always verify what you read. Remember, you can always reach us at our office in Semarang, drop us a message, or call us to get the updated information regarding KITAS/ITAS and work permit.

Meanwhile, this article provides the updates (September 2018) on KITAS/ITAS and work permit to help both companies and individuals in Semarang. It not only covers differences between these two but also an application process and requirements for securing both KITAS and work permit.

Confusion of RPTKA and KITAS

Most people think of KITAS/ITAS as a work permit. However, it is not true.

A work permit is called RPTKA Approval (Pengesahan Rencana Penggunaan Tenaga Kerja Asing or the Foreign Worker Utilization Plan) and you are allowed to work in Semarang only if you have obtained one. With RPTKA, you can then apply for KITAS/ITAS.

On the other hand, KITAS/ITAS is known as a limited stay permit card that enables you to stay in Semarang up to six months or one year. As KITAS/ITAS stands for a limited stay permit CARD, you should be familiar with the abbreviation of VITAS (Visa Izin Tinggal Sementara) as well. This one stands for a limited stay permit visa that goes hand in hand with a limited stay permit card.

The thing gets even trickier as the Indonesian government distinguishes between several types of KITAS/ITAS:

  • Spouse visa KITAS/ITAS
  • Retirement visa KITAS/ITAS

Beware. Foreigners usually misuse the term KITAS/ITAS and refer to their limited stay permit as “a work visa”. Keep in mind that Indonesia does not provide foreigners with work or working visa. To be employed in the country legally, foreign nationals need both – work permit and KITAS/ITAS.

What is KITAS Work Visa and Why do You Need It?

KITAS/ITAS work visa is a temporary limited stay permit that is valid for six months or a maximum of one year. Expats holding KITAS/ITAS can stay in Semarang for a maximum of five years with employer’s sponsorship. Renewal is mandatory every year.

KITAS was previously valid for 12 months for all jobs, but now it has changed for particular categories of jobs.

The Indonesian government offers a 30-day free tourist visa in addition to visa on arrival for most nations. A work permit must support any activity that is related to making money in Semarang.

How to Acquire Your KITAS Work Visa

You are required to get your work permit of RPTKA Approval, by verifying your job location and position at the company which sponsors your KITAS/ITAS in Semarang.

Due to the recent changes in regulation, your job position or the type of your job determines the length of KITAS/IRAS work visa validity. Please pay attention that sponsorship is compulsory before any work permit can be granted to you. According to the regulations by the Ministry of Manpower, a sponsoring company should propose an applicant’s job title discreetly to obtain the maximum KITAS/ITAS validity.

If you are the employer and a sponsor of the KITAS/ITAS work visa holder, you are also legally responsible for him or her. For example, you will need to pay fines for the applicant if he or she is not able to settle the charges. Therefore, as a sponsor for KITAS/ITAS work visa applicant, you need to be extra cautious to these responsibilities.

What is a Work Permit?

Just like in the case of KITAS/ITAS and work permit, many people also confuse a work permit with a business visa in Semarang. Even though differentiating the two can be tricky, we will make it easy for you to understand what permit or visa you should choose before starting your business in Semarang.

An Indonesian business visa is for business tasks or activities conducted in Semarang or entire Indonesia. These activities include attending seminars, conferences, unpaid training, and meeting, without any monetary exchange.

You are not allowed to work in Semarang or be employed in Semarang if you are a holder of an Indonesian business visa.

Therefore, the difference between a work permit and a business visa is the financial reward. Any activity that is related to making money in Semarang must be supported by a work permit.

Requirements for Work Permit in Semarang

According to Indonesian Immigration Law 2013 Article 4, Regulation No. 31, expats or foreigners are not allowed to acquire a work permit in certain segments in Semarang. These are quality control and inspection, human resource, supply chain management, legal entity, and health, safety and environment affairs.

If you are a foreign employee, in order to obtain a work permit in Semarang, your application must comply with Article 36, Government Regulation No. 35 in 2015.

  1. At least five years’ work experience or competency certificates relevant to the job position.
  2. Prepare training reports or a statement letter to explain why your knowledge and skills of expertise are mandatory in that particular field, as well as how they will bring benefits to your employers in Semarang.
  3. You need to have a proof of insurance from an Indonesian insurance company, for example, BPJS-administered insurance – The Indonesian National Health Insurance.
  4. It is also required for you to have a Taxpayer Registration Number(NPWP). If you have worked in Indonesia for more than six months, you must have already registered in the National Social Security System (Jaminan Sosial Nasional).

For employers who act as the sponsors, securing a work permit for your employees can be tedious and stressful. The general process includes the approval of RPTKA, advanced payment for DKP-TKA, VITAS application, and conversion of VITAS into KITAS/ITAS if necessary.

Work Without a Work Permit

Working without RPTKA approval, no matter what your reasons are, you have already broken the Immigration Law in Indonesia.

Just like not having a KITAS/ITAS employers will face a huge amount of fine of IDR 500 million (USD 34,000) with five years imprisonment. Therefore, it is crucial for you to always consult a reputable agency for the latest update of Indonesian Immigration Law.

2021 Update on Work Permit in Indonesia

In March 2021, the Indonesian Government issued The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) Regulation No. 8/2021 that revoked MOM Regulations No. 10/2018 concerning The Employment of Foreign Workers. The recent regulation stipulates that RPTKA approval now serves as the basis for the authority to grant a limited stay visa (VITAS). Once you have received a VITAS, the immigration in Indonesia will issue your limited stay permit (ITAS). 

Directors and commissioners who are also shareholders no longer need to have RPTKA 

RPTKA was previously required for any positions. However, since the enactment of Reg 20/2018, certain positions are no longer required to apply for RPTKA. Those positions are:

  • Shareholders that are also directors or commissioners;
  • Diplomatic and consular officers;
  • Foreign workers are needed by the Indonesian government.

The validity of a Work Permit

One month to twelve months is the validity range for a work permit in Semarang. The difference in its validity is based on the industry or sectors—you, as an employee, are in.

Based on the length of the work permit duration, it can be categorized into

  • urgent or emergency work permit (1 month)
  • temporary work permit (2 to 6 months)
  • long-term work permit (7-12 months)

Restrictions for Hiring Foreigners in Semarang

For KITAS/ITAS and work permit, applicants need to make sure that the sponsoring entity is legally registered in Indonesia. Other than that, the entity must fulfill the following requirements:

  • It has to be a foreign-owned company (PT PMA), a local entity is not allowed to do so
  • It can also be a representative office
  • It has to be medium- or large-sized companies


Contact Cekindo and let us help you to go through the KITAS/ITAS and work permit application process so you will be able to start or expand your business in Semarang in no time.

Pandu Biasramadhan

Senior Consulting Manager at InCorp Indonesia

An expert for more than 10 years, Pandu Biasramadhan, has an extensive background in providing top-quality and comprehensive business solutions for enterprises in Indonesia and managing regional partnership channels across Southeast Asia.

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