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complete guide to limited visa stay, permit and kitas in indonesia

A Guide To Staying In Indonesia With A KITAS

For a foreigner to stay legally within Indonesia for work or personal reasons, he/she must obtain a permit from the Indonesian authorities. This permit is commonly referred to as a KITAS. In this article, we attempt to explain the different types of stay permits or KITAS, that allow a foreigner to work, set up a business, and stay in Indonesia.

If you have a basic understanding and are looking for in-depth advice, click here to set up your 1:1 KITAS consultation here.

What Is A KITAS In Indonesia And Who Should Apply For One?

KITAS stands for Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas, and it is a limited stay permit in Indonesia that must be sponsored by an Indonesian citizen or a company. Depending on the type of KITAS, and the basis of your application, a KITAS can be valid for six months to two years. The 4 most common purpose foreigners reside within Indonesia are for work, investment, marriage, and retirement. Each purpose has a specific KITAS, and differ in terms of processes and documents, for submission to the Indonesian authorities.

KITAS For Working In Indonesia

work permit indonesia

Although the common term used is a KITAS, the official term for an Indonesian Temporary Expatriate Work Permit is called an IMTA (Izin Mempekerjakan Tenaga Kerja Asing). A KITAS as mentioned is a stay permit. A foreigner who is working in Indonesia must understand that an IMTA and a KITAS, are 2 different permits that he/she must apply for. 

To apply for a Work KITAS, sponsorship from your Employer is required. And the Employer must be a company registered in Indonesia. In Indonesia, locally-registered companies are defined as a PT, PT PMA, or a representative office. A work KITAS also allows a foreigner to re-enter Indonesia multiple times with one permit, it is commonly referred to as a MERP (Multiple Exit and Re-entry Permit). 

Do you want to know more? Continue reading Work Permit in Indonesia from A to Z.

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KITAS Marriage Visa

spouse visa IndonesiaA foreigner legally married to an Indonesian citizen can be sponsored by his or her spouse to qualify for KITAS family visa. Be aware this is not an Indonesia working visa. 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-legalised CNI (Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage) in Indonesian is required. You can then move forward with applying for a permanent residence visa (KITAP) in Indonesia after a 2-year marriage. KITAP has 5 years validity with MERP (multiple exit and re-entry permit).

Learn more about spouse visa in Indonesia.

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KITAS Retirement Visa

retirement visa IndonesiaThis 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 retirement KITAS after a month.

With a retirement KITAS, 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 domestic helper. However, you should have no plan of working at all in Indonesia.

Retirement KITAS/Visa is popular among expats living in Bali. Read more about its requirements.

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Process and Requirements of Acquiring KITAS in Indonesia

The process of a visa application in Indonesia might be stressful. We all know that. The process may take up to 10 weeks. 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 get the visa/permit.

Process for KITAS Work Visa

Pre-IMTA/Pre-working Permit Approval

  1. Employer or organisation proposes to use foreign manpower to Local Manpower Department.
  2. Expose session or interview from the Ministry.
  3. Proposal approved by the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower.
  4. Process for Pre-IMTA. They will inform your stay period in Indonesia.

IMTA/Working Permit Approval

  1. Prior to IMTA approval, make an advanced payment of 100 USD per month for DKP-TKA (Development Funds in Exchange of hiring a foreign worker).
  2. IMTA approval. You are now legal to work in Indonesia.

VITAS Approval

  1. Apply for Telex visa as VITAS (Visa Tinggal Terbatas) Temporary Stay Visa pre approval.
  2. Indonesian Immigration Office in Jakarta issues VITAS approval and send a telex to Indonesian embassy abroad.
  3. VITAS approval process takes 5 working days.
  4. Indonesian embassy abroad issues VITAS.
  5. Collect VITAS in person before coming to Indonesia.

Convert VITAS into KITAS Work Visa with MERP

Once arrived in Indonesia, you have 30 days to convert a VITAS into a KITAS work visa. You cannot leave the country in the midst of the process else your VITAS will become invalid. VITAS is a single entry visa.

  1. Prepare an application form together with required documents.
  2. Go through biometric data processing at immigration in person.
  3. Engage Cekindo with the paperwork and the rest of the process.
  4. Process takes 8 working days.
  5. 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

Take the following mandatory steps within 14 days after KITAS issuance.

  1. Prepare required documents for living in Indonesia.
  2. Present at civil administration department.
  3. You will get the necessary civil certificates.

Process for KITAS Marriage Visa in Indonesia

VITAS Approval

  1. 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.
  2. Repeat steps in “VITAS Approval” of “Process of KITAS Work Visa”

Convert VITAS into KITAS

The same process as shown in “Convert VITAS into KITAS” of “Process of KITAS Work Visa” applies. After entering Indonesia, you have 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

  1. Prepare required documents
  2. Present at civil administration department
  3. 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 of marriage with your Indonesian spouse.

Why choose Cekindo for Your KITAS Application?

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We will identify the KITAS needs for you and family, specifically in accordance with Indonesia’s immigration law and manpower regulations.
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We will provide you with the updated documents checklist and fill in application forms for you.
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A point of contact available throughout the process. Reach us via Hangouts and Whatsapp.
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Document preparation is the only effort you have to do. The rest will be informed by our visa specialists (Telex pickup at Embassy of Indonesia of your choice).
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We provide assistance for visa application at Embassy of Singapore. Apply in the morning and obtain in the evening.

Final Notes on KITAS in Indonesia

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is an Indonesia limited stay permit KITAS valid?

It depends on the type of KITAS. A Retirement KITAS, for example, is valid for one year, whereas a Work KITAS is valid for six months to one year. There is an exception for an Investor KITAS that is valid for two years.

What are the requirements for an Investor KITAS application in Indonesia?

To be eligible, you need to have a minimum of IDR 10 billion in authorized capital, IDR 10 billion in paid-up capital, and IDR 1 billion in personal shares.

What are the requirements for a Retirement KITAS application in Indonesia?

You will need to be at least 55 years of age and will not work to earn income in Indonesia. A consultation on further requirements is necessary.

What is an Indonesia Family KITAS? Can I work in Indonesia under this stay permit?

An Indonesia Family KITAS is issued to family members. They can be a spouse and/or children under 18 years of age. It is illegal to work in Indonesia with a Family KITAS. To work legally, a Work KITAS is required.

What is the price of an Indonesia KITAS?

The price varies, depending on the type of KITAS that you wish to apply.

Can I apply for my Indonesia KITAS online?

Yes. You need to register at the immigration website and proceed with your application online.

Is KITAS extension possible in Indonesia?

Of course. Your KITAS can be extended for up to five years.

I’ve heard about Exit Permit Only (EPO) for a KITAS holder in Indonesia. What is it exactly?

A KITAS holder must apply for an EPO when switching between jobs, resigning from a current job and wanting to leave Indonesia or changing KITAS type.

How can I convert my KITAS into a permanent stay permit KITAP in Indonesia?

The requirements may be different between one KITAP type and another. A Spouse KITAS holder can apply for a KITAP after 2-year marriage. A Work KITAS holder can apply for a KITAP after holding the KITAS four times consecutively.

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